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Duration (approx) 600 hours
Qualification Certificate


The Certificate in Animal Husbandry is an entry level course suitable for students who wish to gain knowledge related to companion animals and livestock.

 The qualification consists of 600 hours of study divided into core and elective modules of study.

Core studies include the study of animal anatomy and physiology, animal health care, and animal feed and nutrition. Elective units are chosen to direct studies toward the student's area of interest.

Elective units may include Horse Care I, II and III; Animal Breeding; Dairy Cattle; Beef Cattle; Pigs; Calf Rearing; Sheep; Recognising Animal Diseases; and Natural Animal Health Care.

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Study in your own home at your own pace.
Learn from industry experts - our tutors!  
Understand more about animal husbandry.
Gain a useful qualification in the agriculture field.
To gain the Certificate in Animal Husbandry, you have to complete six modules. 
There is an assignment at the end of each lesson, which you should complete and send to your tutor for marking.
Your tutor can offer advice throughout the course.
At the end of each module, there is also an examination. 
Core Modules
Please click on the course title for more information on the courses.

Elective Modules

You also need to complete three modules chosen from the following -
Please note that each course listed is a module is its own right and can be studied individually.

Animal Husbandry I

The eleven lessons in this unit are:
  1. Introduction to cells & tissues - Livestock classes, livestock products, interrelationship between crops and livestock, cells and tissues, special properties of cells, osmosis, nutrient waste.
  2. The Digestive System - Digestive system, mouth, tongue, teeth, oesophagus, simple stomach, small intestine, large intestine, ruminant stomach, accessory organs of the digestive system, digestion, absorption and utilisation in the simple stomach, enzymes, breakdown by microorganisms, digestion, absorption and utilisation in the ruminant stomach, mechanical action, action of micro-organisms, utilisation of the end products of digestion,
  3. The Circulatory System - Circulatory system, composition of blood, functions of blood, clotting mechanism, immunity, blood vessels, arteries, veins, capillaries, physiology of the circulatory system, rates of heart beats, spleen, lymphatic system, circulatory networks.
  4. The Urinary System - Anatomy of the urinary system, kidneys, ureter, bladder, physiology of urinary system, excretion in different animals.
  5. The Nervous System - central and peripheral nervous system, main parts of the nervous system, neurons, sensory neurons, motor neurons, central nervous system, the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nervous system, cranial nerves, spinal nerves, autonomic nervous system, reflex actions, endocrine system, structure and function of the ear, hearing, structure and function of the eye, the iris, structure and function of the nose.
  6. Respiration - Anatomy of respiration, trachea, bronchial tree, lungs, physiology of respiration, gaseous exchange, rate and depth of breathing.
  7. The Reproductive System - Anatomy of the male reproductive system, testes, accessory organs, penis, physiology of male reproductive system, hormone production, sperm production, erection, ejaculation, fertility problems in males, venereal diseases, other diseases, injury, physical immaturity, emotional immaturity, nutrition, poor handling, anatomy of female reproductive system, ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, cervix, physiology of the female reproductive system, ovulation, oestrus cycle, fertility problems, difficulties conceiving, venereal and other diseases, physical abnormalities, nutrition, inability to carry a foetus to full term, pregnancy and parturition, fertilisation, pregnancy, parturition,birth process, difficult births, structure of the mammary glands, secretion of milk, milk ejection, reproduction data for cows, sows and ewes.
  8. Muscles & Meat - Muscles and meat, smooth muscle, striated voluntary muscle, cardiac muscle, structure of meat, dressing out percentage, composition of the beef animal, meat quality and tenderness, juiciness, flavour, cuts and joints of meat.
  9. The Skeleton - Bones, how bones are formed, anatomy of bones, fractures and fracture healing, five types of bone, joints of bone, the skeleton, dentition, the dental formula, cattle, dental formula of an ox and cow, eruption of permanent teeth, pigs.
  10. Animal Growth, Development, and the Endocrine System - Growth and development, growth curve, prenatal growth, post-natal growth, fat, factors which affect the size of newborns, factors affecting post-natal growth, early maturing, compensatory growth, endocrine system, pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, thymus, adrenal bodies, pancreas, testes, ovaries, pineal body, mucous membrane of the stomach.
  11. Comparing Different Animals - Poultry, digestion, gullet, crop, proventriculus, gizzard, intestine, caecum, rectum, incubating eggs, natural incubation, symptoms of a broody hen, fish. 



There are ten lessons as follows:

1. Introduction to Animal Health -
Learn to describe common diseases affecting farm animals and the circumstances under which animals contract these diseases - the healthy animal, causes of ill health, preventing ill health

2. Signs & Symptoms of Diseases -
The physical symptoms of diseases in farm animals - common methods of handling animals during health assessments, recognising ill health, restraining a horse, sheep handling facilities

3. Disease Classification -
Methods used in classifying animal diseases –
viral diseases, bacterial diseases, parasitic diseases, protozoal diseases, disease types in beef cattle, diseases in sheep

4. Causes and Diagnosis of Disease -
The causes of disease and the relevant methods of diagnosis - examining cattle, examining a horse, ticks, tick-borne diseases, diagnosis of diseases

5. Treatment of Disease -
Methods used in the treatment of diseases in farm animals - vaccination, the animal first aid kit, tetanus antiserum, animal nursing, quarantine, slaughter, post mortem, disease prevention in cattle, disease prevention in sheep, treatment of parasites in sheep

