How to prepare feather/hair samples for δ18O (δ2H) analysis

  1. Wash or clean debris off from the samples.
  2. To remove oil from samples, soak each sample in a 2:1 chloroform to methanol solution for 24 hours, and rinse them using methanol.
  3. Air dry them for 48 hours in the fume hood.
  4. Remove rachis for the "regular" feather (vane) analysis.
  5. Place samples in glass vials (we often use 15x48mm, 1 dram vials) (from Kimble-Chase, Fisher 60940D-1)
  6. Usually users do not have large amounts of feather or hair samples, and so we grind/cut samples in the glass vials using thin scissors, not to lose any particles. Do not use plastic vials as you might get the plastic particle contamination by cutting samples in the vials. See photos below.

       Grinding samples using a Freezer Mill would be fine (we provide the service using Freezer Mill 6770).


It depends on the sample size and sample type, but cut each sample probably for a few minutes.


Grinding/chopping is NOT completed yet. If samples are not ground well, they would tear silver capsules, causing a leakage, and also produce bad isotope results due to inhomogeneity.


This is well ground/chopped. If you are not sure, please send Ayumi a photo of ground samples.

Contact Us

Dept. of Ecosystem Science and Management
Rm 215 Kleberg Center
2126 TAMU, Texas A&M University
College Station TX 77843-2126

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