No, he didn't have giardia, which is great since I have two birds and I worried about it being contagious, but at the same time I was hoping to find a health reason behind his plucking.
The giardia kit I bought came with three little vials that were filled with liquid to preserve the protozoa (in the case that giardia was present). The instructions specifically said that if you don't take a sample immediately
from fresh droppings and place it in the vial for preservation straightaway the test wouldn't be accurate.
If you collect the samples but don't have a liquid medium in which to preserve them they won't be of any use, unfortunately. If you just put them in a bag at room temperature the protozoa will die. I know for a fact that freezing them will destroy the protozoa. I'm not 100% sure about refrigeration but I don't think that refrigeration alone is enough, either:
"The organism is difficult to diagnose for several reasons. Giardia is not shed in every dropping. It is a very fragile organism in one form, and may disintegrate before it can be diagnosed.
Regular fecal parasite exams, performed in a vet's clinic or by a professional lab, may miss this organism because of its fragility. A new procedure has greatly increased the chance of diagnosing giardia in birds. This involves preserving the feces (and giardia cysts) in 5% formalin (NOT the usual 10% used to preserve normal tissues).
The preserved feces are then sent to a special lab that only studies parasites, and a different type of microscope, called a phase contrast scope, is used to diagnose giardia." (Giardia in birds
The kit that I bought (only available to ship to the U.S., unfortunately) had vials filled with a 5% formalin solution.