6. Inflammation -
Outline the nature and causes of inflammation in farm animals - the inflammatory response, causes of inflammation, types of inflammation, symptoms of inflammation, inflammatory exudate, treatment of inflammation

7. Fever and Immunity -
The biological mechanisms underlying fever and the immune system in farm animals - the fever mechanism, other temperature related disorders, effect of temperature on enzymes, immunity

8. Tissue Repair -
The biological mechanisms underlying tissue repair in farm animals - healing of a clean incised wound, healing of an open wound, common horse ailments to recognise

9. Wounds -
The biological mechanisms of wounds in farm animals and address different treatment methods for repair of common ailments - types of wounds, first aid treatments, bandaging horses, emergencies

10. Cell changes -
The causes and biological mechanisms of cell change in farm animals - neoplasms, tumours and cancers, the course of an infectious disease, death, cancers etc.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


Terms and Definitions
Groups of Foods
Other Terms That Are Used
Food Processing Terms

Carbohydrates as a Source Of Energy
Fats and Oils
Adipose Tissue Deposits in Animals
Fat Deposits in Different Animals

Composition of Proteins
The Build Up Of Proteins
Biological Value of Protein
Protein Content of Foods
The Function of Protein
Feeding Urea to Ruminants
Major Minerals
Trace Elements

Analysis of Feed Stuffs
Calculating Digestibility
Protein Value
Energy Value
Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods

Cereals and Cereal By-Products
Brewing By-Products        
Grasses, Legumes and Succulents
Other Succulent Foods
Roughage, Hay, Silage and Dried Grass

Oil and Legume Seeds
Oil Seeds and Their Products
Legume Seeds

Fodder Trees and Animal Products
Fodder Trees and Shrubs
Animal Products

The Object of Rationing
Nutritional Requirements of the Animal
Calculating a Maintenance Ration
Cattle at Pasture
Working Out Rations for a Herd

Nutrient Requirements for a Dairy Cow
Working Out the Total Requirements
Feeding a Ration to Meet Nutrient Needs
The Dairy Ration

Ready Mix Feeds
Using Protein Contents
A Summary of Rationing
Further Considerations in Rationing



Course Structure:

There are twelve lessons as follows:

1. Introduction to Animal Health Care

Includes: animal welfare and control; veterinary services; code of practice; transporting animals.

2. Common Health Problems in farm animals and pets

Includes: causes of ill health, injury, pains, conditions, nutritional problems; living organisms; parasites; family pets common conditions; dogs; cats; caged birds; aquarium fish; mice; wild animals common conditions; reptiles.

3. Animal Behaviour

Includes: communication in dogs; scent; barking; body language; handling cats; bird language; types of behaviour; time orientation; space orientation; territorial behaviour; aggression; horse psychology.

4. Signs of Ill Health

Includes: vital signs, the healthy animal; signs & symptoms of diseases; recognising ill health; diagnosis of diseases; taking smears, taking tissue samples; diagnosis and control of different types of diseases including viruses; bacteria; protozoa; parasites; mites; fleas.

5. Veterinary Facilities

Includes: first aid kit; record management; enclosure for animals; environmental requirements.

6. Safety Procedures

Includes: duty of care; lifting heavy weights; reducing back injury, protective equipment; dealing with chemicals; skin penetrating injuries; risk categories; separating animals; disposal of dead/infected tissues; dangerous non-animal wastes; storage and handling of medicines; handling larger animals.

7 Administration of Animal Health

Includes: animal insurance; quarantine; importing animals; managing a veterinary office; telephone usage; record keeping; filing information.

8. Animal First Aid

Includes: types of wounds; cuts; punctures; tears; treating and cleaning wounds; granulating wounds; stitching a wound; bone and joint problems; broken bones; tendon injury; poisoning; restraining animals during first aid; restraining cats; restraining dogs; restraining horses; restraining cattle; restraining sheep.

9. Preventative Health Care

Includes: diet; insect control; dip; vaccinate; avoid stressing livestock; vaccination.

10. Routine Health Treatments

Includes: desexing; castration; vasectomy; spaying; tubal ligation; castration of cats, dogs; pregnancy; gestation periods; euthanasia; anaesthesia and analgesia; preparing an animal for surgery; sterilising equipment; castrating a colt.

11. Health Problems in Domestic Pets

Includes: burns; urinary tract infections; shock; electrolytes, ticks; reptiles; fish problems.

12. Rehabilitation Care

Includes: animal nursing, planning a recovery.


