Several metalloproteinases (MMPs) are present and functional in the chicken ovary and regulate the extracellular matrix (ECM) during follicle development, ovulation, atresia, and regression. The regulation of the abundance of MMPs in avian ovarian follicles, however, is largely unknown. The aim of the present study was to examine effects of equine chorionic gonadotropin (eCG) on abundance of selected MMPs and relevant tissue inhibitors of MMPs (TIMPs) in the hen ovary. The MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity was also determined. Results indicated there were effects of eCG on abundances of MMP-2, MMP-7, MMP-9, MMP-10, MMP-13, TIMP-2, and TIMP-3 mRNA transcript and/or protein relative abundances in white, yellowish, small yellow, and the largest yellow preovulatory (F3-F1) ovarian follicles. The response to eCG depended on the stage of follicle development, layer of follicular wall, and the type of MMPs or TIMPs affected by eCG. Furthermore, there was a pause in egg laying when eCG was administered and there were morphological changes in the ovary following eCG treatment that were associated with alterations in MMP-2 and MMP-9 activity. In general, the results indicate that eCG, which has primarily follicle stimulating hormone (FSH)-like bioactivities, is a negative regulator of MMP abundance and activity in the largest yellow preovulatory follicles. Results from the present study indicate the gonadotropins, especially FSH, by the regulation of transcription, translation, and/or activity of proteins of the MMP system have effects on the mechanisms that underlie ECM remodeling and cell function throughout ovarian follicle development in the chicken ovary. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.