Animal DNA Testing

DDC Veterinary 1-800-625-0874

Bird DNA Sexing

Avian DNA Gender Determination (bird sexing) is a non-surgical tool used by veterinarians, breeders, and bird owners who otherwise cannot determine the gender of their bird by its physical appearance or characteristics.

DNA testing can be performed on blood cards or feathers for many different species. We use PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) to detect the presence of male and female chromosomes in the bird’s DNA. You can collect a sample by clipping the bird’s toenail (blood card), or you can pluck feathers from the bird’s breast. Collection kits can easily be put together at home by following our Blood Card or Feather DIY kit instructions. You will need Acrobat Reader to view and print these files.

We will email the owner a detailed DNA certificate showing the bird's ID information and gender within 5 business days of receipt of the samples. See sample report.


  • Results from both blood card and feather samples are equally accurate.
  • Blood can easily be collected by clipping the bird’s nail just enough to nick the vein and spot a drop of blood on paper.
  • Chest feathers can be collected by using tweezers and grabbing the feather at the base and then plucking.
  • A blood card sample usually contains more DNA than the feather samples; this in turn makes the sample recollection for feathers higher.
  • Plucked feathers from the chest must have a follicle at the end. This follicle contains the DNA for testing.
  • Molted feathers do not contain enough DNA for testing
  • Blood feathers do not contain enough DNA for testing.

Highlights regarding this test include:

  • DNA samples can be collected easily using materials you have at home.
  • Testing fees (volume discounts for 5 or more samples):
    • Blood Cards: 1-4 samples are $19 each, 5 or more samples are $17 each
    • Feathers: 1-4 samples are $23 each, 5 or more samples are $21 each
  • DNA certificates are emailed within 5 business days of receipt of the samples.

Species list of birds that DNA testing can help determine their gender

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