There are seven lessons as follows:
1. Horse Psychology and Handling
  • The Horses's memory
  • Using Psychology to handle the horse
  • Handling the horse in various situations
  • Catching a horse
  • Putting on a head stall or halter
  • Leading a horse
  • Putting on a bridle
  • Taking off a bridle
  • Saddling and unsaddling
  • Tying up a horse
  • Safety
2. Buying A Horse
  • Temperament
  • Size and weight carrying ability
  • Age and sex
  • Colour and marking
  • Breed
3. Conformation
  • Factors affecting conformation
  • Ideal conformation
  • How to describe conformation
4. The Digestive System and the Principles Of Feeding and Watering
  • The alimentary canal
  • Absorption of Food
  • Groups of Nutrients
  • Composition of some common feeds
  • Principles of Watering
  • Principles of Feeding
  • Ideal proportions of food types
  • Calculating Rations
5. The Grass Kept Horse & Pasture Management
  • Develop appropriate procedures to manage a horse at grass
  • Advantages of Working off Grass
  • Disadvantages of Working off Grass
  • Paddock size
  • Types of Fencing
  • The supply of water
  • Shelter
  • General Management
  • Exercise and grooming
  • Land Conservation
  • Other factors
  • Roughing off and turning out
6. Grooming
  • The skin
  • How the Skin Regulates Body Temperature
  • Grooming Tools and methods
  • Washing the mane and tail
  • Caring for grooming tools
7. Industry Applications
  • Explain commercial opportunities available in the horse industry
  • Resources
  • Writing resumes
  • Competition horses
  • Educating horses
  • Breeding
  • Farm planning
  • Quality management systems
  • Whole Farm planning
  • Preparing farm business plan
  • Managing risk
  • Sensitivity Analysis
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial records 


There are eight lessons in this module as follows:

1. Introduction to Animal Care

Laws and licenses, Animal Charities and Societies (e.g. RSPCA, WSPA, Blue Cross), Pet Care Needs (feeding, Watering, Shelter, Containment, Fencing, Caging, Protection), Maintaining Health, Hygiene

2. Cats

Breeds (Lang Haired, Semi Long Haired, Short Haired, Oriental etc), Cat Selection, Allergies, Containment, Sexing, Desexing, Breeding, Newborn Kittens, Exercise, Behaviour, Hygiene, Feed and nutrition, Amount of food, Watering, Grooming, Traveling, Care for a sick cat (Signs of illness, Temperature, Common ailments, Skin disorders, Ticks), Cats and wildlife.

3. Dogs

Dog Selection, Breeds (Pure and mixed), Varying size and temperament, Grooming, Skin care, Inherited traits (aggression, deafness), Containment, Breeding, Desexing, Exercise, Behaviour, Feeding, Canine Nutrition, Bones, Watering, Training, Travelling, Identifying sickness, etc.

4. Birds

Bird Selection, Breeds (eg. Canaries, Finches, Budgerigars, Small Parrots etc), Sexing, Desexing, Containment (Aviaries –selection, design, size, management), Feed, Feeding, Watering, Grooming (Wing trim, Beak Trim, Nail Trim), Hygiene, Catching and Restraining, Traveling, Caring for the Sick Bird, Signs of illness, Temperature, Supportive therapy, Common Ailments (eg. Abscesses, Alopecia, Apoplexy, Aspergillosis, Breathlessness, Constipation, Parasites), Safety in the Home,

5. Fish

Fish Selection, Inside or Outside, Warm or Cold water, Number of fish, Types of fish (Tropical, Marine, Cold Water), Costs, Size, Equipment, Tanks, Ponds, Pumps, Aquariums, Night lights, Water quality, Changing Water, Feed (Pelleted, live feed –Daphnia, Brine Shrimp), Illnesses (Fungal, Bacterial, Parasites, Environmental) 6. Rabbits Rabbit Breeds (Large, Small and Dwarf), Selection, Legality (Illegal in some areas), Containment (Hutch or Cage), Environment (temperature etc), Feeding, Nutrition, Watering, Feed quantities and routine, Grooming, Handling, Moulting, Transporting, Sexing, Breeding, Identifying illness (Coccidiosis, Snuffles, Myxomatosisis, Sore Hocks, Pasteurellosis, Ear Canker, Heat Stroke, Cannibalism, Calcivirus Disease), Care of sick rabbits, etc.

7. Reptiles and Amphibians

Types (eg. Salamander, Frogs, Venomous snakes, Non-venomous snakes, Shingle-backed lizard, Tortoises, Terrapins, Axolotls, etc), Selection, Legal Issues, Housing, Environmental requirements (Moisture, Humidity, Warmth, etc), Terrariums, Problems (eg. Dehydration, Stress, External and internal parasites, Blisters, Scale Rot, Mouth Rot or Canker, Colds/pneumonia, Constipation and diarrhea, Cannibalism,Incomplete sloughing of the skin -shedding of the skin); Feed and feeding, General Care,

8. Guinea Pigs, Hamsters and Mice

Varieties, Selection, Containment, Sexing, Breeding, Grooming, Feeding, Watering, Illness (eg. Skin Problems, Abscesses, Mites, Ringworm, Fleas, Respiratory Infection, Vitamin C Deficiency, Otitis, Salmonella, Stripping etc)


There are eight lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction: Influences and motivation.
    • What is behaviour
    • Causes of behaviour (genetics, learning, external and internal influences)
    • Reactive, active and cognitive behaviour
    • Conditioning
  1. Genetics and Behaviour.
    • Understanding biology
    • Natural selection
    • Genetic variation
    • Development of behaviour
    • Behavioural genetics
  1. Animal Perception and Behaviour
    • How animals perceive things
    • What stimulates them and how do those stimuli function
    • Instinct
    • Neural control
    • Sensory processes, sight, sound, hearing etc.
  1. Behaviour and the Environment.
    • Coordination
    • Orientation
    • Homeostasis
    • Acclimatisation
    • Circadian rhythms
    • Biological clocks
    • Reproductive cycles etc.
  1. Social Behaviour.
    • Animal Societies
    • Aggression
    • Social constraints
    • Social order
    • Play
    • Biological clocks
    • Communication
  1. Instinct and Learning.
    • Conditioning and learning
    • Extinction and habituation
    • Instrumental learning
    • Reinforcement
    • Operant behaviour
    • Biological and cognitive aspects of learning
  1. Handling Animals.
    • Psychological effects of different handling techniques
    • Training animals (horses, cats, dogs etc).
    • The student has a choice of which types of animals to focus on, though a variety will still be covered.
  1. Behavioural Problems.
    • Abnormal behaviour (eg. Psychotic, neurotic)
    • Domestication of animals
    • Reducing human contact
    • Reducing human dependence


