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We will ship you a test kit with everything you need. Once the test kit is received by the lab in Canada you can expect results via emailed message in 7 - 14 days.

Included in Test Kit: 

  • Instruction Sheet
  • Customer Information Sheet
  • Blood Collection Card
  • Collection Card Envelope
  • Addressed Envelope (Postage not included to Canada)
  • Completed test will result in an email from lab with results and a printable certificate.


In many bird species, the difference between males and females cannot be discriminated based on external characteristics. These are known as monomorphic species. So how can you tell the difference between male and female birds that look alike? A molecular technique developed in the 1990s by a group of scientist provided bird hobbyist, breeders and pet owners with the opportunity to rapidly and reliably determine the sex of these birds. We now offer this non-invasive method.

This method relies on the fact that the gender of birds, like that of mammals, is determined chromosomally. The female birds are WZ (heterogametic) and the male birds are ZZ (homogametic) (unlike humans where females are XX and males are XY). Using PCR based methods, the sex-linked gene CHD can be distinguished based on the number of fragments produced.

The lab can determine the sex of your bird using two or three drops of blood or egg shells* from newly hatched birds. These methods are painless and do not harm the bird in any way. Detailed instructions are included with the sampling kit.

The sex of many bird species can not be determined using external characteristics. A DNA test from a reputable lab is the only accurate way to determine the difference between males and females.
Experienced technicians have perfected the science of using DNA to determine a bird's sex. You can be assured that your results will be 99.9% accurate. We can test a wide variety of bird species including finches, cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, raptors and many more.
(Feather testing has been discontinued as it did not provide enough DNA)
Please follow the steps below to collect blood for an avian DNA test. When collecting blood, use
caution to avoid DNA sample cross-contamination and/or bird infection. Avoid touching the square
on the Avian Blood Sample Card where the blood is to be placed. If you are collecting samples from
more than one bird, you should sanitize the nail clippers with alcohol and wash your hands
thoroughly between each collection.
1. Clip Toenail to Obtain a Blood Sample
With the bird under control, examine the toenail to ensure it is clean. A swab of alcohol can be
used to clean the area, if necessary. Use a sanitized pair of nail clippers to clip the bird’s toenail just
enough to nick the vein (approximately 2/3 of the distance from the root of the nail) and produce
blood flow. 
2. Spot Blood on the Blood Card
Remove the first bead of blood with a swab or absorbent cotton ball and discard. Next, carefully
touch the Avian Blood Sample Card to the blood flow and absorb a few drops of blood onto the
card. If the blood flow is slow, gently squeeze on the toe with a pumping action. It is not necessary
to completely fill the square on the card with blood; just be sure to collect enough blood to be
visible (usually 2-3 drops of blood).
3. Allow the Blood Sample to Air Dry Completely for 2 - ­3 Hours
Once the sample has been collected, set the Avian Blood Sample Card aside to air dry on a clean
surface. Check that the bird is no longer bleeding before returning it to its cage. To stop further
bleeding, apply a coagulant, such as Kwik Stop, to the area. Cornstarch, flour, or baking soda may
also be applied as alternatives.
Allow the card to air dry completely by leaving it at room temperature for 60-90 minutes. Once the card is completely dry, insert it into an envelope or small resealable plastic bag. Use one envelope or bag for each sample collected. Avoid touching the blood sample area while handling the card. Storage of blood cards in plastic, especially when cards are not completely dry, may lead to bacterial and fungal growth, which could render the sample unusable.
4. Mail sample with filled out paperwork to lab in an envelope. Be sure to include your email address in the kit as they will email you the results. Be sure to write the address of the lab on the envelope and your return address. Requires $1.36 cents postage from the US to Canada.
* EGG SHELLS: You can include egg shell from the hatched chick within the test card envelope. Please send as much shell as possible, it should contain the membrane with the shells.

DNA testing for eggshells has advanced. The best way to send the fresh shell is in an envelope or paper bag so the shell can continue to dry in transit. It doesn't matter if the shell is crushed but it is important to seal the package well so the bits stay together.
Frequently Asked Questions...
What is DNA?
This acronym stands for Deoxyribo-Nucleic-Acid. It is a long, complex molecule carrying information in the form of a chemical code and dictates how the body and cells should form.
What is the average turn around time for testing?
Approximately 3 to 4 business days once test kit is received at lab.
How do I get my results?
Preliminary results are emailed.
How should I ship my sample?
Regular mail is OK, however if you are working with a limited amount of time please send them via overnight mail. Priority mail is not guaranteed by USPS. Please remember this goes to a Canadian Lab so put the correct amount of postage on the envelope.
Does a bird have to be a certain age?
From birth to death, DNA remains the same across all species, so there is no age range for the most accurate results.

DNA Test To Determine Any Bird's Sex Safely

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This product was added to our catalog on Monday 31 October, 2011.

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DNA Test To Determine Any Bird's Sex Safely

DNA Test To Determine Any Bird's Sex Safely

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