Advanced Diploma In Agriculture - Animal Husbandry

Course CodeVAG005
Fee CodeAD
Duration (approx)2500 hours
QualificationAdvanced Diploma

Advanced Diploma in Agriculture - Animal Husbandry  is a complete qualification for people wishing to work in agriculture at a technician or management level; in positions such as a farm manager, technical representatives, trainers or consultants.

The qualification is of 2500 hours duration..

Learn about general animal care, health and welfare; and farm animal production, as a foundation for a professional career.

Modules

Core ModulesThese modules provide foundation knowledge for the Advanced Diploma In Agriculture - Animal Husbandry.
 Animal Anatomy And Physiology (Animal Husbandry I ) BAG101
 Farm Management BAG104
 Research Project I BGN102
 Workplace Health & Safety VBS103
 Workshop I BGN103
 Pasture Management BAG212
 Research Project II BGN201
 
Stream ModulesStudied after the core modules, stream modules cover more specific or niche subjects.
 Animal Health Care VAG100
 Soil Management (Agriculture) BAG103
 Animal Feed & Nutrition (Animal Husbandry III) BAG202
 Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201
 Sustainable Agriculture BAG215
 Agricultural Marketing BAG304
 Animal Breeding BAG301
 
Elective ModulesIn addition to the core modules, students study any 11 of the following 30 modules.
 Biochemistry I (Animal and Human) BSC103
 Botany I (Plant Physiology And Taxonomy) BSC104
 Business Studies BBS101
 Carpentry BSS100
 Dog Care BAG108
 Engineering I - Machinery & Equipment BSC105
 Horse Care I BAG102
 Instructional Skills BGN101
 Machinery and Equipment BSC105
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Behaviour BAG203
 Animal Diseases BAG219
 Aquaculture BAG211
 Beef Cattle BAG206
 Calf Rearing BAG207
 Dairy Cattle BAG205
 Engineering II - Engineering Applications BSC205
 Goat Production BAG223
 Horse Care II BAG204
 Irrigation -Agricultural Irrigation BAG213
 Mariculture - Marine Aquaculture BAG220
 Natural Health Care for Animals BAG218
 Permaculture Systems BHT201
 Pigs BAG209
 Poultry BAG208
 Sheep BAG210
 Workshop II BGN203
 Agronomy BAG306
 Horse Care III BAG302
 Organic Farming BAG305
 

Note that each module in the Advanced Diploma In Agriculture - Animal Husbandry is a short course in its own right, and may be studied separately.


 
WHICH PRODUCTION METHOD IS APPROPRIATE?
The type of system chosen by a farmer may be influenced by several factors, including:

a) The availability of land. If the amount of land is limited, it may be necessary to use an intensive production method (eg. lot feeding), if the farm is to operate on a financially viable scale.

b/) Natural resources, ie. the quality of land, nature of climate, water and other resources
Certain conditions may be needed to support a particular type of animal.

c/ The desire to be able to expand in the future

d/ Available labour
Some systems require more labour. It takes manpower to mend fences, muster stock, provide supplementary feeding or watering, or to move stock about; so by minimising these tasks, the labour required to manage the farm is also minimised.

The most common system for most farm animals in Australia has traditionally been grazing.

Grazing in Paddocks
Traditional farms are divided into paddocks. Paddocks may be used any of the following ways:
• Animals are left in the same paddock for a year or longer (ie. continuous grazing). Stock may then be mustered (rounded up) as required (eg. for marking, veterinary treatments, shearing or selling).
• Set stocking leaves animals in the same paddock throughout the better part of the year, but not all year. It aims to minimise moving stock (and causing any stress), while providing the best feed. If and when pasture declines, the stock may be moved. This system is only appropriate on fertile sites.
• Grazing animals are rotated between paddocks (ie. rotational grazing), usually every week or so. Paddocks are commonly rested for up to 5 weeks before grazing again. This system is particularly appropriate for fertile pastures, such as irrigated lucerne on a dairy farm.
• Cell grazing (ie. time controlled grazing), places animals on a pasture for an "optimum" time period, designed to achieve the best benefit to the animal, and the optimum productivity from the pasture. It is similar to rotational grazing, but the period it is grazed for will depend upon various factors such as rate of pasture growth and the age and type of animal.
• Deferred grazing involves hand feeding stock in a paddock for about six weeks after rain, in order to allow the pasture to develop more quickly.

Strip Grazing
Strip grazing is a method used by farmers to maximize the effect of available pasture. In some cases this may be a specifically planted crop, such as a fast growing broadleaf crop (such as Speed feed) or it may be simply rationing pasture during times of drought or when food is scarce.
An electric fence is used to cordon off a certain amount of the pasture from the animals grazing. This allows the farmer to move the strip to be grazed each day or when necessary.

Strip grazing saves crops from trampling, this is especially so in the case of a dairy herd which will graze heavily immediately after milking and then resort to laying around chewing its cud and more leisurely feeding. If allowed access to the entire crop much of it would be wasted.

During times of drought, water becomes scarce, and fresh green feed also becomes less available. This can be the case even upon irrigated farms which are often subjected to water rationing along with the rest of the community. In some types of farming green feed is essential for quantity and quality of produce. Dairying is a classic example, the farmer may provide grain or molasses to compensate for lack of food available but some green fodder is paramount to milk production. Hungry cows will simply dry up and stop producing milk. 
 
