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