How And Why To Do Your Own Fecals
Benefits of doing Fecals
Fecal testing enables you to control the parasite levels in your herd, is easy to do, and is relatively inexpensive.
Parasite: is an organism living in or on another living organism, obtaining from it part or all of its organic nutriment, and causing some degree of real damage to its host.
Parasites literally suck the life out of your goat, can damage the gut and intestine, causing problems ranging from unthriftiness to death.
Worming your goats when not needed wastes your time, energy, and money, plus increases the chance of building resistance to the wormers. Worming to late, the parasites may have already caused damage in your goats digestive system, causing anemia, stunting their growth, causing weight loss, decreased milk production, or worse.
Fecal testing at regular intervals enables you to monitor the parasite infestation in your herd, and treat when appropriate, avoiding problems, saving money, increasing profit, and minimizing losses.
Bottle Jaw is caused by a heavy worm load. The swelling under the jaw is soft, and results from hyproteinemia which follows blood and plasma loss caused by worms. Animals displaying this symptom should be treated immediately.
Step by Step Instructions
• Collect fresh manure. To do a "herd fecal study", take samples from each of the main age groups, 2 of the youngest kids, 2 yearlings, 2 seniors.
• Place about 2 gm of fecal sample (about one adult or 3-4 kid pellets) in a 3 ounce paper Dixie cup.
• Place about 10 cc fecal solution in the cup smash and stir very well with fecal stick (craft or popsicle stick), mashing the material until it is completely broken apart.
• Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into another cup.
• Press as much of the remaining fecal material through the strainer with the fecal stick until nearly dry.
• Pour the 'strained' solution into a 15 cc test tube that is setting in a test tube holder. If you do not have a test tube holder you can fill a container with sand or UNCOOKED rice. The tubes will stand secure pushed down into the sand or rice bed
.• Add just enough additional flotation solution using the special squeeze bottle we carry or you can try using a syringe to SLOWLY add just enough flotation solution to the test tube to give you a slight 'crest'.
• Place a slip cover over the test tubes making SURE that the fecal solution is touching the cover slip. Allow the samples to set for at least 30 minutes - longer if you are suspecting coccidia.
• Remove the slip cover from the test tube by lifting straight upward and place it on a glass slide, wet side down. Place the slide onto the microscope. Use your course and fine focus knobs to bring the sample into focus.
• Count the worm eggs under the slip cover using a low power (10x) objective moving the slide from side to side and front to back. Note that you will see some debris and some WATER BUBBLES which look like a 'donut'.
• If you see 0-1 worm eggs each time you move the slide to a different field, you have a LOW level of infestation• If you see 2-3 worm eggs in each field, you have a moderate level of infestation.
• If you see 4 or more worm eggs per field, you have a heavy infestation.
Note: The absence of worm eggs in a sample may not mean that your animal is parasite free. There may be adults residing in the host that are not shedding at that time.
There are many variables that affect the parasites development. Temperature and humidity influence the development of larvae on the pasture. Hot dry weather kills larvae, warm moist conditions help their survival.
The most common parasites are worms and coccidiosis. Worms live in the digestive system of the goat, sucking blood causing damage, and shedding its eggs in the feces, which hatch larvae which infect grazing goats. Coccidiosis usually affect kids 6 months and under. This parasite if not treated in the early stages, causes diarrhea, lesions on the intestines, dehydration, and death.
Symptoms: Scours, anemia, pale eyes and gums, bottle jaw, weight loss, rough coat, and loss of appetite.
A healthy goat is one that has a small number of parasites, not necessarily zero. Experiencing a limited number of parasites can be beneficial to the goat as it stimulates the immune system.
Worming Goats - administration of wormers to goats removes the population of worms established in the goat at that time. If a wormer is working, the worm count should be almost zero by 48 hours after treatment.
Doing fecals saves money, saves goats, enables goats to thrive versus merely survive, verifies your worming program works, and prevents losses.
Homemade Flotation Solution - Epsom Salt based
5 pounds Epsom Salt
4 Quarts Water
Bring water to a boil and then add the Epson Salt.
Stir and set aside to cool and continue to dissolve the Epsom Salt
Store in a sealed jug at room temperature.