Handfeeding MethodsList of Handrearing Supplies Needed Handfeeding Formula for Softbills / Turacos


There is no doubt that every newly purchased bird should be tested and quarantined before introducing it into an established flock. There are different ways of identifying and testing new birds, both of which are discussed below.


Visual signs of a sick bird


Any vet can perform disease or sex testing; however, below are other do-it-yourself options for you, that should save you money.


Disease and Sex Testing:

  • Disease Testing:
    • www.vetdna.com : specialized diagnostic laboratory offering tests to veterinarians and bird owners for: Adenovirus – Avian-blood swab; Adenovirus – Psittacine-blood swab; Aspergillus fumigatus-swab and Aspergillus genus-swab; Avian Bornavirus-swab/blood; Avian Coronavirus (IBV)-blood swab; Avian Gastric Yeast (M. ornithogaster)-swab; Avian Influenza-blood swab; Avian Mycoplasma-swab; Avian Polyomavirus (BFD)-blood/swab; Bartonella genus-blood swab; Bird Mite (D. gallinae)-swab; Bordetella avium-swab; Campylobacter jejuni-blood swab; Candida albicans-swab; Candida genus-swab; Chlamydophila genus-swab/blood; Chlamydophila psittaci-swab/blood ; Clostridium difficile-swab; Clostridium genus-swab; Clostridium perfringens-swab; Clostridium piliformes-swab; Coxiella burnetii-blood swab; Crow Polyomavirus-blood swab; Cryptosporidium-fecal swab; Duck Circovirus-blood swab; Encephalitozoon cuniculi-fecal swab; Encephalitozoon hellem-fecal swab / intestinalis-fecal swab / bieneusi-fecal swab; Entamoeba histolytica-fecal swab; Finch Polyomavirus-blood swab; Francisella tularensis-blood swab; Fungal Pathogens -blood only; Giardia genus-fecal swab; Goose Polyomavirus-blood swab; Helicobacter genus-oral swab; Infectious Laryngotracheitis (GaHV1)-swab/blood; Klebsiella pneumoniae-swab; Leptosporosis genus-fecal swab/blood; Listeria monocytogenes-swab; Malassezia genus-swab; M.R.S.A. -swab; Mycobacterium avium-swab; Mycobacterium intracellulare complex-swab; Mycobacterium genevense-swab; Mycobacterium tuberculosis-swab; Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV)-blood swab; Pasturella multocida-swab; Pigeon Adenovirus-blood swab; Pigeon Cirvovirus (PCV)-blood swab; Pigeon Herpes Virus (PHV)-swab; Psittacid Herpes Virus (all genotypes 1-4)-swab; Psittacine Beak and Feather Disease-blood swab; Ringworm (Dermatophytes)-swab; Salmonella genus-swab; Salmonella typhimurium-swab; Toxoplasma gondii-fecal swab; Tritrichomonas genus-fecal swab; West Nile Virus-blood swab
    • Avian BioTechwww.avianbiotech.com – Disease Testing (Polyoma, PBFD, Pacheco’s Blood, Chlamydia, Salmonella) and DNA Sexing. Allows you to view your testing status online. You will need a password before doing so, which you can get by calling ABI at: (800) 514-9672 or (850) 386-1145.
    • Hardy Diagnostic – hardydiagnostics.com (Microbiology Specialists): Sell culture media and microbiology supplies for the detection of bacterial and fungal diseases.
    • California Avian Lab (Lab. Reference Ranges, Disease Testing) – www.californiaavianlaboratory.com
  • DNA / Sexing:


  • International Bird Sexing – dnaaction.com/usa/dna-bird-sexing.asp – DNA Action


    • www.vetdna.com : specialized diagnostic laboratory – Sexing (DNA Determination)-blood/feather/egg shell/buccal swab
    • AMR Labs – DNA Sexing – www.amrlabs.com – from $20.00
    • Avian BioTech www.avianbiotech.com – DNA Sexing. Allows you to view your testing status online. You will need a password before doing so, which you can get by calling ABI at: (800) 514-9672 or (850) 386-1145.
    • California Avian Lab (Lab. Reference Ranges, Disease Testing) – www.californiaavianlaboratory.com



    • Sevilla, Spain – .Contact: Dr. Elena Quesada Hernández – offers bird sexing at a price of 4.5€ per bird. – Tel. +34955776710 (ext.27)


Surgical Sexing of Birds

Surgical sexing should only be performed by a qualified and experienced avian vet. The advantage of surgical sexing is that it allows the veterinarian to verify the reproductive capabilities and health of other organs as well. However, surgical sexing usually involves anesthesia, which is not without risk, and entering the body cavity through the skin and body wall can result in hemorrhage. In some instances, surgical sexing has been done without anesthesia, but the risk of puncturing the animal as it is moving or struggling presents an even greater risk than working with an animal that is anesthetized. Another disadvantage is the cost associated with such a procedure (that should only be undertaken by experienced avian vets). The cost of surgical sexing is usually several times that of DNA or feather sexing.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson


Find Your Local Avian Veterinarian

Information contained on this website is provided as general reference only. For application to specific circumstances, professional advice should be sought.


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