Avian DNA Sexing (Feather)
Animal Genetics offers reliable DNA sexing from feathers for most species of birds (Sexing Species List). As accurate as DNA sexing from blood, feather sexing further simplifies the process by eliminating bleeding, thus reducing the amount of stress on you and your bird during sample collection.
Use caution when collecting samples: clean hands and use a fresh zip-lock bag between each bird. When handling feathers, try to avoid touching the ends of the feather shaft where the tissue containing the DNA is located.
Sample Collection and Submission:
- Clearly label each bag to identify the sample. To order feather collection kits, please visit our order page, or simply download the submission form and use a small envelope or plastic bag.
- Once you have gained control of your bird, pluck at least 5 small chest or breast feathers. Blood or primary feathers are not required. Some birds may twitch slightly when feathers are plucked, but will not be harmed by this procedure. Small birds like finches and small parrakeets require additional feathers (+8).
- Place the feathers in the zip-lock bag labeled for that particular bird. Because there is no bleeding, birds may be released immediately.
- Print or type clearly when filling out the submission form. If you do not already have a submission form, please visit our Avian Test Now page to download a submission form.
- Mail the feathers along with a copy of the submission form and payment to the address below. Our turnaround time for DNA sexing and disease testing is generally 1-2 days after we receive your samples.
*Feathers must be plucked in order to provide us with the necessary tissue cells to isolate the proper amount of DNA.
Video of Feather Sexing
Submit a Sample for Testing:
To submit a sample download a test submission form at our Downloads page.