What Is A Lash Egg?
Once in a while, you may have a hen that lays a weird egg; thin-shelled, misshapen, very small, or extra-large. While the occasional egg-laying anomaly may be no big deal, if you find a bizarre blob that looks egg-like, it may be what’s called a “lash egg,” and you should take note. Lash egg occurrences can be an indicator of a reproductive problem in that hen. Let’s learn all about lash eggs.
Why Is It Called A Lash Egg?
There isn’t an excellent reason why the term “lash egg” describes this non-egg but egg-like thing. The technical, medical name for a lash egg is salpingitis, which means infection of the oviduct. The root salping- refers to the oviduct, and -itis means infection or inflammation.
Of What Is A Lash Egg Made?
A lash egg is an egg-shaped mass of mostly pus, but it may contain yolk fragments and tissue bits from the hen’s reproductive tract. It is almost always a solid, firm, rubbery mass without a shell coating around it. It may have the shell membrane coating around it or possibly a fragile, thin shell coating. A hen who produces a lash egg has likely also been laying what I call “jelly eggs”; eggs with a membrane only and no shell or only a hint of a shell coating.
What Causes Salpingitis or Lash Eggs?
Salpingitis that has progressed to the point of a hen producing lash eggs is a concerning sign. The prognosis is usually poor for a hen whose reproductive tract is so severely infected that it makes pus balls and tissue. It is the hen’s attempt at walling off and eliminating a severe infection. It’s hard to know what causes a hen to develop salpingitis, but a few known causes are:
- Respiratory infection: several upper respiratory illnesses have been known to also cause reproductive harm. The damage to the oviduct will not be evident until long after the respiratory disease is over.
- Overweight: reduces a hen’s ability to keep her vent clean
- Vent picking: E Coli can enter the oviduct and cause infection
Unfortunately, the prognosis for a hen that is laying lash eggs is not good. It is generally an indication that irreversible damage to the oviduct has occurred. A hen who is laying lash eggs has probably already been producing a poor quality egg up until this point, so you will need to decide for yourself if you want to keep a hen that is likely not going to produce any more eggs for you. The hen is dealing with an oviduct infection, and her life may be short because of it. If you decide she will remain as a pet that doesn’t produce eggs for you, I strongly recommend seeking the advice of your county’s agricultural extension office for local advice on finding knowledgeable poultry healthcare. They can help you decide on a course of treatment that can help your lash egg hen live more comfortably for the remainder of her days.
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