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Issue 29: May 2007

In This Issue:

  Oviduct Prolapse
  Metal Detector Donation
  A Special Thanks!
  Fowl Weather Auction Results
  Get to Know Your Predators:
The American Alligator
  Recommended Reading:
Face-to-Face with the Duck
  Reader Poll #29
  Results of Reader Poll #28

Metal Detector Donation

Majestic extends an enormous THANK YOU to Jean for donating her retired metal detector to us. It has already proven invaluable in keeping our construction areas clear of hazards. Thank you to Chris for hand delivering it to us along with some other goodies—including stamps.  It was great seeing you again!

A Special Thanks!

Majestic would like to recognize Damiana and Alice for all of their fundraising efforts over the past year and a half. Through two butter braid sales and one flower bulb sale, they have raised nearly $900 for our sanctuary! As if that wasn’t enough, they have also adopted a few ducks from us and provided them with a wonderful new home. Thank you for your generosity and thoughtfulness -- you are amazing!






Fowl Weather Auction Results

Thank you to Bob Tarte and everyone who participated in our “Fowl Weather” auction fundraiser. We raised $365 towards the expansion of our sanctuary!

Get to Know Your Predators: American Alligator

We just received an email about some domestic geese down south running into this predator, so we decided to feature the alligator this month in consideration of our Southern friends.

If you live in a state where alligators are present (especially Florida and Louisiana), keep a close eye on any open water that your waterfowl are frequenting. You especially don’t want your flock out on the water during evening hours when alligators are most active, so if there is any chance that an alligator could have slipped into your pond without your knowledge, be sure that you call your flock off of the water well before sunset every day -- being mindful not to release them out again until well after sunrise the following morning. It is highly advised that you fence in your flock’s swimming water to keep these visiting reptiles out.

Recommended Reading*

Ordering information |

Face-to-Face with the Duck
By Pascale Hedelin

Face-To-Face With The Duck by Pascale Hedelin is an informative picture book for young readers about the ecology and life cycle of ducks.

Illustrated throughout with sharp color photographs by the Colibri Agency, Face-To-Face With The Duck teaches young people about the marsh that is the duck's natural habitat, their feeding and migration habits, the phases of a duckling from egg to adult, the hazards ducks face from hunters to habitat destruction to lead poisoning from ingesting spent hunting cartridges, cousins of the duck, and much more.

An excellent introduction to a common yet hardy and fascinating waterfowl, especially recommended for children who want to learn more about their local feathered friends.

* For our full recommended reading list, click here. If you order from Amazon by way of our website, Majestic receives a portion of the proceeds!

Reader Poll #29 (2 Parter!)

Question 1: If you could only have one duck on a desert island as a companion, which kind would you choose?

Pekin Duck
Campbell Duck
Mallard Duck
Rouen Duck
Runner Duck
Swedish Duck

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Question 2: If you could only have one goose on a desert island as a companion, which kind would you choose?

Embden Goose
Toulouse Goose
Pilgrim Goose
Chinese Goose
African Goose
Buff Goose

Voting Has Closed.
Please see next issue for results.

Results of Reader Poll #28

Question: Now that Wolfgang Puck has gone cruelty-free and banned foie gras, will you purchase his products and eat at his restaurants?

Yes 50%
No 33%
Undecided 17%

Contact Us

Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary
17 Barker Road
Lebanon, CT 06249

Our Newsletter

The Majestic Monthly is published 12 times per year. Previous issues are available in our Archives.

Oviduct Prolapse

A number of people have contacted us recently with egg-laying concerns. There is not a lot of information available regarding these serious medical issues, so we’ve decided to compile what we know for everyone. This compilation is gathered actual first hand experiences and from conversations and multiple certified vets. Thank you to everyone who helped us gather so much information so quickly, so that we could share it with others. We wish you and your flocks well through your recoveries.  -- Kimberly Link

Sometimes when a hen is laying her egg, her oviduct (internal egg laying tube) comes outside of her body. This can range from the tip just poking out to the entire oviduct falling out. Immediate vet care is needed when this happens. Remove the hen from the company of other ducks to avoid them injuring the oviduct. Do not attempt to push the tube back into their body yourself. Keep the oviduct clean and moist until you get to the vet. A small amount of KY Jelly is a good item to have in your waterfowl medicine cabinet. It can be placed on the protruding tissue to keep it moist. Sprinkle sugar on the oviduct to take down the swelling. This helps the vet when it's time for them to push the organ back in. Wrap your duck in a towel to prevent your hen from poking at her own injury.

Your hen will need surgery to stitch the oviduct back into place. Sutures need to be tight enough to hold the oviduct in place, but they should in no way prevent normal egg-laying. The egg must be able to pass through the oviduct normally.

Once an oviduct prolapse occurs, it will most likely happen again as normal egg-laying continues. In order to prevent this, there are two courses of action that can be taken: injections to prevent egg-laying or a Salpingohysterectomy.


Salpingitis is the inflammation of the oviduct (the upper reproductive tract). The oviduct becomes lined with pus filled cysts that are often brought on by infection—commonly E. coli. As with egg binding, it is more common among overweight or malnourished hens, or among hens who are pushed to lay excessively utilizing laying formulas. 

