U.S. Department of Agriculture: Agricultural Research Service, Lincoln, Nebraska


Date of this Version



Published in The Journal of Experimental Zoology, 282:618-626 (1998)


The macroanatomy, histology, and fine structure of the avian oviduct is reviewed and related to its role in fertile egg production. The avian oviduct functions as a biological assembly line, beginning sequentially with the deposition of the albumen around the fertilized or unfertilized ovum, then the shell membrane, and lastly, the shell, all within 25 hr of ovulation. While in transit through the oviduct, the fertilized ovum progresses to the pre-gastrulation stage of development.