This course is divided into 10 lessons, as follows;

1. Introduction to beef cattle and beef cattle breeds - The role of beef cattle in agriculture; Scientific classification; Examples of breeds worldwide; British Beef breeds - Angus, Hereford, South Devon, Sussex, Red Poll; U.S. Developed Beef breeds - Santa Gertrudis, American Brahman, Amerifax, Beefmaster; European Beef breeds - Salers, Charolais, Simmental, Gelbvieh; Australian Beef breeds - Braford, Beefmaster, Droughtmaster, Murray Grey, Australian Lowline; South African Beef Breeds - Salorn, Tswana, Tuli, Afrikander; Breed selection c0nsiderations - horned vs poll, colour, gestation length, birth weight, mothering ability, post weaning growth, meat quality etc.

2. Beef Cattle Production Systems- Various systems of production - extensive, intensive, semi-intensive; Choosing a suitable system - considerations include size, climate, soils, transport, markets etc; Cattle handling facilities; Materials used in cattle handling; Cattle identification - branding, ear marking, tattooing, ear tags; De-horning - chemical and mechanical; Castration, dips and dipping, and injecting cattle

3. Beef Cattle Breeding - Heritability, performance testing, progeny testing, selection; Pure versus cross breeding - advantages and disadvantages; Calving percentage; Management factors to improve calving percentage; Weaning Calves; Factors affecting calf weaning; The anatomy of the male reproductive system; The physiology of the male reproductive system; Fertility problems in the male; The anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system; Fertility problems; Pregnancy and parturition; The structure of the mammary glands; Secretion of milk; Growth and development; Post natal growth; Compensatory growth

4. Diseases in Beef Cattle (Viral and Bacterial) - Determining health status of the animal; Signs of a healthy animal; Causes of ill-health; Injury, poor nutrition, poisoning, parasites, hereditary conditions etc; Preventing ill-health; Correct feed and nutrition, insect control, parasite control, vaccinations, control stress etc

5. Parasitic and Other Diseases in Beef Cattle - Some parasitic diseases; Other ailments of cattle - actinobacillosis, anaplasmosis, arthritis, beef measles; Poisoning, Pink eye, Milk fever, bloat etc

6. Nutrition in Beef Cattle - Feed type - Roughages and concentrates; Carbohydrates, protein, fats; Grass or grain feeding; Rations for beef cattle - maintenance or production rations; Maintenance rations; Procedure for calculating a ration; Supplementary feeding of protein; Lot; Feeding; Minerals; Common macromineral deficiencies; Common trace mineral deficiencies; Diagnosis of trace mineral deficiencies; Vitamins; Water for farm animals; Protein

7. Commercial Herd Management - The breeding herd; Production systems; Cow-calf herd; Beef production systems using dairy stock

8. Feed Lot Management - Lot feeding - types of feedlot; Managing cattle in a feedlot; Feedlot Records; Article on pen feeding in South Africa

9. Stud Herd Management - Time of calving; Feeding; Fertility; Indicators of fertility in bulls
Indicators of fertility in cows; Management, Economics and Marketing; Profitability; Factors affecting gross output; Factors affecting variable costs


Lesson 1: Calving and Culling

  • Introduction
  • Research into raising dairy calves
  • Principles of good calf rearing
  • Pre-calving management
  • Managing the cow for a healthy calf
  • Colostrum management
  • Calf selection
  • Estimated Breeding Value (EBV)
  • Culling
  • Assessing calves for suitability in a rearing system

Lesson 2: Calving Management

  • The birth of a calf
  • Signs that the birth is close
  • Stages in a normal birth
  • Calving problems
  • Important points
  • Abnormal presentations
  • The calf at birth
  • Colostrum
  • Stress and pathogen exposure
  • Managing stress
  • Managing pathogen exposure
  • The calf digestive tract
  • Rumen development
  • Bacteria
  • Liquid in the rumen
  • Outflows of rumen materials
  • Absorptive qualities
  • Substrate (Dry feed Intake)

Lesson 3: Calf Health Management

  • Overview
  • Common calf diseases
  • Scours
  • Coccidiosis
  • Round Worm Scours
  • Lung worm
  • Calf diptheria
  • Pneumonia
  • Clostridial Disease
  • salmonella
  • Navel and joint ill
  • Stress and the young calf
  • Transport stress
  • Feeding stress
  • Heat and cold

Lesson 4: Calf Rearing Systems

  • Birth to weaning
  • Natural Systems of Calf Rearing
  • Single suckling
  • Multiple suckling
  • Foster suckling
  • Race suckling
  • Early weaning
  • Artificial systems of calf rearing
  • Teaching the calf to drink
  • A basic Feeding program
  • Milk Substitute
  • Common calf rearing systems
  • Rearing calves at grass
  • Five and a half day system
  • Once a day system
  • Cold milk system
  • Acidified milk replacers
  • Mildly acidic milk replacers
  • Strongly acidic milk replacers
  • Milk-fed veal production

