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Thread: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

  1. #1
    Brand New Egg marscandybars's Avatar
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    Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    I've seen numerous postings and questions regarding lovebird sexing "theories". I have said it before, and I will say it again: The only TRUE way to sex a lovebird is with DNA testing. Theories such as pelvic bone spacing, and tail shape are what I like to call the "myths", in other words, completely UNRELIABLE. With a 50/50 chance of an individual to guess the sex of a lovebird using these so-called methods, itís a pretty high chance of getting it right. Itís just like a flip of a coin. For the individuals interested in legitimately determining the sex of their lovebird, I am supplying this link:

    http://www.avianbiotech.com/

    They will send you a FREE DNA sampling kit (as many as you may need). All you have to do is mail it back to them with payment, and you will be able to get your results in a relatively short amount of time. This method is reliable and best of all, 100% correct.

    P.S. I hate to offend any breeders who use the pelvic bone and tail shape method, but I have encountered too many individuals that are disappointed when they realize the sex of their bird is the opposite of what they were told.

    I hope this helps those individuals who are curious about the sex of their bird! Happy New YEAR!

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    They will send you a FREE DNA sampling kit (as many as you may need). All you have to do is mail it back to them with payment, and you will be able to get your results in a relatively short amount of time. This method is reliable and best of all, 100% correct.
    yeah.. you just get the kit and then you mail it back to them.. simple as that...!
    yes all the novice bird owners have to do is draw bood from thier birds... great idea... or pluck a feather or 2 from thier bird.. another great idea...!
    did you forget to mention that...
    and what happens when someone kills thier bird tying to do this SIMPLE DNA test...

    and as for the 100% correct statement....! absolutely untrue....!
    if my memory serves me correctly we have a member here at TF who's bird was DNA tested as a male and it laid an egg...! something even a novice would know that males can't do...

    reality check people...! if the sex of your birds bothers you and you can't live with not knowing it's sex... then please take the gamble and take your bird to an avian vet to be DNA tested.....
    why did i say gamble? you may ask..?
    well there are people here at TF who will also tell thier stories of taking thier birds to a vet for simple toenail clippings , wing clip's etc etc and have not returned with thier beloved birds...

    simply taking blood or plucking a feather can cause enough stress to kill a bird....! is that really worth it just so you can know if you have a boy or a girl...

    sorry for my rant....!
    but i'm happy with my happy healthy birds, and personally don't care if they are males or females..! and i won't risk thier lives to find out...!

    regards
    matty

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    Where The Birds Always Sing Tailfeather Birdmad Girl's Avatar
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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    I agree with you Matty. 100%.

    ALWAYS make sure a trained professional is the one to draw a blood sample. It is risky taking bloods from birds. They don't have much, and taking even a little can sometimes be too much. I once saw conure come to the vets for a routine blood test, and got so stressed through this process, it fell to the floor after the test and looked like it was about to keel over. We rushed it straight through to give it oxygen, heat & IV fluids to help dilute the blood. Without this help, it is likely it would have died. Sometimes a seemingly perfectly healthy bird can die after a blood test. It is rare that this happens, but even with a professional taking blood, it sometimes goes wrong just because of the nature of birds being very sensitive and not having much blood to spare.

    Definitely do not risk taking any blood sample from your own bird. If it goes wrong, what would you do at home? Taking blood is a major thing for a bird to go through, and should only be done by a professional when absolutely necessary to get a diagnosis of illness.

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    Brand New Egg marscandybars's Avatar
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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    I definitely agree with you guys. And I appreciate the input. I did indeed forget to mention NOT to try it if you are a novice breeder. However, I do feel that feather plucking is the better route (blood tests were the only ones available when I first did it 8 years ago), because it is less stress and a much lower chance for bleeding. If done correctly, there should be BARELY any bleeding or no blood whatsoever. (I would suggest the chest feathers as the wing feathers are a lot thicker)


    FROM AVIANBIOTECH:


    Avian Biotech began working on a method in 1994 that allowed customers to pluck a few small feathers from their bird's chest or wing for analysis. This procedure helped to reduce stress, eliminate unnecessary bleeding, and minimize the chance of infection without compromising the accuracy and reliability of the results.



