Targeted worming of poultry- best way to gather fecal sample from large flock?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by capayvalleychick, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is an efficient method for gathering fecal samples from approx. 30 chickens? They are divided into different areas & coops. Sometimes they are all together but now some are separated for breeding. Can I somehow gather a representative sample from all of them to submit for a fecal exam? How?

    I raise multiple species of livestock in addition to my chickens. When the chickens are not in breeding pens, they rotationally graze grass pastures, along with the livestock.
    I have never had an issue with parasites in or on my chickens, that I know of. I have never wormed them. Some of the chickens who have died (over the years) have been submitted for necropsy. There was never any mention of parasite infestation in the results.
    I used to routinely worm all the livestock with Ivermectin, with the exception of the pigs were wormed once, with Safeguard. I want to start a targeted worming program for all my animals now, submit samples to the lab and use the correct wormer for what they really need.

    With the chickens, I've never wanted to give them medication unnecessarily, so I simply have never wormed them. Now, I want to check to see if they do have an unhealthy parasite load.

    I'd like to hear from those of you who practice targeted worming or who submit fecal samples to a lab. Or does anybody do their own testing?

    Thanks,
    Kim
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    There are only a few wormers that do well in poultry, and most will kill all the common worms.

    I wouldn't worry about fecals unless you only plan to worm individual birds.

    Ivomec and Safeguard can both be used
     
  3. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I didn't want to give them wormer unless they actually need it. That is the reason for the fecal test.

    How long is the residual with Ivomec? How long until the eggs are safe to eat? Does it affect fertility at all?

    Kim
     
  4. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is exactly what my vet had told me. Do not worm unless needed. I only have 5 chickens, so I took a little poop from here and a little poop from, I brought in the one sample in--they are worm free. He told me I should bring one in every 4 months.


     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Then you will have to follow the birds around, bag droppings from each one individually, and do 30 tests.

    OR, since it's highly likely if one has worms, they all do , just worm them all at one time and be done with it

    OR, don't worm any of them unless they are showing symptoms of worm infestations, or you see worms in the droppings

    Ivomec is safe for use in humans, so withdrawal isn't really needed.

    If the birds are healthy looking and producing eggs, I wouldn't worm them at all
     
  6. peeper keeper

    peeper keeper Out Of The Brooder

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    I haven't run my own fecals from my chickens yet but if I have run fecals on alpacas. If I wanted a "group picture" (no one was showing any symptoms-just checking) all I did was take some poop

    from different areas, mix well in a plastic bag and take a sample from that. I liked to know what if anything needed treatment and exactly what to use. Hope that helped.
     
  7. ntink17

    ntink17 Out Of The Brooder

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    I would take a sample of feces from multiples places and turn in one or two "bags" for testing. This will give you a better "true picture" of what is going on with your flock. This also increases the likelihood that you will find a sample from bird that is actively shedding parasite eggs. (they can have parasites and not actively be shedding the eggs). The fresher the sample, the better results you will get. Don't use anything that's more than a few hours old (don't take the sample at 8 am and then take it to the vet at 2pm). If it will be a hour or so before you get to the vet, stick it in a fridge. This is what the avian vet had us do where I worked at with a huge variety of poultry.

    Once you know what to look for, the eggs are fairly easy to identify- or at least know that "thing" looks really different than what I normally see and I need a vet to look at it! The eggs are shaped different for different parasites, which is how you identify it. That is testing for a flotation fecal.

    There are also wet mounts, where you are basically looking at the fecal sample and can see a (microscopic) parasite moving around.

    You'd do need a good microscope, slides, etc which probably is a initial expense. I'm guessing microscopes aren't exactly cheap. Plus maybe some help learning what to do.
     
  8. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always have taken stool samples from the poop trays under the roost in the morning. I just grab a few and pop them into a plastic baggie to take to the vet. SInce our chickens have regular roosting spots, I also have some idea of which chicken the poop I take in is likely to have come from. However, if the sample ever turns up positive for the presence of worms, I would worm the whole flock.

    Our vet told me that it was much more likely our chickens would get worms if they were foraging in areas where there were other agricultural animals (and their waste).
     
  9. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all the good input on this subject. I was going to gather a sampling from each group. How to get fresh, uncontaminated samples is the challenge. I don't have poop boards. I was thinking maybe tarps under where they roost? Any ideas on that? Getting fresh samples is another challenge, since I would be gathering samples in the morning while I do chores, which takes at least an hour. Then it's another hour's drive to the lab. I would have to chill the sample or maybe it's cold enough that it's not an issue this time of year.
    Thanks,
    Kim
     

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