I'm conscious when I write these articles its often the ‘same old, same old’. We know all that stuff is important, tell us something new tommy!!!
Over the last number of years I set off on the quest to find the new magic solutions that were going to be as complicated as the problems they solved.
In this search for eternal veterinary wisdom, I realised the answers where not magical but simple ones. Consistent routines, doing the simple things well and sticking to basic principles.
By the way I'm still looking for more answers and continuing to evolve my thoughts.
If your not bored and still reading, I want to explain why I came to this conclusion?
I didn't stumble upon it or give up trying, I had to dig deep to understand the physiology, epidemiology and pathology of disease. I went further to try and understand one of the key factors which is the psychology of disease control.
Firstly I had to understand my own thinking, what was it?
Was I clear on what I was trying to achieve, was I communicating that message correctly and more importantly was I listening.
Then I had to learn how to connect with farmers using methodology that was going to be effective and most importantly get results.
This was the evolution of ‘being brilliant at the basics’.
My job was to find out what fundamental elements of the plan that could have the most significant impact. I then needed to communicate that message effectively so as my clients realised the impact, change could have.
Then we both needed to maintain the actions to turn them into permanent habits.
The real world!
Of course this was the ideal scenario and we met with the challenges of the real world and all the limitations of the people involved (including myself).
If you apply these principles to the first 24 hours of a calves or lambs live it really becomes about getting the basics right.
A calf or lamb is born without its own natural immune system.
Without an immune system a new born lacks the ability to fight infection.
We have to ensure colostrum is ingested to ensure this immune transfer occurs as soon as possible after birth.
Having colostrum on board at the right time allows newborns fight infections.
The routes of infection to enter the newborn are orally, the navel and the nostrils. Hygiene plays a role here, minimising infections in the environment will leave the new born less at risk.
The navel is a route of infection straight into the liver and bloodstream. We need to disinfect it quickly, make sure it doesn't be overwhelmed by bacteria.
We do this also by focusing on hygiene in calving and lambing pens.
This is more of the same old, same old. However if we focus on the same old same old we can see real results!!!!
In this video I explain these principles!!!!!