You are not talking about DNA sexing then. DNA sexing is about as close to 100% accurate as you can get and it has cost in the $20-$25 range for literally about the last 10+ years. You never would have seen it for a $1.
You want find anyone cheaper that 20.00 to 25.00 a bird. I use Avian Biotech. I have seen that ad before to for 1.00 and it a scam there is no way to do dna testing for 1.00 he was getting sample in and guessing what sex they were and send them back he had a 50/50 chance of being right but when you send in two samples from the same bird and it come back a pair something wrong this is how he got busted and most bird magazine want put his ad in anymore.
The sample, the lysis buffer (cheap), a pile of various plastics (semi cheap), protinase K (kind of "cheap"), a heat block to keep at 55c (5K), some ethanol to precipitate the DNA (cheap), centrifuge that can do 10k+ RPM, some clean ddH20 (15k for a new system), primers for the sex chromosome (really cheap), a pcr machine (5k), a gel running set up (a few hundred). Averaged over time, over head and man hours will be the expensive part, so $20bucks a sample doesn't sound unfair to me. Your small french fries cost 1.29, but you could buy a 10lb sack of potatoes on sale for the same price.
Guess if the company was really high tech, they can use illumina genotyping, but that's $$$ for the facilities.
Edit: Just took a look at avian biotech, looks like they use regular ol pcr to do their testing. Safe, simple, tried and true tested method used for decades. $20-25 is a fair price for the job. Running a lab isn't cheap. I'm actually waiting for a pcr at the moment to finish the batch of genotyping on 92 samples.
I am with you - business is business and everyone has to make a buck. I figured the $1 was not quite right and a post above explains it (thanks).
Just seems hardly worth spending $20 to sex a $25 chick, or even a $50 chick. Totally worth it if you need to sex a very valuable bird or need genotyping for breeding.
I have these run at work and if you have the equipment already sitting there, it not that expensive to run a bunch especially as the technology has moved forward so fast in the last 5 years that they can run a large number of samples simultaneously, hence the rush on genotyping all sorts of animals, plants, tumors etc.
It also means that there is a glut of totally serviceable "obsolete" equipment available for very little$$. University surplus supplies are full of this sort of equipment because new labs starting up naturally want the latest and greatest.