Doing Fecal Floats at Home

Discussion in 'Peafowl' started by KsKingBee, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    No coccidia or worm eggs is a good thing!

    -Kathy
     
  2. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Those pics are from the old camera and are the best of the crop. Avoid the Celestron digital microscope imager unless you are working at the lowest magnification only!

    An 5 MP CMOS camera is coming from China by slow boat, and I'm playing around with a laboratory CCD camera from the 1990s - luckily I still have computers from that era gathering dust.

    I was talking to a professional microscope rebuilder and he recommends mounting your DSLR camera to the eyepiece or trinocular tube. There are DIYers who have built platforms on their microscope for their cell phone camera and that gives good results. It takes more than duct tape, though.[​IMG]

    Centrifuge is working well. Chuckzoo uses a (dedicated) salad spinner for a centrifuge www.backyardchickens.com/t/446729/doing-a-fecal-egg-count-at-home/10#post_5602891 Mostly I'm doing smears since I'm trying to identify swimmy things and the flotation solution kills them. It's hard since they are small, transparent, and swim away or die - probably the microscope light fries them.

    Turns out folks on BYC have been writing posts about doing your own fecals since 2007.

    There is even a BYC page about it! www.backyardchickens.com/a/parasitic-worms

    Here are some of the best previous threads on the subject:

    2011 www.backyardchickens.com/t/446729/doing-a-fecal-egg-count-at-home
    This post has pictures www.backyardchickens.com/t/446729/doing-a-fecal-egg-count-at-home#post_5595211
    This post is great! It's by the author of the BYC page on fecals
    www.backyardchickens.com/t/446729/doing-a-fecal-egg-count-at-home/20#post_5621564

    2014 www.backyardchickens.com/t/848229/poultry-fecal-flotation-procedures-and-pictures
    This post has pictures by a vet tech - looks like some of my ufos are here!
    www.backyardchickens.com/t/848229/poultry-fecal-flotation-procedures-and-pictures/10#post_12628630


    Congrats on finding no critters! [​IMG]
    I hope to get to that point soon.
     
  3. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    Thank You! Here is a pic I took with my cell phone, it wasn't easy...

    [​IMG]
     
  4. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can buy an adapter to hold your cell phone in place - these run from $15 to over $100. Search "cell phone microscope adapter" on Amazon or other.
    Or you can build one yourself http://www.instructables.com/id/microscope-adapter-for-cell-phone/?ALLSTEPS

    Boy, do I feel stupid having spent good money to get 2 usb cameras when my cell phone camera is better. Ugh.

    They only advantage I can see is that the usb cameras send the images to your computer screen. This turns out to be the key to seeing parasitic protozoa swimming on a wet mount (smear of diluted poop). I can't see them through the microscope eyepiece but the additional magnification the usb camera gives allows me to notice them on the monitor. Using the image files is a little simpler, too. No need to import them into the program that puts the measurement bars and labels on them.

    I use a free program MICAM that also handles the chore of effectively labeling the photos. I save them so I can go back once I've learned more. http://science4all.nl/?Microscopy_and_Photography
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2016
  5. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This may be an artifact. I can't find any cysts/eggs that look like this and are this small. This was the only cyst/egg I found.
    Here's a similar photo - of an artifact!
    [​IMG]
    This is from p. 44 of Sloss et al. 1994. Veterinary Clinical Parasitology. Sixth ed. Iowa State University Press.

    This looks suspiciously like these perfectly normal urate crystals...Unfortunately they don't give the scale.
    This is from the fecal smear page on Finch aviary.com http://www.finchaviary.com/Maintenance/FecalSmear.htm
    [​IMG]

    This is not Giardia, it's too small. The large "cyst" is 6 x 5 µm, while Giardia is 8-14 µm. They could be cryptosporidia, but given the variable sizes of these similar-looking objects, I think they are probably artifacts. The cysts/eggs of a parasite should all be nearly the same size.


    The yeast Candida can appear oval and is in the same size range (7 x 5 µm), but I don't see any budding, or the other structures Candida can form. Still clueless on these UFOs.


    The rods in the first image are small, 0.85 x 1.8 µm, and may be bacteria.
    The rods the second image are about 2 x 6 µm. This is much bigger than rod-shaped bacteria (0.5-1 x 1-4 µm), smaller than fisson yeast (3-4 x 7-14 µm), and smaller than Eimeria tenella sporozoites (the swimming form of coccidia).

    I saw a lot of them, in the same size range, so I doubt they are artifacts. The chain of cells above the rods are the right size to be bacterial rods (bacilli).

    So my rooster with the runs may have yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth but probably no coccidia or worms.

    I saw swimming things (parasitic protozoa) in the wet mount, but I wasn't able to get a good look at them. I have a couple more things to try... I hope to eventually figure out how to treat this bird. Meanwhile he's getting greens, probiotics, and oregano. He recently finished fenbendazole (dewormer) and amprollium (coccidiostat).

    UPDATE - I just found out that some life-stages of bacteria move a lot. Here's a great example of the type of movement I've seen - jetting across the field and spinning around.


    Pseudomonas
    E. coli

    Both are Gram negative rods. Pseudomonas forms chains of 2 rods. I'll have to check this out further.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2016
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  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    .
     
  7. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    Thanks Kathy for bumping this back up to the top. It has been nearly a year since I started doing my own fecal floats at home and it has been a godsend for us. One of the things I think a lot of people can relate to is overcrowding which is, in my opinion, the leading cause of sickness and deaths in especially young birds. It is so easy for growing birds to run out of room in brooders and grow pens.

    This year my losses have been very minimal with the exception of when we went on vacation to the UPA convention when my caretaker, well, that is another story in itself. Being able to watch my flocks health on fecal slides helped me tremendously to stay on top of the right type of medications when needed.

    I have totally cut out the use of Corid and instead switched to Sulfa meds for the control of cocci and have had very good results. Safeguard is still my choice for deworming and I can guarantee the results in FF exams. It still amazes me how quickly a clean bird can still get reinfected in only a short time, still look healthy, but yet have high cocci loads. Keeping a good rotation of medications in young growing birds is key to healthy birds.
     
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  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    @KsKingBee , have you had a chance to experiment with ivermectin? I'm curious as to how well it treats large roundworms, cecal worms, and capillary worms. I know you use it for lice, so have you had any positive fecal after treating for lice?

    -Kathy

    @Fancychooklady , you might find this thread interesting.
     
  9. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    When I see something that needs to be attended to in the fecals I don't hesitate, I go with what I know that works. I hate losing birds so I hop right on it. Perhaps I will try experimenting but for now I haven't. We do use the pour on and it is very effective with the external parasites. Thunderdancer still wants me to experiment with the oregano oil too. Right now I have no problems with anything except a little cocci in one of the brooder pens that could be cleaned up by now, and some bacterial infection in another.
     
  10. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how will you give the oregano oil.? I bought some capsules of it recently. I have it growing for several years in my yard... an oregano...plant....
    I saw where that major company Bell and Evans who sell pasture raised meat suposeded to be using it from chicks ,on up in their water.

    so two of them are taking Baytril .. started them today. They prob need Safeguard again cause I didnt give enough of the liquid Safeguard. misunderstood the instructions...
    I got the gallon sized fecal solution now. and the "ova floation containers or kit" this week.
    now to fig out how to do the fecals.the instructions on that box arent too explicit.they dont say how to put it in the kit or how much....
    PS I just watched several videos on Youtube. no centrifuge needed with the "kit"



    thanks
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016

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