homemade faecal egg count slide

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rick
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Re: homemade faecal egg count slide

Post by rick » Wed Dec 02, 2015 10:55 pm

It's not really that many. 350 is 350 eggs per gram but that is the result of finding 7 eggs in 0.3ml and multiplying that by 50 to get the eggs per gram figure.
So only finding 1 egg would be 50 eggs per gram.
To be more accurate would require more counts per sample.
For Ascaridia the maximum acceptable limit is 5000 eggs per gram. I thought that half of that would be the point where I would worm but finding Capillaria eggs (where the maximum exceptable is zero) clinched it.
Out of interest Heterakis is the other common worm with a max limit of 1000 eggs per gram but it is a ceacal worm and, apparently, can be seen as threads in ceacal droppings so doesn't really require a count. Which is fortunate as the eggs are very similar to Ascaridia.

Betty may have some, just too few to show in the sample
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rick
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Re: homemade faecal egg count slide

Post by rick » Wed Dec 02, 2015 11:45 pm

But I should add that these worms (nematodes) are not able to live in humans. When I was new to chickens (still am really) I remember that I was told that all chickens have worms. It seems to be true, even when they are controlled, but rather like we have learned that a sterile environment is bad for general health, a reasonable amount of species specific parasites are not bad for health - (and according to some studies) possibly even beneficial within limits!
So worming after 3 to 6 months is a good rule of thumb. It won't eradicate them all and there is some concern that the worms may become resistant with a constant regime but, on the whole, it's worked well unless you cam be bothered to count the little beasties!
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Re: homemade faecal egg count slide

Post by Marigold » Thu Dec 03, 2015 8:50 am

That's my feeling too, Rick. At present prices it costs about £7.00 to worm my 6 hens with Flubenvet, against £15 for a diagnostic kit which will tell me they have low- level worms and might benefit from a course of wormer. The reason for testing given in Tim's article was to prevent over- frequent use of Flubenvet in order to help reduce resistance, but I don't know how much resistance to the drug has developed or what can be done about it anyway. Presumably if you worm less frequently, to reduce resistance, the worm burden increases, so the drug may be less effective anyway. For hens known to have a heavy worm burden, the advice given is usually a double worming, which must undermine the message I think.
I suppose it boils down to good management, clean conditions in the run, and grazing which is rested and rotated as much as possible, but I can't understand why there's only one wormer specifically for poultry on the market,with no egg withdrawal, when for other animals there's a wider choice. Could this be because the millions of hens kept commercially for eggs don't actually ever get wormed, since they're culled by 18-24 months anyway? So worms aren't actually a big issue except for keepers who look after a flock long-term?
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Re: homemade faecal egg count slide

Post by dinosaw » Thu Dec 03, 2015 10:02 am

I would imagine that one reason why individual birds would have higher worm counts would be their habits, how much they scratch and how good at digging up worms, slugs and insects they are. In any given flock there always seems to be one chicken who is particularly good at sniffing out a worm, I have always had the odd bird who would ignore the feeder first thing in the morning and go looking for morning worms, they had obviously sussed that the pellets weren't going anywhere but it was the early bird that catches the worm.
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rick
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Re: homemade faecal egg count slide

Post by rick » Thu Dec 03, 2015 6:58 pm

Teabag is defiantly the bold opportunist in the flock so that makes sense dinosaw although all those counts are so low it's not very telling.
The counting isn't difficult once you've got a slide and a microscope. If I didn't have one and knowing what I do now I think I would maybe use a lab occasionally to check that the worming is being effective. And if the occasional count is always very low then maybe consider going an extra month between doses? It's Ascaridia that seems to be the biggest unknown as it rose to 1200 eggs/gram with no apparent symptoms. Capillaria seems to be a bit more of a give away - I had an issue with Brownie having a dirty bum - that makes sense now and all now are producing classic, fairly firm, droppings. Keeping an eye on cecal droppings for Heterakis worms themselves would be the most reliable alert of that species I think.
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