Saturday, November 12, 2011

Counting eggs–before they hatch

I’ve been lax with my blogging again – so much to post, so little time to prod the muse…

So here’s one to start with and to try to help get back into the habit.


One of the problems that we have to live with. We do a reasonable job of keeping on top of the wretched things but, every so often, they strike back. We’ve lost two young animals over the last year, both members of the show team and both victims of a strain of Ivermectin resistant Stongyles.

Added to this, we’ve been having an issue with diagnosis, not with our vet who is excellent, but with the path lab who lost samples at least twice and, on one occasion, sent back results that were clearly wrong – probably mixed up with another sample.

So, as the old saying goes, if you want a job done properly, do it yourself.

We now do our own routine testing. Here’s the setup…


After a lot of reading on the subject and borrowing a kit from Ambersun (thanks guys…) to try out, we decided to source our own.

The microscope came from AmScope in the USA (via their EBay store) - a nice bit of kit at a very good price. Getting it through eBay meant that the camera was included allowing it to be linked to the laptop in the picture – very useful when the old eyes are getting bit tired.

The egg counting kit came from Chalex, again in the US Easy to use and simple to follow instructions.

All we added to this were a couple of extra bits from Chinese ebay stores – a set of digital jewellers scales (about $15) and a calibration slide so that I could measure things – a benefit of this is being able to use the kit to do very basic fleece testing.

A Stongyles egg from one of our girls captured with our testing kit

And that’s really all there is to it (apart from the lingering smell in the house after a testing session).

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