• sex determination;
  • stress;
  • CHD1;
  • intron


Sex determination of birds is important to ensure successful breeding strategies, especially for endangered species. Most birds are vulnerable to stress during handling, however, so obtaining a sufficient amount of genomic DNA (gDNA) while causing the least amount of harm is a critical issue. Avian gender can be determined based on different CHD1 gene intron sizes in W and Z sex chromosomes. We have compared various specimen sources and have found that the rachis segment of a feather is a good DNA source for determining sex. This indicates that plucking the whole feather is not necessary; a cut feather including the rachis is a superior method because it decreases stress on the examined birds and is accomplished easily. Zoo Biol. 0:1–5, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.