Bird Keeping (Aviculture)

Learn about caring for birds, bird owners, aviculturists and bird industry professionals

Course Code: BAG108
Fee Code: S1
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Study in Your Time - With or without support - Daily Intakes Available

An outstanding 100 hour course covering all aspects of keeping birds including diet, housing, health, breeding, understanding bird behaviour and training.

  • Hone your skills as an avid bird keeping enthusiast
  • Seek a new career direction
  • Add an income stream  by becoming an aviculture specialist

To be confident and successful in any animal industry -  you need to build your knowledge and extend your skills - look no further!  


If you're thinking about keeping a bird as a pet or bird keeping as a hobby, this course will provide you with the knowledge to choose the right birds for you and how to care for them.

If you are seeking to gain employment, this course will assist you to demonstrate your ability to work with birds and understand the industry without question.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Bird Care
    • Introduction
    • Selection
    • Grooming
    • Hygiene
    • Terminology
  2. Breeds
    • Bird types
    • Choosing a bird
    • Commonly kept birds
  3. Housing Birds
    • Aviaries
    • Minimum requirements for keeping birds
    • Water, feeding and stimulation equipment
  4. Feed and Nutrition
    • Feed and feeding
    • Watering
    • Nutritional requirements
  5. Health Management
    • Caring for the sick bird
    • Safety on the home
    • Traveling
    • Common ailments
  6. Bird Behaviour and Training
    • Catching/restraining
    • Behaviour
    • Training
  7. Breeding
    • Sexing and Desexing
    • Breeding
    • Welfare
    • Reproduction
    • Neo-natal care
  8. Working in the Bird Industry
    • Pet trade and breeding
    • Showing
    • Avian health
    • Pigeon racing
    • Falconry
    • Zoos and Wildlife Parks
    • Avian tourism
    • Farming birds for meat, eggs, feathers or oils
    • Birds for pest control
    • Bird fertiliser -manure

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.

Aims

  • Discuss the nature and scope of aviculture and develop networking with others involved with aviculture.
  • Determine appropriate types of birds to keep for different purposes.
  • To consider and choose appropriate housing for a range of different types of captive birds.
  • Outline the feeding requirements of a range of different captive birds.
  • Describe management techniques for the health of a range of different birds.
  • Appreciate behavioural traits of any birds you keep, and understand how to properly manage and respond to those traits; and if so desired, train the birds you keep.
  • Manage the breeding of different types of birds.
  • Identify opportunities for working in the aviculture industry.

What You Will Do

  • Consider 4 specific areas of bird care. For example, one area may be feeding and nutrition. Find out about the products and services which are available in your locality for each area you chose.
  • Research up to 3 birds native to your country and aim to find out as much as you can about their former and current uses if any.
    • In the event you cannot find information about native breeds (of any species), you should aim to find out about introduced species - the reasons for their introduction and where they originated from.
  • Research the range of housing options for any type of birds you are specifically interested in.
    • From your research, estimate the total cost of setting up a new housing system. Include nesting, feeding, watering, lighting, temperature control and ventilation in your design.
  • Visit or contact a feed supplies shop or pet shop and evaluate the various feeds sold to bird keepers. Consider cost versus nutritional quality in your assessment.
    • For this activity you should aim to focus your attention on feed that is specifically designed for a species of your choice e.g. pigeons.
  • Connect with at least 2 bird owners who have birds with former or ongoing illness. Discuss with them the illness and the treatments which the bird undergoes/had undergone. Ask questions about the how the illness affects or affected the birds overall well being. Ask about the nature of the illness and the long term management of the illness.
  • Observe a bird in its natural habitat. Consider its interactions with any other birds which were nearby at the time. Take notes on how the birds interact or any other noticeable behaviours of birds.
    • If it is not possible to complete this task observing birds in real life – watch online video(s) to complete this observation of behaviour activity.
  • Consider welfare when breeding birds either in captivity or in their natural habitats. You should find an approved captive breeding program which is of particular interest to you. Take notes or record as much information as possible about the program. An example of a bird species in an intensive breeding program may be the Orange Bellied Parrot or the Corncrake.
    • Consider specifically the individual health and welfare of the breeding pairs - the lack of knowledge of human populations and the possible impacts on breeding programs in natural environments e.g. habitat destruction.
  • Using websites which advertise available positions search under animal related jobs, find at least three roles which require knowledge of bird care and/or management.
    • Examine the roles and find out what qualifications (if any) are needed to successfully meet the application criteria for each.

After Your Studies

This can be an excellent opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and awareness that will help you improve your existing career, or forge a new career or business.

