Simple cannulation procedure for serial blood sampling through cutaneous ulnar vein in chickens

J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2012;15(1):91-100. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2012.624925.


The objective of the study was to collect repeated, low-stress blood samples from the ulnar vein of chickens required for pharmacokinetic studies or hormonal assays. The study used 5 apparently healthy, unsexed, commercial broiler chickens about 6 weeks old and weighing 1.7-1.9 kg for serial sampling of blood. The study prepared the birds prior to cannulation and penetrated the catheter through the skin and into the lumen of the ulnar vein. The study successfully carried out serial blood samplings in 4 of 5 cannulated birds. Heparin (10%) solution maintained patency and prevented blood clot formation inside the cannula. However, the study found repeated clotting occurring in 1 bird. Cannula failed to maintain patency; the study could not carry out blood sampling properly, which was attributed to air embolism that might have occurred during catheter manipulation or repeated filling of cannula with heparin solution. The study observed no hematoma or inflammation at the site of cannulation. Owing to the advantages and to facilitate compliance with nonhuman animal welfare, this technique seems simple and efficient, allowing adoption for serial blood collection in chickens.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Catheters, Indwelling / veterinary
  • Chickens* / blood
  • Humans
  • Phlebotomy / methods
  • Phlebotomy / veterinary*
  • Specimen Handling / veterinary*
  • Veins
  • Wings, Animal