Lesson 5: Calf Housing

  • Ventilation
  • Isolation
  • Comfort
  • Economy
  • Calf Pens
  • Metal crates
  • The calf hutch

Lesson 6: Weaning

  • Stress at weaning
  • General weaning transition strategies
  • Providing water
  • Weaning at twelve and eight weeks
  • Weaning at five weeks
  • Weaning at four weeks

Lesson 7: Post-weaning

  • Post weaning period
  • Calf husbandry practices
  • Reducing surgical stress
  • Cattle identification
  • Castration
  • Bloodless castration
  • Surgical Castration
  • Dehorning
  • When to dehorn
  • Dehorning instruments and equipment
  • Tetanus
  • Vaccination and Worming


There are 9 lessons as follows:

1. Dairy Breeds
Comparison of dairy breeds: the Ayrshire, Guernsey, jersey, Holstein – Friesian, A.F.S. (Australian Friesian Sahiwal), Illawarra, judging cattle: general appearance, dairy character, the udder.

2. Dairy Products
The composition of milk: protein, lactose, ash, factors affecting the composition of milk: environmental and physiological factors.

3. The Lactation Cycle
Explain the management of the lactation cycle in dairy cattle, on a farm property. The influence of the farmer on lactation, infertile cows, feeding, the milking shed, planning for feed- flow

4. Pests & Diseases of Dairy Cattle
Manage the wellbeing of a dairy cow, including consideration of its health and vigour, to optimise quality and quantity of production (Part a – pests & diseases), mastitis, correct treatment techniques, dry cow therapy, viral & bacterial diseases in cattle, disease types in cattle.

5. Feeding Dairy Cattle
Manage the wellbeing of a dairy cow, consideration of its health and vigour, to optimise quality and quantity of production (Part b - nutrition), working out dairy rations, maintenance requirements for a dairy cow, the dairy ration, working out the cost of dairy rations

6. Managing Dairy Cattle
Manage general husbandry operations for the dairy cow, managing the heifer, age of breeding, management of the dairy cow, factors affecting the milk yield.

7. Breeding Dairy Cattle
Explain the significance of animal breeding programs for milk production, selection, artificial selection, regression, disadvantages of inbreeding, performance testing, artificial insemination, ova transplants.

8. Managing Dairy Facilities
Explain the management of the facilities, including buildings and machinery at a farm dairy, basic requirements of all dairies, cooling of milk, machine milking, components of a milking machine, choosing a system, different types of systems.

9. Dairy Business Planning
Develop a business plan for the management of a dairy property, economics of dairying, business plan example.


There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction To Aquaculture

    • Scope and nature of freshwater aquaculture
    • Resources ... references, organisations around the world
    • Equipment and material suppliers
  2. Production Systems - EP and IP
    • Open, semi closed and closed systems
    • Extensive production
    • Intensive production
    • Water containment ... earth, concrete,wood, brick, stone, fibre-glass, liners, etc
    • Dams and Water Storage ... siting, site
  3. What Species To Farm
    • Selection criteria
    • Climate
    • Water resources
    • Finance
    • Scale of operation
    • Other resources: manpower, knowledge, support services, etc.
    • Market demand and access
    • Ecological considerations
    • Risk Considerations
    • Review of different fish ...We review many fish and other species suited to farming in Australia,the UK and other countries), including...
    • Trout
    • Rainbow trout
    • Brown Trout
    • Bass
    • Catfish
    • Carp
    • Cod
    • River Blackfish
    • Marron
    • Algae
  4. Trout
    • Three main Trout species
    • Farming Trout
    • Water
    • Determining flow in source water
    • Water temperature
    • Water dissolved oxygen
    • Stocking rates for production pools
    • Spawning trout
    • Checking the fish
    • Stripping technique
    • Fertilisation of Ova
    • Hatching Ova
    • From hatch to free swimming stage
    • Feed
    • After free swim stage
  5. Barramundi
    • Industry perspective
    • Breeding and growth rates
    • Induced breeding ... hormone injection
    • Growth
    • Fry management and after care
    • Grow out
    • Pond rearing for larvae
    • Barramundi diseases and parasites
  6. Bass
    • Varieties ... Australian bass, American loudmouth, smallmouth
    • Habitat requirements ... temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH
    • Natural spawning cycle
    • Controlled spawning
    • Harvesting
  7. Freshwater Crayfish
    • Scope and nature of crustacean aquaculture
    • Marron and Yabbie
    • Conditions ... water, temperature, pH, salinity, dissolved oxygen, organic loading, water clarity, pod size
    • Initial breeding stocks
    • Production potential
    • Stocking rates
    • Breeding
    • Growth
    • Feeding
    • Composts for Marron feeding
    • Red Claw
    • Yabbie
    • Spiny Freshwater Crayfish
  8. Setting Up A Fish Farm
    • Land and water
    • Water requirements
    • Extensive production dams
    • Intensive production pools and raceways
    • Cages
    • Biological filtration systems
    • Filter efficiency
    • Clearing turbid water in dams
    • Protecting fish
    • Improving genetic quality of fish
    • Economics of establishing and running an aquaculture farm
    • Financial Management
    • Financial Institutions
    • Better planning
    • Economics
    • What to Plan for
    • Production
    • Marketing
  9. Fish Foods & Feeding
    • Scope and nature
    • Pelleted feed
    • Live feed
    • Brine shrimp
    • Daphnia
    • Worms
    • Night lights
    • Fishmeal
    • Oil meals
    • Fish food production
    • Beef heart
    • Legumes
    • Seafood and vegetable mix
    • Earthworm and Compost production
  10. Harvesting
    • Introduction
    • Harvesting techniques ... seine nets, gill nets, traps, long lines, funnel trap, flyke trap, etc
    • Fish pumps
    • Mechanical graders
    • Fish health management
    • Review of diseases ... salmonids, barramundi, trout, carp, etc


