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Salpingitis is inflammation of the oviduct. Almost all cases are caused by a bacterial infection, usually Escherichia coli, but sometimes Mycoplasma gallisepticum, Salmonella spp. and Pasteurella multocida can affect other organ systems simultaneously. Salpingitis can occur in acute or chronic form. Common causes of salpingitis include other reproductive system conditions such as egg binding, oviduct impaction, and egg-related peritonitis.

What is the Oviduct?

The female reproductive tract is frequently referred to as the oviduct in birds. The oviduct is a twisted muscular tube-like organ which is made up of five major sections--the infundibulum, magnum, isthmus, shell gland, and vagina. It is where the ovary releases matured ovums (the action of this release is called ovulation). Once released, the ovum travels inside the oviduct and starts to form the other components that make up an egg, such as the albumen (egg white), and egg shell. The total time it takes the hen's body to turn the ovum into an egg, and lay that egg is about 25 to 26 hours. This entire process happens in the oviduct.

Symptoms of Salpingitis

Hens with salpingitis often don't show any easily recognizable signs that can distinguish it from other reproductive disorders. Varying degrees of abdominal distension is usually present, especially if there is an association with an impacted oviduct or cystic ovarian changes. Hens may have a history of laying soft-shelled eggs or persistently infertile eggs (associated with breeding).

Clinical Signs

Abdominal distension
Laying soft-shelled eggs
Decreased or no egg production
Reduced appetite


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiography
  • Ultrasound
  • Laparotomy


Hormone implantsSuprelorin®, Virbac is used 'off-label' to stop ovulation (egg production) in hens.
Salpingohysterectomy (spaying)The surgical removal of the entire oviduct of the chicken.
Supportive care


Scientific References

Age Range

Salpingitis is most common in adult hens, however it can also occur in younger birds.

Risk Factors

  • Chronic egg laying
  • Overweight
  • Impaction of the oviduct
  • Inappropriate treatment for egg binding
  • High egg production breeds

Case Stories