Dairy Cattle

Study dairy farming by distance education. Learn theory and practice of dairying for better farm management, career development or employment in the dairy industry, on or off farm.

Course Code: BAG205
Fee Code: S2
Duration (approx) Duration (approx) 100 hours
Qualification Statement of Attainment
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Learn all about Dairy Cattle

This is a very practical foundation course; providing unique and extensive support from university qualified and industry experienced experts. 

If you want to learn about dairy cattle and their management, this is the course for you.


Student comment
s: 

"(This course)... has given me confidence in that I can understand the farmers I will be dealing with as a vet.
H. Thorneycroft, UK - Dairy Cattle

"The course was put together very well. It covered all the important aspects of dairy farming and offered some important practical hands-on information that other courses lacked. I thoroughly enjoyed it and feel now that I have equipped myself to work on a dairy farm." K McKenzie, Australia - Dairy Cattle

Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Dairy Breeds
  2. Dairy Products
  3. The Lactation Cycle
  4. Pests & Diseases of Dairy Cattle
  5. Feeding Dairy Cattle
  6. Managing Dairy Cattle
  7. Breeding Dairy Cattle
  8. Managing Dairy Facilities
  9. Dairy Business Planning

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

  • Select appropriate dairy breeds for different farming situations.
  • Describe the different characteristics, including their nature and scope, of dairy products.
  • Explain the management of the lactation cycle in dairy cattle, on a farm property.
  • Manage general husbandry operations for the dairy cow.
  • Manage the wellbeing of a dairy cow, including consideration of its health and vigour, to optimise quality and quantity of production.
  • Explain the significance of animal breeding programs for milk production.
  • Explain the management of the facilities, including buildings and machinery, at a farm dairy.
  • Develop a business plan for the management of a dairy property.

