In many birds.like those of the parrot and swan families, the sexes cannot be distinguished even in adults. In about half of the world’s bird’s species, the females and males look identical. This problem is particular in human assisted breeding of certain types of birds. Three plucked feathers are enough to establish the sex of the bird. This method is non-invasive and there is no need to give any medicines..
Birds that can be sexed:
Parrots, Makaws, Cockatiels, African Greys, Finches, Ringnecks, and Canaries.
Other birds include: Swans, Turacos, Owls, Emus, Eagles, and Vultures.
Procedure using feathers:
- Wash your hands well
- Collect the feathers in a new and correctly labelled plastic bag.
- Insert all the relevant data (name, type, ring data etc) and the date of collection
- Three plucked feathers can be used for each bird. Plucked feathers from the wings (finches, canaries, ringnecks), the tail (finches, canaries and ringnecks) or the chest (makaws, parrots, cockatiels) give the best results.
Avoid handling the tip of the feather shaft
Procedure using blood
- Blood can be collected using a sterile nail clipper from the toes of the bird
- A Sample Submission Form should accompany the samples
- The samples should be sent as soon as possible.
- Avoid extreme temperatures
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