    What is feather sexing?

    Feather sexing could - and should - actually be referred to as tissue sexing. The reason small freshly-plucked feathers are used is because it is a very effective way of collecting the proper amount of tissue cells needed to perform the analysis. Cells are collected from the calimus, the portion of the shaft imbedded underneath the skin. Each tissue cell contains a nucleus from which a small amount of Genomic DNA can be extracted. This DNA contains the entire blueprint of the bird, including its sex. Generally, the proper amount of cells needed to successfully analyze a sample can be collected from as little as 3-5 freshly plucked chest or breast feathers. This may vary depending on the species of bird and size of the feathers.

    Can Feather Sexing Harm My Bird?

    We believe that if the feathers are plucked correctly from the chest or breast area of the bird, the bird suffers little from this procedure. Chances of infection or contamination are almost nonexistent when done as directed. One person can safely collect each sample on their own.




    As for the male that layed the egg, it is possible that there was a mixup at the lab. Or the individual has more than one bird that they tested and mixed up their own results. DNA is 100% accurate. Just like humans, our gender is encoded and can be determined from our DNA.

    I too could really care less about the sex of my birds. I love them all equally. But I do HATE when people use such uneducated "guesses" using pelvic bone and tail shape sexing. I apologize for venting for that :-p.

    Also, for the BREEDERS. Avianbiotech offers bird sexing by using the eggshell of the new hatchlings. Of course this method doesn't hurt the bird at all. Your only worry is to keep track which bird came from which shell :-p
    Last edited by marscandybars; 12-28-2006 at 09:24 AM.

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    I have great success with pelvic sexing. In fact, so far I'm 100% accurate. I even distinguished the male in a set that was "female", and I was right. All you have to do is wait until they're both adults and it's breeding season. I feel confident with the results that I get sexing pelvically, especially if the birds I'm sexing come from related birds at the place I'm trying to buy from, for comparison.
    Tailfeathers Superstar

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    mars :
    i will refer back to this bold statement..
    This method is reliable and best of all, 100% correct.
    now we have this
    FROM AVIANBIOTECH:

    Avian Biotech began working on a method in 1994 that allowed customers to pluck a few small feathers from their bird's chest or wing for analysis. This procedure helped to reduce stress, eliminate unnecessary bleeding, and minimize the chance of infection without compromising the accuracy and reliability of the results.
    ok so they admit that plucking feathers is stressfull..! you can cause bleeding by doing it..! and there is the chance of infection...!
    there's 3 things that can kill your bird.. but whats the most important thing...
    if you do it properly you won't compromising the accuracy and reliability of the results.

    they themselves admit that these tests are not 100% accurate and reliable

    one of your opening statements
    Theories such as pelvic bone spacing, and tail shape are what I like to call the "myths", in other words, completely UNRELIABLE.
    mars : opinions are like butt holes... we all got one, some are good and some are bad, and some are even worth a second look..
    but if your going to make bold statements that yours is the better one then i would suggest that you don't provide the proof that you are wrong

    this is not an attack on you as a person..
    but merely exploiting what you have said to proove that your opinion is questionable and incorrect.

    regards
    matty

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    Brand New Egg marscandybars's Avatar
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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    It is not a matter of opinion that pelvic and tail shape sexing is Unreliable. It is complete guesswork. I have a pair that I've brought along to fellow breeders (6 of them to be exact). All of them would told me they "felt" like two males. The two look identical and have the same pelvic bone structure. I've been breeding over 8 years and have gone through my phaseof pelvic bone testing. The pair I am speaking of are a bonded breeding pair (male and female)

    You can go with scientific study and by the sample of DNA which can tell you the sex, or you can play the guessing game and flip a quarter.


    Any Matty, I'm not offended nor do i see it as an attack against me. I agree with you. Every one is entitled to their opinion. So here is mine.