There are 8 lessons in this module as follows:

Lesson 1. Introduction to Natural Animal Health Care

  • Limitations of Conventional Medicine
  • Holistic Treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Flower Essences
  • Naturopathy
  • Natural Nutrition
  • Tactile Therapy (Massage, Equine Tactile Therapy, Bowen Therapy, Canine Myofunctional Therapy, Physiotherapy, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, Microcurrent, Microwave Therapies, Ayurvedic Medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine)
  • Benefits of Natural Health Care
  • Codes of Practice for Animal Welfare
  • Health and Safety in Veterinary Practice (Separating Animals, Infectious Diseases, Containing Disease, Disposal of Dead/Infected Tissues, Dangerous non-Animal Wastes, Storage & Handling of Supplements/Equipment).

Lesson 2. Signs of Ill Health

  • Normal Vital Signs
  • Recognising ill health
  • Disease Diagnosis
  • Homeopathic Remedies
  • Signs of Shock
  • Signs of Internal Bleeding
  • Signs of Poisoning
  • First Aid

Lesson 3. Natural Nutrition for Animals

  • The effect of Modern Living on Domestic Animals
  • Processed Pet Foods
  • Affect of Poor Nutrition on Animal Behaviour
  • Good Nutrition for Domesticated Animals (Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats/Lipids, Minerals, Vitamins, Supplements, Recipes)
  • Nutritional Problems in Animals (Allergies, Dermatitis, Overweight, Underweight, Liver Disease, Livestock (Mineral supplements for farm animals, Nutritional Supplements)

Lesson 4. Holistic Health Care - Maintaining Health

  • Creating a Healthy Environment (Domestic pets, Livestock)
  • Health Maintenance
  • Preventing Arthritis in Dogs
  • The Vaccination Debate
  • Pet Dental Care
  • Flea Control
  • Disease Prevention in Livestock
  • Preventing Disease in Poultry
  • Avian Influenza

Lesson 5. Holistic Health Care - Treating Health Problems

  • Naturopathic Treatment
  • Homeopathic Treatment
  • Herbalism
  • Treating Common Ailments (Arthritis, Skin Problems, Digestive Complaints, Diabetes, Dental Problems )
  • Pain Management
  • Identifying Pain
  • Pain Relief Medication
  • Herbal Treatments
  • Homeopathy
  • Flower Essences
  • Physical Therapy
  • Equine Tactile Therapy
  • Bowen Therapy
  • Canine Myofunctional Therapy
  • Behavioural Problems (Dogs-excessive barking, digging, aggression, phobias; Cats –urine spraying, scratching furniture, aggression; Birds)

Lesson 6. Animal Diseases & Health Problems (Domestic Animals)

  • Dogs –Distemper
  • Heartworm
  • Parvo virus
  • Hydatid Disease
  • Cats –Ringworm
  • Feline Aids - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
  • Hairballs
  • Feline Herpes Virus or Cat Flu
  • Rodents - Respiratory problems and Mycoplasma, Abscesses
  • Reptiles - Mouth Rot or Canker (Stomatitis); cytoparasites (Mites), Pneumonia
  • Fish, Cage Birds…etc

Lesson 7. Animal Diseases & Health Problems (Livestock)

  • Notifiable Diseases
  • Control of Internal Parasites
  • Horses (Tetanus, Lock Jaw, Strangles, Parasites, Colic, Equine Influenza)
  • Cattle (Parasites, Mastitis)
  • Pigs (Exudative Epidermitis of pigs (Greasy Pig), Leptospirosis, Parasites)
  • Sheep (Enterotoxemia (Pulpy Kidney), Cutaneous Myiasis (Blow Fly strike)
  • Poultry (Newcastle Disease (NCD), Yolk Sac Infection, Infectious Bronchitis (IB))

Lesson 8. Animal Health Care Case Study Research Project

  • Symptoms of ill-health displayed by an animal
  • Diagnosis of a problem
  • Deciding on a natural course of treatment for a specific health problem
  • Developing a management plan that an owner of the animal can undertake to help treat a problem and relieve associated pain and discomfort.


