When animals are infested with internal parasites, the adult worms lay eggs which pass out in the animals' dung. By counting the number of eggs in the faeces, we are able to determine how large the parasite burden is.
Faecal egg counting can be performed on a mob of animals in two ways:
10 individual samples are collected in pottles from 10 animals and then these results are pooled at the lab to give a mob average number – also known as a composite faecal egg count. This is a cost effective technique, most useful for monitoring trends in a mob.
10 individual samples are collected in pottles from 10 different animals and each sample is tested. This will give you an idea of the variability of egg counts and is most useful when doing a post drench check (10 days after drenching to test the effectiveness of the drench).
We have a laboratory testing service for faecal egg counting, which is accessed via a special faecal egg counting testing kit (similar to a self-sampling soil test kit).
Samples collected by the farmer will be sent in a courier pack and results will be sent back to the farmer, with recommendations, via one of our Animal Health Technical Managers.
Testing kits can be ordered from our Customer Centre by phoning 0800 100 123. Kits include sample pottles, and a glove, along with a return courier pack to send your samples to the laboratory for testing.
Your Ravensdown account will be charged for a composite faecal egg counting test upon request of the testing kit. If additional, or alternative, tests are required we can invoice you when these are requested once you have sent your sample to the lab.
The critical part of faecal egg count testing is that the laboratory must receive the faecal samples as soon as possible after collection – this is to avoid worm eggs hatching before arriving in the laboratory.