Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy was used to probe the molecular composition of germinal cells and to identify the gender of turkey poults. Germinal cells obtained from a feather pulp were characterized by FT-IR micro spectroscopy. The sample set consisted of growing contour feathers from 23 male and 23 female turkey poults. Significant spectral variations were observed in the range between 1,000 and 1,250 cm(-1). The spectra of male turkey poults exhibit a significantly higher content of RNA than those of female turkeys. Spectral classification was performed by a non-supervised method based on the principal component analysis. An evaluation of the first and third PCs led to a classification of female and male poults with an accuracy of more than 95%.