California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory System

Commercial Poultry Submission Guidelines for Postmortem Evaluation


Number of birds per submission:  Poultry species, for the purpose of billing, include: chickens, turkeys, domestic waterfowl (ducks, geese), and squabs. It does not include pet birds, racing pigeons, wild waterfowl or game birds.

One to 8 birds per poultry submission are billed a single fee. Each additional bird over 8 is charged extra fees.

Submission of specimens

  • Ideally, you should submit in person both live and dead birds. We are open Mon. to Fri. 8am-5pm. No appointment needed.
  • Live birds: submit birds showing clinical signs of the problem. Do not just submit culls. Put the birds in a box large enough to allow movement and survival of the birds. Make sure that the box has sufficient air holes throughout to prevent suffocation.
  • Dead birds: submit fresh, not frozen, dead birds.
  • Ship specimens (dead animals only) by commercial courier service, U.S. Mail or Greyhound. Please pack the specimens according to our packing guidelines.
    Note:special arrangements must be made with the laboratory personnel for receipt of weekend shipments.

Complete the poultry submission form for commercial poultry to assure proper testing. The more information provided concerning the flock would give the laboratory better insight and direction in providing a diagnosis.