What You Will Do

  • Distinguish between three different breeds of dairy cattle, which are either significant in the learner's locality, or have potential in the learner's locality, including:
    • size
    • appearance
    • preferred conditions
    • milk
    • cost per head.
  • Evaluate the suitability of three different dairy cattle breeds to a specified property, in a locality with which the learner is familiar.
  • Select three appropriate dairy cattle breeds for each of four specified situations, with regard to:
    • pasture varieties
    • climatic conditions (eg. temperature and weather patterns)
    • locality
    • market requirements for the product
  • Judge a dairy cow, using a standard score card, such as the dairy cow unified score card produced (and revised in 1982) by the Purebred Dairy Cattle Association.
  • List the different dairy products which are commonly available, in the learner's locality.
    • Describe the composition of milk, with reference to different characteristics, including:
    • sediment
    • bacteria count
    • chemical impurities
    • somatic cell count
    • added water
    • flavour
  • Explain the different types of flavours in milk, referring to both cause and prevention factors, and using relevant terminology, including:
    • feed
    • rancid
    • flat
    • unclean
    • foreign
    • salt
    • acid
    • oxidised flavours
  • Explain how milk composition can affect its use for different purposes.
  • Explain how milk is processed, on a property visited by the learner, including the process of pasteurisation (sanitisation).
  • Explain how cheese is made, on a specific property.
  • Explain how yoghurt is made, on a specific property.
  • Explain how milk is processed to obtain cream, at a typical dairy.
  • Describe the lactation cycle of a dairy cow.
  • List the farm husbandry factors which can influence the lactation cycle.
  • Explain how three different variations in a cow's diet may affect lactation.
  • Prepare a plan for a feed flow program to support milk production on a specified property.
  • Produce a log book record of management tasks carried out, over a period of 1 month, to control the lactation cycle in dairy cattle on a specified property.
  • Milk a cow, verifying the proper undertaking of the task.
  • List the routine husbandry tasks carried out on different dairy cows, including those in milk and those that are dry.
  • Explain the routine husbandry tasks carried out on two different types of dairy cows, including those in milk and those that are dry.
  • Compare the management of heifers with that of milking cows on a specified dairy farm.
  • Describe the management of dairy cattle for meat production on a specified dairy farm.
  • Evaluate a production system on a dairy farm, in a locality familiar to the learner.
  • List the pests and diseases that are significant for dairy cattle in the learner's locality.
  • Develop a checklist for the signs of ill health, which should be routinely checked, in dairy cattle.
  • Describe three significant pests or diseases of dairy cattle, including mastitis.
  • Explain treatments for three different pests or diseases in dairy cattle.
  • Explain the irregularities which can occur in the functioning of the digestive system of dairy cattle.
  • Distinguish between a maintenance ration and production ration for a dairy cow.
  • Explain the nutritional requirements of a typical dairy cow on a specific property.
  • Calculate the rations for a dairy cow in accordance with specified characteristics, including:
    • weight
    • quantity of milk being produced
    • butterfat concentration
  • Prepare a collection of pasture plant species from two different dairy properties, and including:
    • samples of plants (ie. pressings of different plants in the pasture)
    • comments on the suitability of the pasture for dairy cattle.
  • Produce a twelve month plan to manage the vigour of dairy cattle, on a specified property, which includes:
    • a list of disease management procedures
    • feed program variations throughout the year
  • Explain a breeding program in use for dairy herd improvement on a specified property.
  • Explain the artificial insemination methods used with dairy cattle on a specified property.
  • List the criteria for selecting cattle for a dairy breeding program, in a locality which is familiar to the learner.
  • Plan a hypothetical breeding program, to improve milk quality and production for dairy cattle.
  • List the minimum physical facilities required for a viable dairy farm.
  • List factors affecting the siting of a dairy on a farm.
  • Prepare a plan for the construction of dairy facilities on a specified site, including:
    • sketch or concept plans of buildings, fencing surrounding buildings, and interior layout
    • a list of materials, including types and quantities required for construction
    • a list of equipment to be installed
    • a schedule of construction tasks
  • Develop a profile of an ideal dairy farm site.
  • Select the machinery needed to operate a specified, hypothetical dairy farm.
  • Develop a maintenance program for dairy farm machinery, on a farm investigated by the learner.
  • Explain the operation of typical milking machinery.
  • Explain the significance of farm water to the operation of a dairy farm.
  • Develop procedures for control of goods on a typical dairy farm, including:
    • ordering
    • receipt
    • dispatch
  • Explain two different ways to manage waste effluent from a typical dairy.
  • Develop guidelines for safe working practices at a typical dairy farm.
  • Explain legal requirements which are relevant to a dairy farm in a specified location.
  • Report on research, conducted by the learner from an information search, into innovations in the dairy industry.
  • Report on the implementation of recent innovations in the dairy industry.
  • List factors affecting profitability of a dairy property.
  • Explain factors affecting the cost of dairy production on a specified farm.
  • Write a job specification for one member of staff on a specific dairy property.
  • Develop criteria for assessing the management of a dairy property.
  • Prepare or evaluate a dairy farm budget for a specified property.
  • Prepare or evaluate a dairy farm financial report for a specified property.
  • Analyse marketing systems for marketing dairy products produced by a specified enterprise.
  • Explain factors affecting sales of dairy products on a specified farm.
  • Describe the selection and preparation of dairy cattle for sale in the learner's locality.
  • Develop a marketing plan for a specified dairy product which addresses:
    • product presentation
    • delivery of product
    • promotions
    • customer relations
  • Develop a business plan for a specified dairy property.
  • Describe how the sale of dairy meat can be managed, in accordance with a business plan, while adhering to relevant regulations.

WHY ARE SOME BREEDS BETTER FOR DAIRY PRODUCTION?

Some cattle breeds are preferred for use on a dairy farm. There are many reasons for this. They may give a greater quantity or quality of milk; but there can be other reasons for choosing one breed over another too. Certain breeds are more adapted to certain climates. Other breeds may adapt better to the feed available; or for one reason or other, suit the market they are catering to.

