The best way to blood sample birds is from the wing vein (brachial vein), found on the underside of the wing. By holding the bird as shown, making sure the bird does not struggle by keeping the head hanging down – this will avoid flapping wings and stress. The required minimum amount of blood is 1 ml. If several tests are being carried out then more blood is required. A full tube is perfect to cover all eventualities.
- Sampling kits are available from the practice in packs of 10 or 20 tubes with a scalpel enclosed.
- If you would rather the syringe and needle technique, 2ml syringes and 25gx5/8 needles are the most successful size to use. These will need to be requested from the dispensary.
- Discuss with the case vet the number of tubes required per house and which test boxes to tick on the submission form.
- Keep the tubes clean and wipe off before sending if contaminated.
- Make sure lids are on firmly.
- Label a plastic bag with the site name and date to correspond with the submission form.
- Refrigerate until dispatch.
- Try and send to arrive on a week day.
- When taking samples it is best practice to sample birds from different areas of the poultry house.
- Using a catching frame will assist to avoid chasing after birds.
- Have some spare tubes available in case one breaks or there are not enough lids in the kit you have been given.
- If you are posting the tubes yourself get a proof or posting from the post office and send signed for so they can be tracked. Missing blood samples can cause much hassle to the case vet and to the client, so an audit trial is needed.
- St David’s General Submission Form