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Offline Tiber

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Re: Worming
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2014, 11:30:42 PM »
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  • we split off a small section in summer when the grass was plentiful, and we picked poo daily; in winter the field was opened up to the horses and we didn't bother picking poo!.

    That's what we do. Small area poo picked in summer and large area left in winter (it's on a steep slope and the muck heap is at the top so would be hell to poo pick). Our muck heap is at the top of the field but in a section the ponies can't get to for most of the year (the top of the summer bit - only open for a few weeks in Spring while the grass is warming up and a few weeks in Autumn while it's slowing down). We leave it on the heap to digest for about 12-18 months then once the ponies move off a section we muck spread and harrow. We mix our muckings out from the ducks and geese as well, so bird poo mixed with feathers and shavings which helps it rot down nicely. By the time we spread it it's mainly good quality compost rather than pooey poo.

    The only time Pip had a medium test we wormed him with Verm-x then retested three weeks later and it came back low, so seems to work for us. They are due their next test at the end of September, so we'll see how they do then. Going by how cresty he is at the moment he's not sharing his food with too many worms.  :whistle:

    Honey, Pip and The Duckies in soggy mid-Wales.

    Offline Tiber

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    Re: Worming
    « Reply #16 on: August 13, 2014, 11:32:11 PM »
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  • If it wasn't for the cost I'd like to test how effective worm counts are by sending in four samples all from the same horse under different names and see how they come back just to see how much variation there is in the results.

    Honey, Pip and The Duckies in soggy mid-Wales.

    Offline Gillb

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    Re: Worming
    « Reply #17 on: September 16, 2014, 10:57:47 AM »
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  • We have done lots of tests like that using samples from our own horses. Worm counting is not an exact science as I'm sure you appreciate, but it is 'good enough' and certainly the best tool we have to help us reduce dosing and get the treatment  correct for those who need it.

    Testing several samples from the same dung heap has produced similar results for us. The numbers won't be quite the same but you could definitely see low, middle or high levels of worm eggs. So you might get 350, 500, 300, 650 but these are all medium counts which would require worming. What is more important is the method used for sampling and then for testing.
    So samples should be taken with tiny pinches from several places in the dung pile and pressed together in the sample container, filling it to the top to exclude air.
    The test should involve spinning the samples in a centrifuge in the lab to give a more accurate result. Simple strained methods will not capture as many eggs.
    We once tested samples from a yard and found numerous medium counts. Due to a mix up the yard was also tested by a local person who goes around visiting yards though I don't know which method she was using. She pronounced them all clear!
    All our tests and results are reported honestly so you would not need to send under different names if you wanted to check us out. Our mission is and always has been to improve knowledge and practice of horse worm control among owners.
    Just to say, the new tapeworm test is a wonderful invention. We are doing a study on our horses which is proving really interesting. Most of them were fine but my pony had an unexpected high tapeworm burden. As he had been treated with praziquantel in March it was quite a surprise to find this. At least I could deal with it once we knew it was there. I would recommend the test to everyone.
    I hope that helps. Keep routine testing instead of routine worming.




    Westgate Labs postal worm counts: www.westgatelabs.co.uk

    Visit our new website!

    Beth

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    Re: Worming
    « Reply #18 on: September 16, 2014, 03:48:24 PM »
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  • Very interesting thread thank you!