Chicken necropsy guide

Page last updated: Friday, 22 June 2018 - 9:10am

Please note: This content may be out of date and is currently under review.

This is a visual guide to a thorough chicken necropsy. Correct necropsy and sampling will increase the likelihood of a definitive diagnosis. Always include a detailed history and description of lesions on the 'Animal Health Laboratories (AHL) submission form' when submitting samples.

For more information, contact the AHL on +61 (0)8 9368 3351.

Equipment needed for a chicken necropsy

  • standard post-mortem kit including scalpel, forceps, scissors
  • secateurs
  • dry swabs, jars for individual fresh samples and pooled formalin fixed tissues
  • swabs in media for bacterial culture
  • 0.5 millilitre (mL) sterile saline (drip fluid) or viral transport media (VTM).

Skin and feathers removed displaying:

Coelomic musculature

Coelomic musculature showing location of liver and heart

Neck and cranial coelom

Neck and cranial coelom showing location of trachea, crop, thymus and thyroid

Coelomic cavity

Coelomic cavity showing location of duodenal loops, pancreas, ventriculus and jejunum

Coelomic cavity with gastrointestinal tract reflected

Coelomic cavity with gastrointestinal tract reflected showing location of ventriculus, proventriculus, spleen, caecae, follicle and oviduct

Gastrointestinal tract anatomy

Gastrointestinal tract anatomy showing location of proventriculus, jejunum, caecae, ventriculus, pancreas, duodenum, colon and cloaca


Contact information

Animal Health Laboratories (ahl)