Fecal egg counts indicate the worm burden a horse has in its system. Best done on fresh manure, immediately dropping off a sample to the nearest equine laboratory may not always be an option. Researchers at the University of Sheffield compared the effects of commonly used manure storage methods to see which ones worked the best, reports EQUUS magazine.
Over a period of two weeks, one set of manure samples was stored using chemical fixatives like ethanol and formalin, which are commonly used preservatives in labs. A second set of fecal samples was put in the refrigerator, where many horse owners and caretakers store their manure samples before bringing them to a lab for testing. The number of eggs was counted in each sample before and after storage.
Interestingly, the data showed a significant decrease in egg counts in manure stored in the chemical fixatives, while egg counts in the fridge-stored samples stayed stable for eight days. The exact amount of time a fecal sample can be stored in the fridge before egg counts deplete is unclear, so researchers suggest storing the samples for no more than a week before dropping them off for testing.
Read more at Science Direct.
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