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What Causes Salpingitis and Lash Eggs in Chickens?

What Causes Salpingitis and Lash Eggs in Chickens?

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Lash Egg

So, what causes salpingitis and lash eggs in chickens? Lash eggs look like normal eggs, but they are actually a buildup of pus. This condition is brought about by an inflammation of your chicken’s oviduct as a result of an infection.

As a chicken owner, I’m always ready for anything, whether positive or negative. Chickens, just like other farm animals, have their own problems. Once you can identify these problems, you will know how to take good care of your flock. One of the issues that arise from raising backyard chickens is egg abnormalities. Most backyard chicken owners have at one time come across deformed eggs with blood spots, rubbery shells, and others without yolks. Such cases could mean something else as far as raising backyard chickens is concerned.

Even though lash eggs are not a common thing, they do occur from time to time. When they happen, you should just know that your hens have an infection. If left unchecked, lash eggs can become a real problem among your layers. 

What are Lash Eggs?

As we are understanding more about what causes salpingitis and lash eggs in chickens, let’s begin with, lash eggs are not eggs at all. Instead, they are a result of a condition known as Salpingitis or an infection that causes inflammation of the oviduct. The inflammation leads to the sloughing off some pus and other materials accumulated in the body due to the infection. The accumulated material is also forced out of the body through the oviduct. 

How about those handling chickens affected by the infection? The sad news is that these conditions can also affect you. Salpingitis affects human beings, especially the females. The infection causes an inflammation of the fallopian tubes in women. 

There is no explanation as to why chickens get salpingitis. But experts think that the risk factors could be coming from the industrial farms where chickens are confined in small spaces. Another reason could be a hormonal imbalance in layers.

However, the real cause of lash eggs in chickens is different types of bacteria. 

These bacteria include:

  • Mycoplasma Gallisepticum
  • E. coli
  • Salmonella
  • Pasteurella Multocida

Given that bacteria are the leading causes of lash eggs, you can reach out to certain antibiotics for treatment. Since different bacteria cause salpingitis, you should use antibiotics depending on the exact cause of the problem. Otherwise, you may consult a qualified vet for more advice.

Lash eggs create an unpleasant sight. They consist of several materials and elements that make them look somehow gross. These elements include pus, body tissue, and egg material. 

Several layers of these materials accumulate in the oviduct for a while, leading to the formation of lash eggs. To get rid of them, the affected chickens force them out through the oviduct in what looks like laying eggs.

The laid lash eggs can either be hard or soft. In most cases, you may find small bits of pus-likee materials or simply a large object that looks like an egg. When you open it, you will find several layers of different materials. 

Most of the lash eggs are shaped like regular eggs. This is because they pass through the oviduct where they get shaped just like eggs. Regardless, they can take different forms despite being laid just like other regular eggs.

What are the Common Causes of Salpingitis and Lash Eggs in Chickens?

What happens when one morning, you stumble upon an egg-shaped ball that resembles curd or cheese in the nesting box? Do you just throw it away or find out its source and the cause? Well, the best form of action is to invest the source of that curd-looking, egg-shaped ball, and what really caused it. 

There are different causes of salpingitis in chickens. The most common ones are bacteria, viruses, or coinfection of Tetratrichomonas ( protozoa) and Escherichia coli. 

Salpingitis happens after the entry pathogens from the reproductive organ to the oviduct through reverse peristalsis. Infections can descend from the abdominal air sac towards the oviduct before spreading to other adjacent tissues.

The affected tissues can form masses of different sizes in the oviduct. Then these masses are ejected through the oviduct or regurgitated into the chicken’s abdominal cavity via reverse peristalsis.

In relatively younger hens, salpingitis can extend from the air sac or yolk infections. As a result, the oviduct will get filled up with cheese or curd-like exudate that persists until maturity. The caseous exudate is then ejected through the oviduct just before the affected hen lays an egg.

Bacterial Salpingitis

The bacterial salpingitis has its own unique characteristics. The condition is more exudative, and it causes lard and firm lash eggs. Contents of its mass entail exudate, eggshells, yolk, membranes, oviduct secretions, and oviduct tissue. 

