The Publications Warehouse does not have links to digital versions of this publication at this time
Automated methods for counting leucocytes in avian blood are not available because of the presence of nucleated erythrocytes and thrombocytes. Therefore, total white blood cell counts are performed by hand using a hemocytometer. The Natt and Herrick and the Unopette methods are the most common stain and diluent preparations for this procedure. Replicate hemocytometer counts using these two methods were performed on blood from four birds of different species. Cells present in each square of the hemocytometer were counted. Counting cells in the corner, side, or center hemocytometer squares produced statistically equivalent results; counting four squares per chamber provided a result similar to that obtained by counting nine squares; and the Unopette method was more precise for hemocytometer counting than was the Natt and Herrick method. The Unopette method is easier to learn and perform but is an indirect process, utilizing the differential count from a stained smear. The Natt and Herrick method is a direct total count, but cell identification is more difficult.