Hens suffering from Salpingitis often pant excessively and have a routinely difficult time passing their eggs. This makes it extremely easy for a misdiagnosis. As with egg binding, hens with Salpingitis may also exhibit lethargy. Other symptoms include: redness or swelling around the cloaca, discharge or odd-shaped, malformed eggs. Sometimes the hen’s abdomen may actually appear enlarged or she may even experience weight loss, but many hens show neither of these traits, hiding their affliction.

 If your hen is exhibiting abnormal panting or stress during egg-laying, seek vet assistance immediately. Vets will commonly do an x-ray to get a closer look and then advise a salpingohysterectomy to remove the infected oviduct as no other treatment is effective.


Metritis refers to the inflammation of the lower reproductive tract (the uterine portion of the oviduct). It can be brought on by a systemic (bacterial) infection or by damage caused by egg binding or peritonitis. Visible symptoms of Metritis and Salpingitis are the same.

Metritis can effect contractions during egg-laying as well as having a negative impact on actual shell formation. A salpingohysterectomy to remove the infected oviduct is commonly recommended.


Sometimes when a hen is egg bound (especially when multiple eggs are trapped in the oviduct) egg components can move incorrectly through her body and end up deposited in her abdomen. Peritonitis is more common in overweight hens, those with a genetic predisposition and among those who lay eggs excessively—commonly brought on by over-mating or excessive quantities of laying formulas. 

Symptoms of Peritonitis mimic other aforementioned reproductive ailments, except that you may also witness yolk colored droppings. An immediate trip to the vet is in order and an x-ray needs to be done.

If an egg has slipped into the abdominal cavity, immediate surgery will be required to remove the egg and clean out the cavity. Post operative care includes: antibiotics, tube feeding and often fluid injections to prevent dehydration. Because there is a risk of reoccurrence, many vets will advise continual injections to prevent egg-laying or a salpingohysterectomy as a means of preventative treatment.   

By knowing the personality and habits of your duck or goose, you prepare yourself for noticing abnormalities in their behavior. Always call your vet at the onset of symptoms or behavioral changes. Ducks and geese mask their symptoms well as a predatory defense, so early detection is vital to successful treatment.


Two common vet choices to temporary halt a hen’s egg-laying are Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) or Luperon (Lupron®).

HCG causes regression of the ovarian follicles and, therefore, inhibits ovulation. The benefit of this drug is that it works quickly and has few side effects if used for short periods of time. This drug is an option for first time/one-off incidents. Three treatments are often given at 48 hour intervals. Long term side effects may include ovarian tumors, so it is only recommended for intermittent use.

The most widely used hormone therapy being utilized at present time to stop the egg-laying cycle is Leuprolide or Lupron®. Administration inhibits gonadotropin secretion and suppression of ovarian hormone production, which brings a stop to egg production. Side effects, if experienced at all, are minimal, so it is considered to be very safe. One problem with Lupron® is it may up to several weeks to begin taking effect. It seems to have the greatest effect on those hens who have only been laying for a short period of time. This time delay can be a real issue if your hen needs an immediate break from her daily egg-laying routine. In addition, some ducks/geese become immune to the treatment within a short period of time, making it only a temporary solution.

Many vets will administer HCG to immediately stop egg production in addition to a Lupron® shot for a longer lasting effect. A shot of Lupron® may be repeated about every three weeks, if a longer break in laying is required. Combined together these two therapies are an excellent way of preventing egg-laying during the waiting period before a Salpingohysterectomy can be performed.

If you have utilized either of these therapies, please email us at directorATmajesticwaterfowl.org and let us know how they worked for your hen, so we can share your information with others.


The only permanent solution to put a stop to Chronic Egg-Laying and to guarantee the prevention of further Oviduct Prolapse or Peritonitis incidents is through surgery. The procedure in which the left oviduct (the functioning oviduct) is removed is known as a Salpingohysterectomy.

An abdominal incision is made and the left oviduct is removed. The operating vet should inspect the vestigial right oviduct to verify that it truly is non-functioning. There have been rare instances of the right oviduct being operative and functional; if so, it will need to be removed as well. Refer to our September 2006 newsletter for a diagram of the oviduct. The ovary is not normally removed because it can be difficult to reach and can bleed heavily, resulting in hemorrhaging.

A Salpingohysterectomy is often left as a last resort because it is a complicated, risky and costly procedure, but it is commonly necessary to prevent reoccurring and life-threatening medical issues. It can be especially risky if your hen is still recovering from prior surgery. Be sure to research this option thoroughly with your experienced and certified waterfowl vet before making a decision.

Confirm your vet of choice has performed this surgery successfully before on ducks/geese—not just on birds (parrots, etc.). Ask them about their surgical and post-operative experience, mortality rates, anesthesia risks, pain-killers, antibiotics, post-surgical care requirements and expense. Be sure to inquire about after-hours and weekend emergency situations. Plan out your options in advance should your vet be unavailable during these times. You may need a back up vet who is fully versed in the situation and can assist you and your hen post-surgically if your vet is unavailable.

       Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee in connection with any guidance provided on this website. Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary expressly disclaims any liability or responsibility for loss or damage resulting from its use or for the violation of any federal, state or municipal law or regulation with which such guidance may conflict. Any guidance is general in nature. In addition, the assistance of a qualified professional should be enlisted to address any specific circumstances.

© Majestic Waterfowl Sanctuary 2007