The Texas A&M AgriLife Research Fecal Egg Count Laboratory, or FEC lab, has launched a website with instructional videos. The lab, which opened last month, provides fecal egg counting services for sheep and goat producers.
This analysis is key to building natural resistance to parasites in a flock, according to AgriLife Research experts. The FEC lab is housed at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in San Angelo.
“We are excited to be able to provide this genetic selection tool to the sheep industry,” said Jake Thorne, AgriLife Research sheep and goat associate, San Angelo. “Our website is now complete and contains videos and instructional information on collecting and submitting samples, all in an attempt to make this service as easy as possible for the producer.”
The cost for evaluation is $5 per sample. Samples should be sent to the AgriLife Research and Extension Center at San Angelo using an overnight express mail or delivery service in a Styrofoam cooler with cool packs. Samples however cannot be frozen. Forms and additional instructions are on the website.
Contact the lab at 325-653-4576 during business hours if you prefer to drop off samples in person. Samples are analyzed within seven days of arrival.
Thorne said fecal egg counts allow producers to identify which animals are more resistant to gastrointestinal nematodes, including barber’s pole worm, which can help producers make better breeding decisions and reduce anthelmintic use.
“We encourage producers to submit samples from contemporary groups to best detect variation and to better identify superior and inferior animals for this trait,” Thorne said.
The FEC lab does not conduct diagnostic testing; those testing needs should be directed to Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory.