Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Fecal Egg Counts - d-28

Fecal samples were collected from the rectum of each goat on July 6. The samples were labeled, stored on ice, and mailed (overnight) to Delaware State University where Dr. Dahlia Jackson (Small Ruminant Specialist) determined eggs per gram using the Modified McMaster technique.

Egg counts from the July 6 collection ranged from 0 to 7,857 eggs per gram and averaged 1,591 epg. These counts were signficantly higher than those from the initial collection on June 9 when egg counts ranged from 0 to 5,600 epg, but averaged only 634 epg.

table showing egg counts of goats owned by different breedersDespite the high egg scores and poorer FAMACHA© scores (2.15 avg.) on July 6, FAMACHA© scores improved by July 20 (1.94 avg.) and no goat required anthelmintic treatment.

Since the start of the test, only one goat has been dewormed and its need was marginal. Of course, all of the goats were dewormed with moxidectin (Cydectin®) at the start of the test. A third and final fecal sample will be collected from the goats on Friday, August 3.

Fecal egg counts (FEC) are a measure of parasite resistance (the ability to resistant infection), whereas FAMACHA© scores (and packed cell volume/PCV) are a measure of parasite resilience (the ability to resist the effects of infection).

Both traits are considered to be moderately heritable. Both traits are important. Selection is usually for animals with low egg counts, since this trait is more objective and has more variation.

Download 28-day fecal egg report