We talk all the time about using Famacha eye scores to determine a goat's parasite load. But what if you really need to know for sure how many worms your goats have? Enter fecal egg counts. Fecal egg counts are pretty basic for the people who know what they're doing (i.e. veterinarians) but lay-folk like me wouldn't know the first thing about how to do one.
So here's a video by Parassitologia, using sheep, that explains what you need to send the vet and how to collect it.
If you're also curious about how the fecal egg counts work, check out this video from the UK by ScientifEQ (FYI, they spell fecal with an extra "a" across the pond). The video performs the count on horse manure, but they do a good job explaining how the process works.
The idea behind fecal egg counts is that if you use a microscope to count the number of parasite eggs per unit area it will give you a rough idea of the number of worms in the animal. This method is the accepted standard for getting quantified data on the parasitism of the animal.
But for most commercial operations, fecal egg counts are not economically viable for keeping records on individual goats within the herd. Most veterinarians charge $10-$15 a sample and it takes more work to collect the fecal samples than to check the eyes. Fecal egg counts are most effective, for small operations and large operations that only want to get a rough idea of the parasites in the entire herd. Otherwise, we recommend the Famacha eye score system.