When you cut the lash egg into half, you will see the onion-layered texture on its cross-section. Also, you will notice a progressive accumulation of layers of materials that appear concentric.

The main bacteria responsible for this condition is known as E.coli. But other bacterial causes may include Gallibacterium, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Mycoplasma spp, Pseudomonas spp, and Klebsiella spp.

Virial Salpingitis

To know if viruses cause the lash egg problem, you will notice several symptoms. In most cases, viral salpingitis lessons are associated with pale, turbid, and creamy or gelatinous exudate. 

Most of the viral causes are usually brought about by the Infectious Bronchitis Virus. They may also include New Castle disease, influenza viruses, and adenoviruses.

What are the Symptoms of Salpingitis?

The affected birds will show the following clinical signs of salpingitis:

Abdominal firmness
Abdominal swelling
Labored breathing – Caused by stuff in the oviduct
Reduced egg production
Eggs with strange or abnormal shapes
Wrinkled eggshells
Thin, watery albumen in eggs
Laying of soft-shelled or lash eggs
Tiredness or lethargy 
Upright, penguin-like stance
Excessive thirst
weight loss
Labored breathing
Sudden death

Apart from the above-mentioned clinical signs, there are predisposing factors that come along with salpingitis. 

These factors are as follows:

  • Age of your chickens
  • Vent pecking
  • Malnutrition
  • Excessive abdominal fat or over nutrition
  • Excessive or prolonged egg-laying

How do You Prevent Salpingitis?

Prevention of salpingitis is not as easy as you might have thought. Even the best practices in keeping chickens cannot prevent this condition. Any hen can contract salpingitis despite applying the most effective control measures available. 

But you can always protect your flock of hens by doing the following:

  • Apply good backyard biosecurity
  • Feed your chickens properly to avoid cases of obesity or overweight. Provide your birds with proper nutrition. Give them kitchen scraps, snacks, and tasty treats in moderation.
  • Control bacterial infections among baby chicks
  • Make sure to vaccinate your flock of chickens against all respiratory infections like the Infectious Laryngotracheitis and Bronchitis.
  • Purchase clean baby chicks from a reliable and trusted supplier. Make sure that your supplier is NPIP certified against Mycoplasma and Salmonella. These two diseases are capable of spreading to the chick that is yet to be hatched. 
  • Obtain a necropsy just in case one of your chickens dies or succumbs to an unknown cause. This measure will help you protect the rest of your flock from an imminent disease outbreak.

How Do You Treat Salpingitis?

Use of antibiotics

You can use antibiotics to treat salpingitis when you detect it at the right time. This remedy can work best when the pus is still soft. Sadly, signs and symptoms are only visible when the disease has already manifested itself for a while. At this point, the antibiotics cannot be of any help.


Removal of the affected parts such as the oviduct, ovary, and any other egg components can help treat salpingitis. Unfortunately, surgery poses the risk of recurrence and re-infection if the process is not done correctly. On the other hand, a hormone implant may be placed surgically to suppress ovulation or yolk release. This way, your hen will not be affected by salpingitis. 


This is a simple term for the euthanization of the entire flock. You can depopulate your chickens if you suspect that some of them are already infected with salpingitis. In this case, you can clean up your old flock and start with a new one. But this method is not realistic for several backyard chickens raised as pets.

Related Questions

Is salpingitis a contagious disease? Given that salpingitis is a disease that causes inflammation of the oviduct and is caused by bacteria, it is not contagious. For more information on this subject matter, consult your veterinarian for more definitive answers.

Can I prevent lash eggs? On the contrary, you may not be able to avoid your layers from producing lash eggs successfully. Your hen could be healthy and feed on a well-balanced diet, but they will still lay lash eggs. 

Can I eat a lash egg? The answer is no. This is an egg with an accumulation of contaminated materials and pus. So, you definitely cannot enjoy eating such an egg.

In Conclusion

Salpingitis and lash eggs in chickens is a condition that affects hens mostly. It is an inflammation of the oviduct and is caused by bacteria or viruses. This condition leads to the production of poorly formed eggs. Although the disease can be prevented, it can also recur if more effective measures are not taken seriously. 

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!

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