Free Range
Free range is widely used in districts where vast areas of land are available. The animals are allowed to roam the site with little or no supervision by farmers. Some control is obtained by way of fencing.
The land area must be large enough to stock the number of animals and must also be self sufficient in terms of water and feed. The carrying capacity should not be exceeded. The carrying capacity of a pasture refers to the number of animals which can be grazed on the pasture during the grazing season.
When feed is overgrazed by the animals they should move onto another area, either within the fenced zone or to another fenced area.
Hoofed animals and some fowl species are commonly free ranged. Birds however may need to be confined some way to prevent flight. In this case, or for flightless birds, care should be taken against predators.


Large Scale/Open Range Grazing
Farming properties in some arid or semi arid areas are extremely large, measured in terms of square kilometres or miles, rather than acres or hectares. It is often uneconomical to fence such properties into paddocks.
Animals are usually stocked at low rates (ie. relatively few animals per unit area), and animal husbandry operations are kept to a minimum. Livestock may be rounded up (ie. mustered), periodically (maybe annually), for veterinary treatments, marking or selling.
Mustering has traditionally been done on horseback (which is still widely used), though motorised vehicles and even aircraft are now being increasingly used to aid mustering on large properties.


Grazing Modifications
If a farm has insufficient pasture to meet the needs of its animals, any of the following techniques may be used as a supplement to grazing:

• Supplementary feeding
Animals may need supplementary feeding especially in times of drought or flood. They placed into a confined holding paddock may also required additional feeding.

• Stabling
In some areas, animals may be brought under cover (eg. in a barn) over winter. This practice is more common in cold climates (eg. northern Europe). Animals which are particularly valuable may be stabled during colder (or wet) weather.

• Agistment
When the available land is either too small for the head population of the animals, or when drought or flood occur, it may be necessary to consider agistment. Stock is taken to other properties where feed is available. Agistment is only used when other possibilities become non viable; given the cost involved, and the stress that transportation can cause animals.

 

WORKING WITH ANIMALS IN THE FUTURE
You can’t predict where the jobs of the future will be. Today’s world is simply changing so fast. Technological, economic and cultural change is reshaping the workplace every year.

There will however always be animals in the world and people will continue to work with animals; as pets, as farm animals, and as wildlife. The way in which we work with animals may well change; but people who have knowledge and skills that relate to working with animals should continue to find work.

How then Do You Forge a Career in an Unpredictable world?
Start by developing a good foundation, then become a part of change rather than a victim of change.

  • The pet industry is continually reinventing itself, with new services and products.
  • Advancements in agriculture are changing the way we farm animals
  • Cultural changes, such as attitudes to animal welfare, are changing how we interact with animals
  • Environmental and conservation pressures are changing the way we manage wildlife.
Some people are well connected with industry and society at large; and sensitive to change. They become conscious of business or career opportunities before others; and if they have the right attitude and capabilities, they take advantage of the opportunities they see.

If you want a sustainable career working with animals (or anything else for that matter), you should try and place yourself in that category.

To develop and improve your opportunities, you need to work on all of the following things. Start with education; but don’t expect education alone to guarantee a sustainable career. Those days are long gone!

Education
Learning anything about animals provides a foundation for continued, life long learning.
Learning can come from doing formal courses or informal in house training within your job, training with an external agency, taking a course and so on.  If you understand their biology, psychology and husbandry; you will be able to communicate with colleagues and comprehend developments in industry as you progress through our career. Without a foundation, everything can be harder to understand; and opportunities in the future might go unnoticed.
Networking
Build up contacts in industry. Success often comes from not just what you know but also who you know; just as much as what you know.
Join organisations, volunteering to get relevant experience with animals. Attend meetings, seminars, conferences, and shows. Immerse yourself in any relevant social media groups that deal with animals. Do all these things; but balance them. Too much of one thing and neglect of others, does not work.

Other things matter too!
 
This course provides the foundation you need for a lifelong and sustainable career or business with animals.
 

 

Use our free career and course counselling service.
 
     

 
 
  Dr. Gareth Pearce

Veterinary scientist and surgeon with expertise in agriculture and environmental science, with over 25 years of experience in teaching and research in agriculture, veterinary medicine, wildlife ecology and conservation in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Post-graduate qualifications in Education, Wildlife Conservation Medicine, Aquatic Veterinary Studies and Wildlife Biology & Conservation. Gareth has a B.Sc.(Hons), B.V.Sc., M.A., M.Vet.S,. PhD, Grad. Cert. Ed.(HE), Post-Grad.Cert. Aq.Vet.Sc., Post-Grad. Cert. WLBio&Cons., Dipl. ECPHM, MRCVS.
  Cheryl Wilson

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture, equine and education industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. She graduated with a B.Sc.(Hons), HND Horse Mgt, C&G Teaching Cert. For several years, Cheryl managed the distance education courses for Warwickshire College (a large UK government institution), out of their Moreton Morrell campus. In more recent years, she has co authored several books including titles on Horse Care, Dog Care and Poultry. Along with this solid background in edication, she brings a wealth of practical experience, having held positions including: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager
  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.
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This 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.
  Poultry
Poultry 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 Health
Understand health issues, disease and injury prevention, inspecting animals, differential diagnosis and common illnesses. Animals can suffer from injury, poisoning, hereditary conditions, nutritional problems and viral, bacterial and fungal infections. A book for managing pets, farm animals, or wildlife.
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This new e-book looks at everything you need to improve your farm management skills. Learn about the farm site, production systems, managing livestock, managing pasture, crops, marketing and more.