There are many opportunities to work within the bird industry, from the pet trade to veterinary services and work in zoos to falconry, pigeon racing, rehabilitation and rescue.

Pet Trade and Breeding

The avian pet trade supplies both large and small pet shops across the world, and it is responsible for the sale of birds such as, parrots, budgerigars, cockatiels, canaries love birds and cockatoos.  It is very difficult to tell if the birds are captive bred or caught from the wild - although laws and regulations are in place across many countries.  

Whether captive bred or wild caught, both hold a high possibility of disease and minimal welfare standards. 

If you do work within this type of industry, it is vital that you comply with regulations and ensure the health and welfare of all birds is kept up to standards or preferably higher.

Showing

There are a range of bird shows, both global and national, and some are also specific to certain species.  If you feel this may be a good opportunity with a much loved pet, then remember they must be well trained and exhibit good behaviour.  Placing a bird in this type of environment is very stressful, and should only be completed if the bird has had adequate training and desensitised to the showing environment.  It is best to start a bird young, although older bird with the correct behaviours and looks may also do well.

The chosen show birds must have a good plumage, beak and claws, with a good posture.  Ensure the bird is handled and trained, becoming used to hands, noises and people.  The bird should be bathed regularly, and should also become accustomed to a light spray with water a few days before showing to encourage the natural oil to soften the feathers. Claws and beak should be trimmed a couple of days prior to showing.  Allow the bird to become familiar with its show cage, which will be separate from its own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Member of Study Gold Coast Education Network.

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

Since 1999 ACS has been a recognised member of IARC (International Approval and Registration Centre). A non-profit quality management organisation servicing education.


How can I start this course?

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Please note that if a student is being assisted by someone else (e.g. an employer or government subsidy), the body offering the assistance may set deadlines. Students in such situations are advised to check with their sponsor prior to enrolling. The nominal duration of a course is approximately how long a course takes to complete. A course with a nominal duration of 100 hours is expected to take roughly 100 hours of study time to complete. However, this will vary from student to student. Short courses (eg. 100 hrs duration) should be completed within 12 months of enrolment. Certificates, Advanced Certificates and Awards (eg. over 500 hours duration) would normally be completed within 3 -5 years of enrolment. Additional fees may apply if a student requires an extended period to complete.
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Our courses are designed to build knowledge, hands on skills and industry connections to help prepare you to work in the area, running your own business, professional development or as a base for further study.

This course has been designed to cover the fundamentals of the topic. It will take around 100 hours to complete, which includes your course reading, assignment work, research, practical tasks, watching videos and anything else that is contained in the course. Our short courses are a great way to do some professional development or to learn a new skill.

It’s up to you. The study hours listed in the course are a rough guide, however if you were to study a short course (100 hours) at 10 hours per week, you could finish the course in 10 weeks (just an example). Our courses are self-paced, so you can work through the courses in your own time. We recommend that you wait for your tutor to mark and return your assignment before your start your next one, so you get the benefits of their feedback.

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Each module (short course) is completed with one exam.

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More information is here

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Course Contributors

The following academics were involved in the development and/or updating of this course.

Melissa Leistra

B.Ed. M. Human Nutrition

Alison Pearce (Agri & Animal)

Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to ACS students.

She has worked as a University Lecturer, has also run a veterinary operating theatre; responsible for animal anaesthesia, instrument preparation, and assistance with surgical techniqu





Tutors

Meet some of the tutors that guide the students through this course.

Melissa Leistra

Melissa has a Masters Degree in Human Nutrition from Deakin University and Bachelor's degree specialising in personal development, health and physical education. She has enjoyed teaching Hospitality in the areas of commercial cookery and food and beverage. Her experience includes 16 years teaching health and nutrition and working in the hospitality industry. Melissa enjoys living a self-sustainable lifestyle on a farm and raising all types of animals. She is an experienced vegetarian/vegan cook and loves to create wholesome food using her slow combustion wood stove.

Cheryl McLardy

Cheryl has spent two decades working in agriculture and equine industries, across England, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. Formerly: Sports Horse Stud Groom, Stable Manager, Yard Manager, Equine industrial Training Manager, FE Distance Learning Manager at Warwickshire College

Megan Cox

Megan has completed a Bachelor of Science (Environmental Conservation) with Honours from Writtle University College, as well as a Master of Science Degree in Countryside Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.

Her experience includes working as a Botanist, Ecologist, Head Gardener, Market Gardener and a Farming and Conservation Officer.

She has worked in various roles in Horticulture, Agriculture and Ecology since 2005. Megan has worked for the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and the Centre for Environment and Rural Affairs among other organisations in the UK, as well as in Australia and Cambodia.

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