Doing a fecal egg count at home

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by junglebird, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I just read up on how to do a fecal egg count at home on this excellent website (if you're into goats and cheesemaking!): Fias Co Farm There's even an equipment list with links!

    Only thing is, it's for goats. [​IMG] Would parasite eggs in chickens look any different? Below are pics of worm eggs from that site and others also not specific to chickens. This is a random grab of parasites.

    roundworm
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    gapeworm
    [​IMG]

    tapeworms
    [​IMG]

    Coccidia
    [​IMG]

    and flukes
    [​IMG]

    * This site was helpful, too: http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/fecal-flotation.html#float-parasite
    * Damerow's book, "Chicken Health Handbook" also describes how to do the count, but doesn't provide pictures. She says:
    500 eggs/gram is a moderate infestation
    1000 eggs/gram calls for prompt treatment, but she also says you'd need a centrifuge to spin that many eggs [​IMG]

    How do you do fecal eggs counts?

    I've got 9 month old chickens who have never been wormed. I'll be doing this home exam to determine how we're managing, and whether we need to worm.

    Edited to correct links above
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  2. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    parasite eggs will look like they look regardless of species. To count them, you do the slide in sections...like a grid...back and forth. The more eggs, the more concentrated the problem. If you see one egg, you've got worms.
     
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My Coop
    I've been wondering about doing this myself too! Thanks for the links. I'll look for protocols designed for poultry and post what I can find.
     
  4. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:Fantastic! [​IMG]
     
  5. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Quote:At what egg count do you decide to medicate? How do you determine which wormer to use?

    I don't have practical experience, but from what I've read:
    * it's important to type the parasites to determine which wormer to use
    * A low egg count in healthy chickens indicates a working balance, not an indication to medicate (depending upon your philosophy regarding medicine and natural health).

    If I were comfortable with the liberal use of medication, I would do the twice yearly broad spectrum worming program mentioned elsewhere on this site, and not bother with the fecal egg count.
     
  6. UrbanGrower

    UrbanGrower Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 29, 2010
    West Jordan, UT
    Anyone have a recommended microscope, and other equipment one might need to actually do this? It interests me because I'd like to use it for plant pathogens as well.
     
  7. HathawayHens

    HathawayHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    you need to identify what parasite eggs you are seeing... so if you have a high egg count, I would recommend calling around to some vets or your state poultry lab to see if anyone will do a fecal for you and ID the parasites. If you use the wrong medication, nothing will improve. There is no "one wormer" that gets every parasite.
     
  8. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Just a quick tip; A salad spinner makes a great centrifuge in a pinch.
     
  9. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Oregon
    Hathaway, thanks, I'm thinking that if I can get a good photograph of the eggs, I can email to extension vet to get diagnosis. So far, fecals here seem to cost around $40, shich seems a little high to me (?).

    Chuckzoo, [​IMG] Love it! (And maybe now is the time to get a second salad spinner [​IMG] ) ... So, does this sound right: I put the sample and the solution in a little sealed container, spin it for a minute (?), then pour it into my test tube and set the slide cover on top?
     
  10. HathawayHens

    HathawayHens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    DeLand, FL
    Yeah, that might work... if possible it is helpful to include something to size the eggs... some scopes have these built into the lens. $40 for a fecal does seem a bit steep... usually in these parts it is closer to $20... are the chickens symptomatic? I know that many birds have parasitic infections when they are young or move to a new yard, but most healthy birds will build up an immunity on their own over time. I suppose stress and other factors could make them ill, though. [​IMG]
     

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