Sex Identification from an Eggshell?
1999 several raptor (falcons, eagles, hawks, etc.) breeders in
the US and Europe wanted a non-invasive method to sex their chicks.
Results were needed within a week after hatching to give the breeder
an opportunity to hand raise the chick or place it back in the
nest with its mother. Studies showed that material left behind
after hatching contained a large amount of vascular material which
could be reliably used for sex identification. Five years later,
we sex thousands of birds a year using the shells they have left
behind after hatching.
sexing has become the preferred method for identifying the sex of
monomorphic birds (males and females having no external differences). DNA
sexing can be performed with blood, feather or eggshell
samples. Blood from birds is an excellent source of DNA and
for many years a blood sample was the only means used to collect
a DNA sample. However, sometimes collecting a blood sample is inconvenient,
and occasionally even impossible. With recent advances in DNA
technology, we can now extract the necessary DNA to be able to determine
the sex from just a few plucked feathers. Both blood and feather samples
are equally reliable and provide the same level of testing accuracy.
DNA is DNA no matter where it is extracted from. The method you
choose depends on your preference.
ABI offers PermaCode, a blood collection & transport system
for DNA sexing and disease testing. A small card supplied by ABI
can now be used to easily collect blood samples for testing, eliminating
the need for capillary tips and collection tubes. Simply remove the
card from the plastic bag and fill out the information requested.
Then fill the circle at the bottom right hand corner of the card
with a drop or two of blood. Finally, complete a submission form
and drop it into the mail.