FAECAL EGG COUNT FACTS
WHEN IS IT IMPORTANT TO CARRY OUT FEC?
For sheep, there are some key times when FEC can be particularly useful. We know that the worm egg count will rise around lambing time when ewes are under stress.
Testing at this time gives an idea of the level of increase of worm eggs and will help determine the parasite burden that will therefore be present in the lambing field.
Lambs will not show significant infection from pasture until around five or six weeks of age – in fact, some advice suggests that FEC is not worthwhile until lambs are at least 10 weeks of age. Ideally, FEC samples should be taken every four to six weeks after this time to monitor any increase in epg and give warning of any potential worm infection. If epg shows a big jump from one sample to the next, but lambs still look OK, you may want to take another test at a shorter interval to find out what is happening. Be aware that stress – such as torrential rain for a day after several weeks of good weather – can affect the FEC result giving an artificially high epg.
The FEC service provides is a preventative health measure for animals that may become susceptible to secondary ailments. Therefore, by using FEC the keeper can potentially save money on veterinary and medicinal costs. FEC can save cost on unnecessary routine worming and thereby reduce the risk to anthelmintic resistance.
Minimise the impact of parasites on production
Assist with drenching decisions – when to treat
Contamination Awareness - parasite levels across farm