1. Background to pig raising

  • Pig Farming
  • Pig Husbandry terms
  • Hybrids in pig farming
  • Pig breeds
  • Pig Production systems
  • Building systems
  • Environmental controls
  • Building materials
  • Floors
  • Pig pens
  • Waterers and feeders
  • Fencing
  • Waste water treatment using reed beds
  • Water flow
  • Anaerobic ponds
  • Suitable plants

2. Breeding and selection

  • Heritability in pigs
  • Testing pig performance
  • Points for selection
  • Pure breeding
  • Cross breeding
  • Crossbreeding systems
  • Single cross
  • Back crossing
  • Rotational crossing
  • Hybrid breeding
  • Artificial insemination
  • Animal selection

3. Feeding Pigs

  • Types of rations
  • Energy requirements
  • Protein requirements
  • Mineral requirements
  • Vitamin requirements
  • Digestive system
  • Understanding feeding
  • Feeding on pasture

4. Pig diseases

  • General health problems
  • Management practices
  • Notifiable pig diseases
  • Some major diseases affecting all pigs
  • Diseases affecting sows
  • Diseases of growing and fattening pigs
  • Handling and restraining pigs
  • Vices in pigs
  • Summary of pig diseases
  • Pre-weaning period
  • Post-weaning period
  • Breeder pigs

5. Managing the boar

  • Selecting a boar
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Health
  • Breeding

6. Managing the sow and litter

  • Selection of gilts
  • Housing
  • Feeding
  • Weaning
  • Ovulation
  • During pregnancy
  • Before farrowing
  • Farrowing
  • Lactation
  • After farrowing
  • Management of the suckling pig
  • Marking Pigs and Ear Notching
  • Points to consider at weaning

7. Management of Fattening pigs

  • Feeding fatteners
  • Housing
  • Transporting to market
  • Cuts of pig meat

8. Economics and Records

  • Efficiency factors
  • Gross output
  • Records
  • Pig Calender
  • Pig Ration
  • Pig Register
  • Sow Record

9. Managing a Piggery

  • Research innovative practices
  • Evaluate the production performance of a specified piggery.


There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction, Terminology and Breeds
    • History of Poultry
    • Terminology
    • Contract Growing
    • Regulations
    • Management Factors
    • Small Scale Production
    • Breeds
    • Classifying Fowls (Egg Laying Breeds, Meat or Table Birds, Dual Purpose Breeds)
    • Cross Breed Poultry
    • Sex Linkage
    • Brooders
    • Skeletal System
    • Poultry Husbandry (Stock Selection, Feeding, Watering, Housing, Health)
    • Turkeys
    • Geese
    • Ducks
  2. Poultry Nutrition
    • Digestive System (Gullet, Crop, Proventriculus, Gizzard, Intestine, Caecum, etc)
    • Nutrient Sources (Carbohydrate, Protein, Minerals etc)
    • Rationing
    • Palatability
    • The End Product
    • Modern Feed Requirements
    • Phase Feeding
    • Limited Feeding
    • Consumption Feeding
  3. Diseases
    • Avoiding Stress
    • Viral diseases
    • Bacterial diseases
    • Mycoplasmosis, fungal and protozoan disease
    • Non-infectious diseases
  4. Layers
    • Extensive (free-range) System
    • Semi-Intensive System
    • Intensive Systems
    • Housing
    • Deep Litter System
    • Feeders
    • Battery Units
    • Feeding the Laying Hen
    • Replacing the Flock
  5. Broilers
    • Caponising
    • Brooding Period
    • Feeding Broilers (Starter Period, Finisher Period)
    • Housing
    • Hygiene and Health
  6. Incubation
    • The natural method (using broody hens)
    • The artificial method (using incubators)
    • Selecting Eggs
    • Storing Hatching Eggs
    • Turning Eggs
    • Managing a Incubator (Temperature, Humidity, Testing, Hatching)
    • Reasons for Poor Hatchability
  7. Brooding
    • Heating
    • The canopy brooder
    • The infra-red lamp
    • The battery brooder
    • The haybox brooder
    • Feeders
    • Drinkers
    • Floor Space
    • Rearing
    • Problems during rearing
  8. Record Keeping, economics and Marketing
    • Growth Records
    • Egg Production records
    • Small Scale Business
    • Compatible Ventures (Manure, etc)
    • Preparing a Farm Business plan
    • Finance
    • Land Management
    • Analyzing the Market place
    • Developing a Marketing Plan
It all Starts with Good Food
Animals are what they eat.
If they are underfed, over fed or poorly fed; their condition suffers, their ability to fight disease diminishes; and their likely lifespan will probably diminish. Every aspect of an animal, inside and out, id affected by their food, right down to their sjin, fur and/or feathers.

General nutrition

An animal with suboptimal nutrition - whether it is due to illness, poor feeding practices or a parasite burden - will reflect this state in their coat or plumage. It is considered a sign of an unacceptable parasite burden for the coat to stand proud – meaning it does not smooth nicely, nor show a “healthy sheen”. Even on a warm day the animal will appear cold. The coat is often dull and lifeless – an issue which cannot be resolved by any means other than an effective parasite control program.

Parasites affect the animal by competing for resources. Internal parasites will compete for food, consuming nutrients the animal’s needs. External parasites live on biological animal products, such as skin cells and blood. These parasites increase the nutrition requirements of the animal to compensate for supporting the animal and its parasite load.

In situations where the animal demonstrates this appearance, ensuring parasite control and optimal nutrition will return the animal to a healthy state – one that will be reflected in the coat, brightness of the eyes and physical vigor – all essential components of presenting an animal at its best. To ensure a final ‘product’ which does this, you must always start with a healthy and well-nourished animal. An effective grooming regime will review the animal for signs of external parasites and encompass treatment in consultation with the animals’ owner. This program needs to encompass both internal and external parasites.

