To ensure you receive the highest quality of results, it all begins with the sample collection, whether that be bird egg membranes, feathers or blood.

Egg Membranes

When providing us with an egg membrane please ensure that the sample is dry, samples that are wet or powdery have a greater chance of returning an inconclusive result.

Both of these factors can inhibit the laboratory work we carry out, it is therefore recommended to avoid both scenarios.

• Ensure your hands are washed to reduce risk of contamination. If samples are being collected from multiple bird ensure your hands are washed between each collection.
• Collect the eggshell of the bird, carry this out as soon as possible (<24 hours of hatching).
•If possible please remove the membrane from the shell, if you are not confident in doing so you may send us the full shell and we will remove the membrane.
•Once the sample has fully dried, place it in its own sealable bag or container, we may dispatch free chXout sample bags on request. Clearly label the bag/container with your customer reference (if you have an account), your name and the unique sample ID. Please take care to ensure samples are not mixed.

Feathers

A bird’s feathers must be plucked (6+) for us to carry any DNA analysis, this is because we require the root of the feather that breaches the bird’s skin.

When the root of the feather is no longer present we have no region to use for our DNA extraction, therefore the results will come back inconclusive.

If you are inexperienced with handling birds, for both the safety of yourself and the bird, we recommend using an experienced bird handler/veterinarian.

• Ensure your hands are washed to reduce risk of contamination. If samples are being collected from multiple bird ensure your hands are washed between each collection.
• Use a pair of sanitised tweezers, if necessary – particularly with smaller birds.
• Pluck each feather individually and from as close to the skin as possible. Pluck 6+ feathers for each bird.
• Place each bird’s feathers in their own sealable bag or container, clearly label the bag/container with you customer reference number (if you have an account), name and unique sample ID. Please take care not to mix samples.

 

Blood

If you wish to send in blood samples, please collect a couple of drops of blood on a cotton swab. We may provide you with sterile swabs on request to limit any chances of contamination.

If contaminated this can lead to bacterial growth and the formation of mould, rendering the sample unusable.

If you are inexperienced with handling birds, for both the safety of yourself and the bird, we recommend the samples are taken by an experienced bird handler/veterinarian. Use caution to avoid cross-contamination and/or infection of the bird.

• Ensure your hands are washed to reduce the risk of contamination. 
• Use a pair of sanitised clippers – if you are collecting from multiple birds ensure these are sanitised with alcohol wash between each collection.
• Hold the bird both safely and under control, then examine the toenail to ensure it is clean. If necessary, a swab of alcohol may be used to clean the area. Use the sanitised clippers to clip the bird’s toenail, just enough to nick the vein (this is approximately 2/3 from the root of the nail) and produce blood flow.

 

If you are unsure as to whether your sample collection went successfully, please see below for examples of both good and poor samples:

Should you have any further queries regarding your sample collection, please do not hesitate to give us a call (0191 543 9448), email ([email protected]) or contact us through our live chat support.