Doing Fecal Floats at Home

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

  1. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: Yep, that happens.

    Even though I had some experience using microscopes, with those fecal slides I spent hours going cross-eyed trying to figure out what I was seeing.

    1) Make sure you've got your optics setup for your eyes (e.g., webs.wofford.edu/davisgr/histology/using_a_microscope.doc)
    2) Make sure you don't have to bend to look into the microscope - good posture saves your neck! It's really bad when your arms go numb!
    3) Take breaks - even short ones. Look at the far end of the room to relax your eye muscles.

    I'm using the microscope camera software in full screen mode and watching my computer monitor instead of looking through the microscope eye pieces. Much better!!! I have so many "floaters" in my eyes that I mostly see those, not the stuff on the slide. It's scary even though I know those are protein clumps not microbes/monsters.

    After you have the optics aligned for your eyes, take a new slide. Make an "X" on the slide. Make a "+" on a cover slip. Add a drop of water to the slide, then add the cover slip, + side down. You can even use different colors of ink for the 2 marks. Use the lowest magnification to focus on the +, then use the gross focus to find the lower (X) mark. In observing slides, you will be focusing up and down between these 2 depths to be sure to catch all the critters.

    When you're trying to bring something into focus, use the position knobs to rock the stage back & forth (or forward & back) while you dial in the focus, then you'll know you are focusing on the slide contents and not some crud elsewhere in the light path.

    After you focus on something using the lowest magnification, you should be able to see it as a blob at the next higher magnification. Place the object of interest in the center of the field of view to be sure to find it again. Use the fine focus to bring it into clear view. Repeat for the next higher magnification.

    When you go up to the highest magnification (the lens will say something like 100x OIL), you need to put a drop of microscope optical oil on the slide, and one on the condenser lens - the condenser is the stuff below the stage that focuses the light beam - then raise the condenser until the oil touches the bottom of the slide. Open the condenser iris to get enough light. No worries, the oil doesn't mess up the view when you need to go to a lower power again. When you are done, be sure to wipe off the oil with lens paper or you'll have a dust ball. You can use some alcohol, too, if needed.

    A tip about cover slips - you can reduce the bubbles caught underneath by touching one edge of the cover slip to the liquid, rotate the top of the cover slip towards the slide - the liquid will wick up the cover slip. Once it's ~1/4 way up, let go of the cover slip so it drops onto the liquid. Tap the cover slip a couple times to force out any bubbles. If that doesn't work, drop more liquid on the slide to the left of the cover slip and use absorbent paper touched to the right side of the cover slip to draw fluid through and hopefully carry any bubbles away. I use saline (for contacts [​IMG] ).

    [​IMG]

    There are dozens of helpful microscope how-to website and videos online if the above isn't clear. I like this one:
    http://bitesizebio.com/13393/what-everybody-ought-to-know-about-the-light-microscope/

    Good luck!
     
  2. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ladyearth,

    The doctors in the bush use a manual centrifuge that you swing around. Not sure I'd want to do that with these samples....

    I plan to use cheesecloth instead of a centrifuge for the near term. I will mix poop and flotation solution in a paper cup. Pour it through cheesecloth (or tea strainer) into a tube. Add flotation solution until the liquid domes up above the tube (I'm using the vials from the fecalyzer kit I have but short test tubes would be cheaper. I think these are cheaper than liquor glasses and need less flotation solution), then place a cover slip on top. Let sit for 20 min, then mount on a slide and view.

    Sorry about your hen honking. It's probably a different cause but one evening my hen started braying/honking. I gave her an oral dose of Tylan 50 (0.5 ml for a std sized hen) and it was gone by morning. I continued the medication for 5 days and it hasn't come back.

    I got my camera for $30 delivered (see the first one from Amazon Warehouse $30.21- http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B003DVP7CE/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all). Note you don't need the camera - I find using your eyes gives better image.

    I just ordered the Damerow book. Let me know which parts are scary and I might be able to translate them for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  3. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    @zeppley , you are freaking awesome! [​IMG]
     
  4. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, shucks (blush). Just a former biology teacher.
     
  5. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll be putting together a tutorial in future posts. I'll show scanning slides at low power - point out what is crud, bubbles, etc. vs. worm eggs and coccidia. I am still on the learning curve with this digital camera. I did learn I have to block the lens without the camera, or it gets flooded out with too much light.

    This is a wet mount, low power of foamy cecal poo from a chicken. With so much crud, you can't see if there are coccidia or worm eggs. This photo shows food remnants, a large air bubble in the center, and a smaller one between 5 and 6 o'clock. This was taken with my cell phone through the ocular. I'll be doing the flotations tonight (I hope) and I'll see if I can get photos of parasites. Stay tuned.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016
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  6. Argus

    Argus Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow thank you @zeppley this will be a great benefit to many of us!
     
  7. casportpony

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

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    1 person likes this.
  8. KsKingBee

    KsKingBee Overrun With Chickens

    You are awesome too Kathy, [​IMG] The one thing that all cocci has and sets it apart from worm eggs is that they appear to be a circle in a circle.
     
  9. Acornewell

    Acornewell Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marking this thread! Fantastic information!

    PS- I hate coccidia!!!
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. zeppley

    zeppley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: X10!

    Last night's viewing session was not ideal - still trying to figure out the digital camera.

    I did floats of a sample of frothy cecal poo, a "normal" poop with a glob of "intestine" in it, and one from a recovering goose (clean!!, not shown).
    Here are 2 photos I took - still working on exposure and focus with the digital camera.

    [​IMG]

    Terrible image!

    I think this is a worm egg. From the shape, I'd guess a round worm (Ascaris) or a cecal worm (Heterakis).
    Note newbie error - not showing a scale and expressing size in micrometers (┬Ám).
    This would really help in identification. I will do so next session and show how.

    [​IMG]

    This image was worse, so I had to process it (using the free program Irfan view).

    I think this is Eimaria (coccidia) because of the double membrane, and the contents look like ground glass.
    The magnification is [10x ocular x 43x objective x2 digital camera) 860x (previous photo was 10 x 10 x 2 = 200x)
    If I had the good sense to measure it, I could use Kathy's chart to figure out which type of coccidia.
    I'm guessing E. tenella.

    KSKingBee - does your camera do better than this? Mine is 2MP. I think yours is 5MP

    I also saw these UFOs.

    [​IMG]

    No idea. I think they are too large to be pollen.

    Every time I post an image, BYC asks me to affirm that I am not uploading any copyrighted or offensive material.
    These are pretty offensive! Ha ha!
     
    2 people like this.

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