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Additional information see:


List of species we currently sex Species List

About Feather Sexing

Effects of Contamination

Dot Blot Sexing

PCR Sexing


DNA Sex Identification from an Eggshell?

In 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.


Blood vs Feather

NA 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.

Blood Cards

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.



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Avian Biotech International
1336 Timberlane Road    Tallahassee, FL 32312-1766
850-386-1145 or 800-514-9672 (Office)  850-386-1146 (Fax)

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