Worms inside infected sheep produce eggs that enter the gut and are passed by the sheep in its faeces (dung).
Counting eggs is used to estimate the worm burden of an individual sheep.
It also tells you how many eggs fall onto a pasture grazed by sheep.
Although the procedure of counting eggs is fairly simple it does require some equipment, including a microscope, and skills in their use.
Interpretation of the results is quite complex and woolgrowers should seek advice on the results of egg count tests.
The technique involves several steps which will be illustrated as the SCIPS website develops. Clicking on red text will give you more detail on each step.
The steps are:
- Collect a sample of faeces
- Make a suspension of faeces in saturated salt solution.
- Transfer the suspension to a counting chamber
- Place the slide on a microscope stage and focus on the eggs
- Count the eggs in 5 rows of the chamber
- Know what other structures appear in faeces
- Test you skills in an online faecal egg count simulator
- Or download (PC only) the offline version (no additional software required):
Faecal Egg Count Simulator (Windows version)
- Calculate the egg count in eggs per gram of faeces