Doing your own Fecal Exam?

Discussion in 'Sheep' started by Unregistered-1427815803, Nov 21, 2003.

  1. I was wondering if anyone does fecal exams on their sheep themselves instead of bringing samples to the vet.

    There is a company that sells the microscope and slides etc. as a kit so that one can keep up on worm management.

    I wondered if anyone had any tips, advice on this topic.

    Thanks for your help.

    Sabina
    Sheepy Hollow
     
  2. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Since I work for a vet its easy for me to check fecals but not so for other viewers. Why don't you share the information with us?
     

  3. sheeplady

    sheeplady Well-Known Member

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    I am very interested as well to learn how to do fecal testing . Lately, besides the worming medication, it has been one of my biggest vet expenses, :( but a necessary tool for me. I have a Nasco School Science catalogue with some very
    reasonable microscopes. What magnification is best? And where can one get a how to manual on doing these? I have a nursing degree and took Bio and Chemistry so know a little. :)
     
  4. quiet mountain farmer

    quiet mountain farmer Well-Known Member

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    Nasco is a good company.

    I want to do the fecal tests myself also. Where can I buy them?
     
  5. McFox

    McFox Member

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    Forget doing fecals. Observe stool, if soft have worms, if formed no problem. Let animal overcome and be resistant. Constant worming only developes wormy animals. 10% of animals harboe 90% of worms. Worm them and market, keep only resistant ones. Soon there will be no products that will get resistant worms.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Well if I see worms in a feces soft or formed I think I'd assume I'm a little behind in worming and would worm the flock. Hopefully before I had to bury any! Getting fecal samples checked when you are having trouble eliminating worms and periodically to check your programs effectivness, is best done by a vet. It's a good time to bring in an expert and go over your over all your managment practices not just ID what worm is where. Sheep don't get worms out of thin air! It's true some sheep harbor worms more than others, but I question the point of culling the offender. The problem isn't necessarily the sheep its more often how its managed and possablely what wormer is being used. Over worming without monitoring it's effectivness will cause resistance but I seriously doubt we're on the edge of total wormer loss. I've been hearing that for 30 years, so soon ain't very soon. You should have a plan that is improving your flock no more than two traits at a time. If worm resistance is one then fine but except for severe examples (of any problem) stick to your plan. Culling is the best way to remove the effect of a managment practice (problem), but its a very poor way to improve a flock on its own.
     
  7. http://www.farmsteadhealth.com/

    I recently bought the kit for checking worms on sheep. We homeschool, so it's just part of the curriculum of life and learning to do this and learn. We haven't checked any stool, yet. Just read the instruction booklet and techniques. :)

    I bought our microscope from sonlight.com (homeschool curriculum seller) that has what looks to be the same microscope, plus added features for a lower price than farmsteadhealth.com.

    shepmom
    in NC

    PS. My barbados blackbelly sheep are great!
     
  8. Thanks for the replies.

    For those of you who asked for more information, the fecal exam kit came from Farmstead Health Supply. It provides all the equipment and brochure on identifying the worms. Their web page is www.farmsteadhealth.com.

    The other website that has a lot of detailed information for sheep/goat fecal exam is Microbus, website is:
    www.microscope-microscope.org/applications/animals/fecal_analysis

    The microscope type suggested is a range from 40X to 100X. MicroscopeWorld.com sells a model for $200 but maybe the one from sonlight.com (that Shepmom bought) is less expensive.

    In response to the moderator there are many of us that live in area that don't have sheep vets (or any large animal vets) so to make sure that our management practices are effective, we can try to use this tool as a way to measure our successes or failures. As for worms not coming out of thin air...puppies are born with them, ewes are prone to high worm loads right after lambing when they previously were already "wormed". Farmstead Health Supply also suggests that by identifying the worm type and treating for that particular worm that it will reduce the problem of developing a tolerance for wormers becaue we won't be using a "blanket wormer". Only treating for what is necessary (different worm..different wormer to be effective) in addition to using proper management practices (field rotation etc.)

    My question after all was quite simple, "who is using the fecal exam". I wasn't looking for a larger lecture or opinion but input from actual people using the technique.

    ***I'd love to hear back from Shepmom after she uses it for a while to see how she likes it. I still have to buy a microscope and I have been implementing using natural wormers, pumpkin seed, wormwood, and the herbs from Farmstead Health and thought it would be nice to see under a microscope if it really does help. I have had horse owners tell me that horses eat poplar tree bark in the fall and spring which is a natural wormer and I noticed that the sheep in the last few weeks now that we have snow have been going to town on the bark even though they still have some grass available.

    Thanks again, sorry about being long-winded.

    Sheepy Hollow
    Babydolls and Tunis

     
  9. mawalla

    mawalla Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget to check for coccidia when testing fecals. Coccidia is one of the biggest causes of loose stools in lambs. Wormers won't take care of the problem.

    As for sheep eating the bark off of trees, I've heard that they do that when they are lacking in certain minerals. To be honest, I have done no research on this and don't know if it is a fable or not. Maybe someone else has some knowledge on this and will share.

    I have had some training on the FAMACHA method of parasite control. This method does utilize selective worming and culling as a method of parasite control. But, it was developed to be used against haemonchus contortus not all internal parasites.
     
  10. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    "I wondered if anyone had any tips, advice on this topic."

    Yup I do and posted them. Don't take it personally my comments were in responce to your post and the replies you got.

    I try to promote establishing a good contact with a veterinarian for most of my replies, in 30 years of farming I've seen too many people try to keep livestock "on the cheap" to their own and their animals detriment. Again nothing personal, buying a kit to examine fecal samples is hardly "cheap"!! I know here in Ontario the average life of a sheep venture from start up to closure is 4 years. That's rather sad if the majority are failures.
     
  11. MAC

    MAC Active Member

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    ROSS, maybe this is a good place to state that fecals are just one aspect of a health/parasite program. After feed, wormers can be the second largest expense with sheep & goats, and not using them properly can result in a large loss in income. Modern (profitable) sheep farming/ranching technique calls for condition scoring, checking for anemia, and doing fecals on only those who have failed these two tests. It's easy to do fecals on a handful of sheep, but too expensive & time-consuming to do this on a regular basis with hundreds of sheep. The biggest problem is drug-resistant parasites, not the lack of parasite-resistant livestock. The method of worming every animal a couple times a year is expensive and wrong, just as fecal testing every animal is instructive but expensive. The heritability of parasite resistance is low, and only in extreem cases should lack of resistance be a culling factor.
     
  12. I enjoy and learn from all the comments that come in from a question on this forum. Don't discourage that. We all have slightly different management conditions to deal with and the widest variety of opinions possible is the most beneficial because the best info for our particular situations will precipitate out and we will all benefit.
    Kind regards,
    Calvin