Friday, February 15, 2013

Don't Assume Too Much!
 
I was teaching a group about newborn care and colostrum management on Thursday afternoon. A question came  up  about volume of colostrum to feed newborn calves. "Why am I promoting feeding 6 quarts of colostrum to newborn calves?"
 
That question caught me by surprise. I was quite sure I had not included that in a PowerPoint slide. In response to an earlier question I had quoted research from the Bovine Veterinarian on the proportion of calves that would voluntarily drink varying amounts of colostrum - 2 bottles, 1.5 bottles, 1 bottle, 0.5 bottle.
 
After several moments of confused dialog  I asked the  person in the audience, "What size nursing bottle do you use to feed colostrum?" 
 
Assumptions?
I assumed 2-quart bottles.
Person asking question assumed 3-quart bottles since they fed all their calves milk using this size bottles. 
 
I need to write myself a note that should be read just before every one of my public presentations:
Don't  Assume Too Much! 
 
How often when we are training a new worker do we make the mistake of assuming common knowledge about equipment, animals and feeds? 
 
 
    

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