Do they have a bladder?

Your Chickens - - Ask Our Experts -

QI read that chick­ens have a bladder – when I process my spare cock­erels for our own meat, I have never found such a thing. Can you ex­plain how they pro­duce urine please?

AVic­to­ria says: You are quite right, they do not have a bladder and, in fact, birds do not pro­duce liq­uid urine. Their paired kid­neys (found un­der the lum­bar spine) pro­duce solid urates in­stead which is the white tip seen on each nor­mal drop­ping. This is an adap­ta­tion for fly­ing as it weighs less than urine. Most birds re­cy­cle mois­ture from the rec­tum, par­tic­u­larly those liv­ing in hot cli­mates, so they do not need to ex­pend en­ergy find­ing more wa­ter. Egg lay­ing hens must not be re­stricted from wa­ter as eggs are 75% wa­ter and lay­ing is eas­ily limited by de­hy­dra­tion.

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