Doing Fecal Floats at Home

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

  1. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    In the first post in this thread I said less than $300, but unfortunately, I skimped on the scope and now had to buy a different one. [​IMG]So about $300 you can get everything you need IF you buy right the first time. Now, IF you look for some good used equipment I think you could do it for under $200. I have seen ads in Craigs List for $75 lab quality scopes, centrifuges are a different matter as you just don't see them listed, but a good new one will only cost you $72. The book is a bit pricey, so you can make do with printing off just the pages you need off line.

    There are also recipes so you can make your own fecal solution if you want. The slides and cover slips are only about five dollars, so that is no biggie. I think a person could get into it for under $200 and the sky is the limit if you want to buy the best.

    The most important thing to keep in mind when buying a scope is that it has a minimum of 80X and 100X is even better. The rest is just niceties, like a moving base, led light, digital camera, etc.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

    65
    32
    91
    May 28, 2013
    Virginia
    I've been doing this a few years now.

    I have trouble even though I worked with microscopes in my professional career and have copies of Foreyt* 5th ed. and other pubs with photos of poultry-specific parasites. *note Foreyt is ~$50 used, and only has 3 pages of photomicrographs of avian internal parasites. Just saying....

    You can do it, just know the learning curve is steep and long. It might be better if you have a centrifuge and a tea strainer! Note that bubbles and gunk can look a lot like parasite eggs or cysts (see http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/fecal-float.html#fecal-matter).

    I've found these sites useful - they are for goats, but the types of parasites are similar.
    https://hoeggerfarmyard.com/no-vet-ok-you-can-do-this/
    http://fiascofarm.com/goats/fecals.htm
    http://www.pet-informed-veterinary-advice-online.com/fecal-flotation.html

    My reading suggests that a few eimeria (coccidia) and a few worm eggs are to be expected and are not a problem. It's when you see a lot that you have a problem.

    Here are some helpful ID sites:

    http://avianmedicine.net/content/uploads/2013/03/36.pdf
    https://instruction.cvhs.okstate.edu/jcfox/htdocs/clinpara/Index.htm
    https://quizlet.com/subject/poultry-parasites/

    Also, make sure you have a clear schedule - if you leave the samples in the flotation medium too long they warp and crystals form in the slide. This happens to me when I have more than a 3-4 samples to process.

    You can also do a wet smear - this doesn't concentrate the eggs/cysts like the flotation process does, but it's a good quick and dirty (yes, a pun).

    The hard-core use a McMaster sampling slide to monitor counts of parasite eggs and cysts weekly!
    http://web.uri.edu/sheepngoat/files/McMaster-Test_Final3.pdf

    I've been toying with the idea of a home PCR set up to identify bacteria and viruses, but that would get expensive and take up way too much of the kitchen :)

    Good luck!
     
    5 people like this.
  3. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] Great info and links Zeppley! Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    23,269
    16,339
    686
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    Why couldn't you MacGuyver a drill for a centrifuge? Wonder how many RPM you need to be effective? Now, I can just see a break down of a MacGuyver centrifuge, and what might happen when the sh** hit's the fan!
     
    3 people like this.
  5. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    942
    63
    151
    Nov 23, 2013
    kentucky
    Kathy, I read a while back you had a setup ... on this same thread>>>
    it must have been a "PCR" the local vet mentioned over the phone way way up into the $100 plus range....
    so beside the Doctor KsKingBee who else did own floats??? Yeah read about using tea strainer too anyone do the liqor glasses instead of test tubes???
    So any yall got the new "Chicken Health Handbook" by Gail Damerow? thoughts? way over my head
    thats why I mentioned this book ought to be next to the cute day old chicks for sale>>>>>>.
    thanks
     
  6. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

    65
    32
    91
    May 28, 2013
    Virginia
    I was checking out the preview of Damerow's 2nd edition of the Chicken Health Handbook on Amazon.com. On p. 187 are instructions for doing fecal floats, pp. 193-5 give a visual key to worm eggs, and p. 202 gives a visual key to coccidia. It is certainly more affordable than veterinary parasitology books, especially since these usually have even fewer pictures of poultry parasites.

    KsKingBee inspired me to add a camera ($30!) to my old microscope. I also ordered a Gram staining kit ($20) that will let me see both yeast and bacteria. I'll report back on how this works out.

    This vet says centrifugation is the way to go http://www.capcvet.org/expert-articles/why-fecal-centrifugation-is-better/

    "I perform an interesting exercise every year in my parasitology class by using a fecal sample from a dog with a hookworm burden typical of what practitioners would see in pet dogs. The students are divided into three groups. One group performs a direct smear, another group mixes 2 g of feces with flotation solution and performs a passive flotation procedure, and the third group uses 2 g of feces and performs the centrifugal flotation procedure.
    Each year the results are graphic. Usually only 25% of the students performing the direct smear recover hookworm eggs. About 70% of the students performing the passive flotation procedure report seeing hookworm eggs. And every year, without exception, 100% of the students performing the centrifugal flotation procedure report recovering hookworm eggs. This simple exercise convinces my students of the improved sensitivity of centrifugation. Improved recovery rates using centrifugal flotation procedures are also substantiated by published studies.1-4"
    I may have to ask Santa for one...[​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. paccmanranch

    paccmanranch Out Of The Brooder

    18
    12
    35
    Nov 18, 2015
    Tullahoma, TN
    H&E stain is much easier to do than gram staining shouldn't be that expensive for the kit and you can still see bacteria, yeast and WBC etc
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. ladyearth

    ladyearth Chillin' With My Peeps

    942
    63
    151
    Nov 23, 2013
    kentucky
    yeah i have the new book....yeah looked thru those pages and wow scarey......
    so will you use test tubes? etc
    havent yet opened the microsope box.... it is suposed to be able to add a camera part.. that would have been over $100 more I believe
    yeah Id better open the box soon to make sure the thing is intact....
    I just wish the feather girls could let me know when something is wrong... like a chicken talk interperter....esp when the one, Slver Girl, does the "honking noises at roost time....She stays apart from her sister girls on the roost each nite.....on the far end.. she has been doing this for months.....
    wow a centifuge thought about it but way over my head..... One member(lazy gardener) thought maybe hooking a a "driLL" to spin somehow in the above postings.....
     
  9. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    I think I am the one being inspired here! [​IMG] Thanks for the good information. My thinking of the cost of the equipment is offset by the value of the birds being saved, and that payback is pretty quick in peafowl.

    Since you have a lot of experience in using a microscope, I have a question. When I got my replacement scope I was looking at two samples, admittedly for quite a while. I experienced some discomfort afterward, eye strain, headache, and a little nausea. Could you comment on that?
     
  10. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

    65
    32
    91
    May 28, 2013
    Virginia
    Really! Geez -I could do H&E in my sleep. Too bad I didn't see an H&E kit on Amazon. O well, live and learn. One can hope that the Gram positive/negative may provide some information helpful to treatment.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by