My guest for this episode is Dr. Talia Fletcher, a Canadian veterinarian, who takes a holistic approach to animals and medicine, that includes knowledge of permaculture and a background in WWOOFING.
During the conversation today, she shares with us what it means to take a holistic approach to veterinary medicine and how it can reduce the need to treat animals, including antibiotic use. She also shares, from her experiences, how to find a good vet, including questions to ask, and how to honor a vets time. Talia also gives advice on how to prepare yourself to have animals on your homestead or permaculture farm.
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The sponsor of the day is Good Seed Company, a business with over 40 years of experience giving us open pollinated, non-GMO seeds. Good Seed Company continues the tradition of providing the types of seeds saved by our ancestors for thousands of years, seeds continue to sustain us today, while contributing to a bountiful future for the generations yet to come. Find out more about the rich history of this company and the importance of seed saving at goodseedco.net, and shop the catalog of ecologically grown organic seeds online. Store.goodseedco.net.
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As you will hear at the end of this episode, I’d like to have Talia back on for a follow-up. If you have veterinary questions and would like to have those included in that conversation, contact me and I’ll forward them to Dr. Fletcher for when she returns. Write to email@example.com.
My take away from this conversation is the ongoing importance of design in our practices to setup up holistic systems. We have a role in selecting for our specific needs for the space as well as the animals we choose to include.
If we are able to create a barn from the ground up, we can work with a vet and other specialists to build a space with good ventilation, access to water, and sited appropriately in the landscape. If we buy a place, modifications may be required, such as rebuilding the interior to change stall spacing, or move doors, but at an increase in time and expense to do so. That is something important to consider. A site may at first glance seem perfect, because it has pre-existing buildings, but consider having a consultation with a vet or barn builder to see what modification costs might be for your specific animal needs. You may find the cost puts the project outside of your budget as compared to another site and building new. Though this initial cost is judged in financial terms, I think more about the importance of a system that lasts for generations, providing a healthy home for humans and the animals that live there.
In picking animals to raise, we have a greater hand in selecting the right breeds for our space, so that they thrive year after year. If you are familiar with permaculture, take your time and do a goals and needs analysis before making any purchases. The time spent planning and researching can save you a lot of work in the long run. As part of that process, as Talia suggests, also plan on how you are going to handle animals that get sick as part of your breeding stock. Will you take an active hand in selecting and breeding? Or will you let nature take it’s course?
As you work through the process of developing your farm or homestead, I’d like to hear what choices you make on including livestock. Get in touch. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, give me a call, 717-827-6266.