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Does anyone do their own fecal exams

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickygirl2, Nov 19, 2008.

  1. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2007
    upper marlboro. md
    I am thinking of getting a microscope to check all my critters for worms and parasites. Now it has been a long time since I have had any microscope analysis to do- last was a histology course in college. Soooooo...... anyone tried this? any particular books that would be recommended to compare to what I might find??? I would hate to invest in a good scope and not know what the heck I am looking at !![​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  2. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used to run the fecals at one of the animal hospitals I worked at... but at home... no, not even on my dogs do I do that.

    Why? Well... for both species.. exposure to the world outside means almost certain infestation with this that or the others, so I just treat them preventatively. I'll deworm everyone, dogs & adult chickens, quarterly. I treat the dogs preventatively for parasites, but won't the chickens.

    There are plenty of charts out there for you to reference, just google fecal exam charts I'm sure you'll do fine... mostly you'll only see worm infestations, which you can pretty much guarantee will be there in most cases.

    My questions is why would you do fecals? How would you know which chicken was the provider of the sample? Obviously you would treat them all if one had something... right?
     
  3. chickygirl2

    chickygirl2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2007
    upper marlboro. md
    I would assume that if 1 chicken had a parasite they all would need treatment.
    I do worm the horses on a regular schedule, but with chickens, why worm if you don't need to? There are egg withdrawal times each time you do. I also would like to zoom in on what the parasite is rather than hit or miss with the med I might use.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  4. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I'm using Diatemacious Earth for deworming... which is safe for human consumption, therefore no withdrawal period.

    It's also healthy as a supplement...and since I know that all chickens & other pets for that matter, would ALL have roundworms (starting as ascerids) if you didn't DEworm them at some point, then I know they ALL NEED it.

    But I digress... I used a chart to compare the fecals to... a regular veterinary type poster on the wall next to the microscope which features large images of the 4 main worm types.. although I didn't find one easily online, I'm sure it can be done. If all else fails.. ask your vet for one or help getting one.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    (BTW, it is very unclear how effective a dewormer DE actually is)

    Some livestock producers do their own fecals, yes. Although I dunno about poultry producers in particular - I'm thinking more of goats, horses, sort of thing.

    It is learnable. You need a pretty good quality scope however. (Not necessarily high power, but GOOD OPTICS). Also you need to spend some time checking your learning curve by splitting samples (run half yourself, see whatcha think, and have your vet do the other halves, compare notes... total agreement is not mandatory as worm eggs etc are not shed totally homogeneously but a lot of disagreement should make you wanna polish your skills more before dispensing with the vet).

    Given the difficulty of worming chickens without bein' hard on their bodies and rendering their eggs unwise to eat for indefinite and longish periods of time, though, I think a reasonable argument might be made for not even WORRYING about it unless there are SYMPTOMS. This is likely to be infrequently enough that it could be decades before your microscope etc paid itself back, in comparison to vet-run fecals.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  6. DawnSuiter

    DawnSuiter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'm new at chickens, but not animal health.
    At butcher time, you can split open the intestines and see for yourself. So far... no worms means the DE is working for us. Tomorrow I'll do 3 more and see again.

    This is the advice I was given back when I got started, when I asked a local chicken person about de-worming. The answer I got was totally unnecessary unless it's causing some kind of problem HOWEVER do you really want to EAT that meat? So.. it was determined then our means of checking flock health, by butchering & examining those destined for the freezer. I know this doesn't work for everyone of course, but its the perspective I'm coming from.
     
  7. kinnip

    kinnip Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    I do mine. There are instructions in The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow, and on the Fias Co Farm website (they deal with goats, but it's the same). The Fias Co Farm site has a link to an online lab surplus place. I got my entire setup, scope and all, for just under $100. I bought the "My First Microscope". It works really well. There are, of course, a few organisms too small for the scope to see, but they're rare. For pictures, I use a Google image search. You'll need an idea of what you're looking for first, find the latin name, send to Google, and peruse lovely photos of grody parasites. I haven't run into a worm yet for which I couldn't find a picture of it's oocysts. The main thing to keep in mind is that some worms will be present. You're just looking for too many worms.
    Regarding DE as a wormer. I'd need someone to explain what it's supposed to be doing. From Wikipedia: "The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate." I question how well that would work in an animal's digestive tract.
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I'm new at chickens, but not animal health.
    At butcher time, you can split open the intestines and see for yourself. So far... no worms means the DE is working for us.

    First, I don't see how you can possibly check completely for all sorts of worms. Large strongyles and tapeworms, sure, but there are a whole lot of other things that inhabit many various body parts and are in many cases too small to really see with the naked eye.

    Also, your argument only holds if you have another flock, kept under otherwise-same conditions, to which you don't feed DE and when you butcher them they DO have worms. After all, not all chickens DO get meaningful numbers of worms, so at present who's to say whether it's the DE or not.

    Someone really OUGHT to do, and publish, some peer-reviewed properly-constructed studies of DE as a dewormer (both as a preventative, which is what it's usually just claimed to be, and test as a cure once worms are present, as well). I would really look forward to seeing that. However I am not aware of that having been done at this point, unfortunately. In the absence of good information you have to remember that there is an absence of good information. (Personal anecdote is *some* information, just not *good* in the sense of giving high confidence in the correctness of interpretation)

    Just sayin',

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2008
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Indeed [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  10. Guitartists

    Guitartists Resistance is futile

    Mar 21, 2008
    Michigan
    Recently treated my birds with Ivomec... I have been treating them with DE also.... so far the only ones to pass any dead worms are the ones I got as adults and were not on DE from the beginning. I would say that DE works great as a way of keeping your birds worm-free if they are started on when worm-free... but not a treatment for worms.
     

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