This page was last updated on: January 7, 2008
Make sure you collect a fresh specimen (less than 24 hours old) For a reasonable and realistic sample of the flock, samples should be collected from a minimum of 10 individual sheep. If you are wanting to test just one lamb (as in the case of a 4-H project) Fecal samples can be collected directly from the rectum of selected animal using a gloved hand. An individual sample should be a heaped teaspoonful of fecal material.
If you are interested in ordering a kit that includes every thing you need (except the microscope) to conduct your on-the-farm fecal studies go to www.farmsteadhealth.com
(This is the kit we ordered, it even has a chart with pictures of the common parasites in ruminants. The cost was $27.95)
Below are 3 images you might see under the microscope that aren't parasites.
Making Your Own Saturated Solution of Salt for Fecal Flotation
We use Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate)
1. Take a pint or quart jar with lid and fill it partially full of water
2. Pour a quantity of salt to the water
(Add enough salt so that undissolved salt remains in the bottom of the container)
3. Check and shake the solution in the container every few hours.
4.Add more salt if there isn't a generous layer of salt still on the bottom
5. Continue the process at room temperature over a period of 24 hours or more
6. The water is considered saturated when no more salt crystals will dissolve in it with continued shaking.
7.The fluid is then withdrawn from the jar, leaving the undissolved salt behind.
8.The saturated salt solution is now ready to use in preparation of the sample for placement on the slide.
Note: Excess solution can be stored in the refrigerator for further use.
“The ParaSite ” Is another great website containing pictures sorted by host species of eggs and oocysts of goats, sheep, cattle, cats and dogs. Click here to go to the site