Fecal egg count analyses for the purpose of genetic improvement, including flocks/herds enrolled in NSIP
Analyses of fecal egg counts (FEC) for the primary purpose of genetic improvement through the National Sheep Improvement Program (NSIP) for Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs), or to determine FEC reduction in response to deworming with an anthelmintic, is available through ACSRPC members who have laboratories. The fee is $5/sample. Others are welcome to submit fecal samples. It is understood that the results are reported as numbers only without interpretation or consultation. For those who want to do their own fecal egg counting, information and the proper technique is available at https://web.uri.edu/sheepngoat/files/Using-FEC_-Final2.pdf.
Directions to collect and prepare fecal samples for submission:
For NSIP FEC, collect fecal samples (https://web.uri.edu/sheepngoat/files/Fecal-Sample-Collection-Express-Shipment-Overnight_FINAL.pdf) at the first signs of parasitism (increasing FAMACHA© scores) and a 2nd sample 30 to 45 days after the first. This will usually be between 60 and 90 days of age for lambs on pasture, and 30 to 45 days after turning out from barn (this applies to the Katahdin breed and may differ for goats or wool sheep). Fecal samples should be collected directly from the rectum. It is best to use a glove with lubricant. Pull out at least 3 to 4 large pellets and place them in a small plastic bag with all the air squeezed out, loosely tied. Label the bag clearly, making sure the ID number does not smear). The samples for FEC analysis can be stored in the refrigerator (never in the freezer) for up to 7 days before being shipped. Before shipping, wrap samples in newspaper, then pack ice packs around the newspaper. Samples not stored in the refrigerator can result in egg hatching, mold accumulation, and inaccurate FEC results. Please clearly label the name of your farm with your address on the outside of the box and notify the lab when shipped. Ship UPS or FedEx overnight on a Monday or Tuesday to ensure delivery by weeks end and obtain tracking information.
Laboratories for sample submission:
Department of Pathobiological Sciences
c/o Dr. Adriano Vatta
School of Veterinary Medicine
Louisiana State University
Skip Bertman Drive
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center
c/o Dr. Reid Redden
7887 US Highway 87 N
San Angelo, TX 76901
West Virginia University
Division of Animal and Nutritional Sciences
c/o Dr. Scott Bowdridge
1194 Evansdale Drive
2213 Ag Science Bldg
Morgantown, WV 26506
FREE fecal egg count analyses
If you are an NSIP producer in the Northeast or an NSIP producer anywhere in the U.S. who has sold or sells sheep in the Northeast, fecal egg counts can be done at no cost to you except shipping if you participate in the USDA-SARE project on parasite control at the University of Rhode Island. For information on how to participate in this program, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or download the 2021 flyer.