Fats and oils: There are some feeds which enhance the natural sheen of an animal’s coat or plumage. These are sourced from oil-producing plants. Feeds can be supplemented with these oils in small doses. For instance, horses may have a small quantity of vegetable oil mixed through their feed. Care must be taken when adding liquid oils as they provide a specific type of energy and used in excess make the feed unpalatable.

Oilseed meals are also excellent for enhancing coats and plumage. These include cottonseed, sunflower and soybean meal. A similar result is achieved in dogs using raw eggs.



Micronutrition is a much overlooked component of feeding and has many effects on the health and appearance of an animal. Micronutrients are usually elemental ions such as calcium, magnesium and zinc. Zinc in particular has been identified as being important for skin health, and bone health is connected to calcium intake.

Each species will have different requirements, so it is an idea to investigate this for each type of animal you are dealing with. However, you must remember that micronutrition is a specialised field which is still being investigated in detail. While you can use estimated requirements as a guide, you must use your judgment in the application of these guidelines. For instance, if you have a dog which is on the small side for its type, then it will require slightly less of the micronutrient in question.

It is a good idea to provide a mineral supplement to animals in a form they can self -regulate, for instance a lick block. Animals are instinctive eaters and will be drawn to the mineral block when they need it. This is a good way of preventing issues with excesses of certain nutrients. Some other examples of micronutrient supplements are dolomite and seaweed meal. Molasses is also a good source of micronutrition which also provides some macronutritients. It is highly palatable to farm animals however, and care must be taken to avoid the mess associated with free access to this feed. It also has laxative properties, so animals with unlimited access may find their digestive process altered.


Water Requirements

All animals require clean, fresh water to survive. The water requirements based on physiological needs of all captive animals will vary based on:


  • · Water and electrolyte content in food provided
  • · The ambient temperature and humidity
  • · Activity level of the animal

Water quality can also have a large effect on the health of animals. Minerals in water can have positive influences on animal health, however high levels of minerals in water can be toxic.

To ensure that water quality is high, anyone working with animals should make sure that it is kept free from contaminants such as faecal matter. Water should be changed regularly and stored appropriately. Water containers should be located out of direct sunlight and suit the habits of the animal (e.g. wallowing, drinking, and swimming). Containers should not be able to spill and should be easy to access and clean as needed.







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Meet some of our academics

Alison Pearce (general)P.G.Cert. Ed., M.Ecotourism, S.Sc. (Hons). Alison has held many positions including: University Lecturer, Writer, Quality Assurance Manager, Research Technician, Vet Nurse and stockwoman. Over 30 years industry experience, mostly in Australia and the UK.. Alison originally graduated with an honors degree in science from university and beyond that has completed post graduate qualifications in education and eco-tourism. She has managed veterinary operating theatre, responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniques and procedures.
Dr. Gareth PearceGraduated from the University of Nottingham in 1982 with a B.Sc.(Hons) in Animal Science. Between 82 and 85 worked as Research Assistant and Demonstator in Animal Science at the University of Leeds. Over more than 30 years he has furthered his studies, obtaining eight significant university qualifications including degrees in Veterinary Science, Wildlife Conservation and Animal Behaviour. Gareth has significant teaching experience around the world as a faculty member at eight different universities including Associate Professor at Murdoch University and Director of Studies in Veterinary Science at Cambridge University. He has over 100 prestigious research papers published, and enjoys an outstanding international reputation in the fields of animal and veterinary science.
Peter Douglas Over 50 years experience in Agriculture and wildlife management. Former university lecturer, Wildlife park manager, Animal breeder, Equestrian. Peter has both wide ranging experience in animal science, farming and tourism management, and continues to apply that knowledge both through his work with ACS, and beyond.
Marius Erasmus Subsequent to completing a BSc (Agric) degree in animal science, Marius completed an honours degree in wildlife management, and a masters degree in production animal physiology. Following the Masters degree, he has worked for 9 years in the UK, and South Africa in wildlife management, dairy, beef and poultry farming.

Check out our eBooks

Horse CareThis book is an accumulation of information from biology, agricultural science and veterinary medicine. It looks to explore and explain the fundamentals of appropriate horse care aims and techniques. In doing so it will consider horsemanship as a combination of art and science.
PoultryPoultry are entertaining as pets and life sustaining as a commercial product! Whether you are seeking a book as a beginner poultry keeper or if you are embarking on a new career in poultry production or management, this book is for you. Easy to read, easy to understand and packed with easy to implement practical advice. Know how to care for the health and wellbeing of poultry and make production a commercially viable enterprise.
Animal HealthUnderstand animal health issues, diseases and how identify and manage illnesses and injuries. Animals can become sick for many different reasons -diseases caused by infections, injuries, poisoning, genetic disorders, poor nutrition and other things.
Caring for DogsA book for both students and dog owners. This book has been designed to complement our dog care and pet care courses; but also to provide a sound foundation for choosing the right breed, and caring for a dog whether as a pet, or a working animal. Contents cover Breeds, Creating a healthy home for dogs, legal issues, dog biology, recognising poor health, parasites, illnesses, nutrition, reproduction, dog psychology, behavioural development, training tips, behaviour problems, grooming, working in the dog industry, and more.