Veterinary Laboratory Toronto
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Kit Contents

The avian Sample Collection Kit contains a blood card, a submission form and a return envelope.

Collecting Sample

Avian DNA Samples can be submitted in one of two ways; blood or feather.

Blood Sample:

  • Wipe the bird’s nail with an alcohol swab and let dry(5-10 seconds) and ensure that the toenail clipper is thoroughly cleaned between birds.
  • Clip the nail short enough to allow bleeding (avoid clipping too high since this may be uncomfortable for the bird). If blood is not present, gently squeeze the toe until blood appears.
  • Allow a small amount of blood to bead up and carefully touch the corner of the card to the blood bead (only one or two drops is required).
  • Allow the car to dry and place it into the envelope provided.

Feather Sample:

  • Select only medium sized feathers for plucking. The feather must be physically plucked (molted feathers cannot be used for this test). Very small feathers located under the wing are not recommended.
  • Pluck 4-6 medium sized feathers from the chest area of the bird and place them in a zip-lock bag. Ensure the feather tip, which is attached to the skin, is present (white coloration). Large feathers may contain some blood, which should be left on the feather.


  • Sample only 1 bird’s feather at a time and put each bird’s feathers into a separate container.
  • Some bird owners say that it is better to allow a third party (someone that the bird in not familiar with) to perform this type of collection.

Ordering Kit

If you are comfortable with collecting the sample Order a Sample Collection Kit Now