Breeds commonly used for dairy production around the world include:

  •     Ayrshire
  •     Brown Swiss
  •     Busa
  •     Canadienne
  •     Dairy Shorthorn
  •     Dutch Belted
  •     Estonian Red
  •     Fleckvieh
  •     Friesian
  •     Girolando
  •     Guernsey
  •     Holstein
  •     Illawarra
  •     Irish Moiled
  •     Jersey
  •     Kerry
  •     Lineback
  •     Meuse Rhine Issel
  •     Milking Devon
  •     Montbéliarde
  •     Normande
  •     Norwegian Red
  •     Randall
  •     Sahiwal

Studying this course will enable you to understand the various characteristics of the different breeds, so you can choose the most appropriate breed for any situation at hand. From there you will also learn to understand the husbandry techniques and everything else that is important about dairy production.


WHY CHOOSE US?

  • Distance education doesn't mean you're going it alone - you have tutor support every step of the way
  • Don't follow the crowd - develop uniqueness and skills unlike others in your field
  • Resources are extensive and under continuous revision
  • Study to suit your commitments - your education doesn't need to stop as life make demands
  • Our program design has less focus on assessment and more on your lifelong learning
  • Affordable study and payment options available 
  • An opportunity for business success
  • Our independence from government means we can offer courses suited exactly to employer needs and wants 

AFTER YOUR COURSE

This course will give you the insights needed to confidentally work with dairy animals:
  • As a dairy farmer
  • As a reilief milker
  • As someone working in allied industry such as stock agents
  • Or to lead on to further studies in agriculture

 

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association.

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.

ACS is a Member of the Permaculture Association (membership number 14088).

ACS is an organisational member of the Future Farmers Network.

UK Register of Learning Providers, UK PRN10000112


How can I start this course?

You can enrol at anytime and start the course when you are ready. Enrolments are accepted all year - students can commence study at any time. All study is self paced and ACS does not set assignment deadlines.

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.
If a student cannot submit their assignments for 6 months to ACS, they should advise the school to avoid cancellation of their student
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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.

The course consists of course notes, videos, set tasks for your practical work, online quizzes, an assignment for each lesson (that you receive feedback from your tutor from) and ends in an exam (which is optional, if would like to receive the formal award at the end), using our custom built Learning Management System - Login.Training.

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We are more learning focussed, rather than assessment focussed. You have online quizzes to test your learning, written assignments and can complete an exam at the end of the course (if you want to receive your certificate). You will not receive a pass/ fail on your course work. If you need to add more details on your assignment, we will ask you to resubmit and direct you where you need to focus. If you need help, you can ask your tutor for advice in the student room.

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.

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

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

Alison Pearce

University Lecturer, Quality Assurance Manager, Writer and Research Technician. 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 m





Tutors

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

Yvonne Sharpe

RHS Cert.Hort, Dip.Hort, M.Hort, Cert.Ed., Dip.Mgt.

Over 30 years of experience in horticulture, education and management, Yvonne has travelled widely within and beyond Europe and has worked in many areas of horticulture from garden centres to horticultural therapy. She has served on industry committees and been actively involved with amateur garden clubs for decades.

Kara Wight

BSc (Applied Bioscience and Zoology), HND (Animal Care), HND (Photography & Imaging)

Kara gained an HND in Animal Care and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Applied Bioscience and Zoology. She has a wide range of experience working with animals such dogs, small pets, birds, zoo animals, British wildlife and reptiles. Kara gained this experience working within animal parks, canine rescue centres and a wildlife hospital. She also managed an animal care training facility for a college. At this training facility she instructed and lectured students within Animal Care and Veterinary Nursing from National Certificate level to Higher National Diploma levels.

Kara also gained an HND in Photography and Imaging and has 5 years’ experience within this sector. She ran a small portraiture and wedding photography business and also exhibited work in art exhibitions. Kara gained more experience photographing sporting and festival events.

Kara currently runs a pet care and training business in the UK and also has entry to undertake her MSc in International Animal Welfare, Ethics and Law this academic year.

Jade Sciascia

B.Sc.Biol, Dip.Prof.Ed, Cert Food Hygiene.

Former Business Coordinator, Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, Secondary School teacher (Biology); Administrator (Recruitment), Senior Supervisor (Youth Welfare). International Business Manager for IARC. Academic officer and writer with ACS for over 10 years, both in Australia and in the UK.

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