    And here is more info from avianbiotech:

    What is the difference between Blood and Feather sexing?


    Feather sexing and blood sexing are in most ways identical. Both procedures
    require small amounts of template DNA (DNA isolated from each sample). Both use an assay procedure known as PCR. Both, in many cases, require the use of enzymes to break down the final PCR product before it is run through an electroforitic gel. Finally, both are analyzed using photographs and computer scans, and the final results are identical.
    Last edited by marscandybars; 12-28-2006 at 04:47 PM.

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    mars :
    What is the difference between Blood and Feather sexing?

    Feather sexing and blood sexing are in most ways identical. Both procedures
    require small amounts of template DNA (DNA isolated from each sample). Both use an assay procedure known as PCR. Both, in many cases, require the use of enzymes to break down the final PCR product before it is run through an electroforitic gel. Finally, both are analyzed using photographs and computer scans, and the final results are identical.

    Experience and know-how are vital when performing any of these assays, as well as when determining the final outcome. For example, an identical PCR assay can be performed by several different individuals or labs with varying levels of success. Some would then say that the assay is not reliable, while others might argue that it's not the assay that should be in question, but rather the individuals doing the testing.

    you forgot to add the last bit...!


    here's some more info ( not from biotech )
    The feather test simply involves pulling out a couple of normal feathers from the bird. Breast feathers are sufficient if the bird is relatively large (i.e. cockatoos, macaws, owls), but secondary tail or wing feathers are preferred for smaller birds. For every small bird (i.e. softbills, finches) primary feathers are required. Blood feathers (growing feathers) contain a lot of cellular material and DNA and so if a blood feather is collected, then only this single feather is required, for a bird of any size.


    and just a final wittle one here....
    maybe you might like to ask avianbiotech if thier DNA testing techniques work on larger birds like emu's and ostrich's..?
    i know we are in the lovebird section, and what does an emu or an ostrich have to do with anything we are talking about...!
    they are birds also, therfore avianbiotech should be able to DNA test them as well.... you would think...?

    regards
    matty
    Last edited by mattybgood67; 12-28-2006 at 06:17 PM.

  9. #9
    Brand New Egg marscandybars's Avatar
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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    Indeed larger feathers are "preferred" for smaller birds, but not necessary. I have about 15 of my birds that have been DNA sexed (by using 3 breast feathers) specifically for pairing/breeding. I too was skeptical with feather sexing, but ALL of their sexes were correct. One of them was a hand fed bird while the other 14 were pairs that we paired when they were only a couple months of age (because their sexes were determined via DNA).

    When I had 4 aviaries in my backyard YEARS ago, I had approx 50 birds DNA tested using their blood (this was the only option available from avianbiotech at the time). All of them were correct. They haven't stirred me in the wrong direction till this very day and I'm sure with the years that have past, they have made better improvements. Scientifically speaking, I'd rather go with the higher percentage backed by scientific research rather than a flip of a coin.

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    Just another opinion - I sexed my goffin very easily by VERY VERY carefully cutting his nail just a tiny bit too short - I squeezed the blood out (no, it wasn't running out) and I didn't even need the styptic powder I had on hand (just in case). It was a simple procedure and he continued playing with his peanuts throughout the whole thing and never noticed! I also used Avian Biotech.
    I had inquired to the vet about the procedure, and he said they did it exactly like that, but he said they cut the nail short and then stopped the bleeding with styptic - they don't take the care I did so my bird wouldn't feel pain!

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    I have heard good things about the do-it-yourself feather plucking kits from avian biotech from those that actually did it (including tailfeathers members). I seriously doubt the risk of the bird becoming infected and dying over a few plucked feathers is so much that these kits can be deemed 'dangerous'. drawing blood on the other hand would be more tricky and I don't think I would try it myself without training.


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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    kristen : is your goffins young or old...
    if it's old ( mature ) then you only have to look into thier eye's to tell the sex's apart...! black iris = male , reddish = female

    regards
    matty

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    Re: Lovebird (Do It Yourself) DNA Testing Kits

    Young

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