Reproductive Tract Oviduct

The tract is about 80 cm long, suspended by folds of peritoneum, and composed of distinct anatomical and functional regions.

Infundibulum

The ovarian end of the oviduct receives and retains the ovum for about 15 minutes while chalazae are formed.

Magnum

The magnum (35 to 40 cm in length) is where the albumen is secreted and deposited about the yolk during a 3-hour period.

Isthmus

The isthmus, between the magnum and shell gland, secretes albumen and soft shell membranes around the ovum over a period of about 75 minutes.

Shell gland

The shell gland, an expanded 10- to 12-cm-long organ, provides the hard calciferous shell over a period of 18 to 22 hours.

Vagina

The vagina is 7 to 10 cm long and secretes a mucus-like material that coats the egg during its one-minute transit to the opening of the vagina in the cloaca.

Histology of the oviduct

The oviduct consists of the serosa, inner circular and outer layers of smooth muscle, connective tissue supporting blood vessels and nerves, and mucosa. The mucosa is highly folded with numerous glands that produce various secretions including albumen, components of the soft shell, and other molecules that make up the egg. The mucosa includes both ciliated and secretory epitheilia.

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