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Parasites under chicken skin

James Mahaffy Mahaffy at dordt.edu
Wed May 17 04:46:16 EST 2000


In preparing for a lab part of a final exam I was opening up a freshly killed chicken.  In the process I was pulling off the skin from the underlying muscle.  I noticed that in between the skin and the muscles there were a lot of small white objects.  I would estimate them to be about 3 or 4 mm in length.  They were not localized but spread out all over the tissue.  Unfortunately I did not have time to put them under the microscope.  They were not nematodes.   I assume they were either eggs (which I kind of doubt) or cyst (perhaps of flukes of some sort).  The chickens were raised in a flock that was free to run in an outdoors setting.  

Sorry I don't have more specifics and it really is not that important.  However, since there were LOTS of them and since I always look for projects for students in Zoology - I was wondering if anyone has an idea of what these might be.  It looks like there were enough of them that it might be something a student could follow up on a bit. 

James Mahaffy (mahaffy at dordt.edu)        Phone: 712 722-6279
Biology Department                                     FAX :  712 722-1198
Dordt College, Sioux Center IA 51250


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