Behaviour of Farm & Companion Animals

Subject DASC90009 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2015.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: Up to 44 hours of lectures/practicals/tutorials
Total Time Commitment:

(including non-contact time): 170 hours.

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. This course requires all students to enrol in subjects where they must actively and safely contribute to field excursions and laboratory activities. Students who feel their disability will impact on meeting this requirement are encouraged to discuss this matter with the Subject Coordinator and Disability Liaison


Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Science
Building 142

Phone: 13 MELB (13 6352)

Subject Overview:

This subject aims to provide students with a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the study of the research methods of animal behaviour; domestic animal behaviour, its causation and its biological function; and the application of animal behaviour principles to animal behaviour problems.

The topics covered will include:

  • describing, recording and measuring behaviour
  • development of behaviour
  • stimuli and communication
  • motivation and decision making
  • learning and memory
  • genetic influences on behaviour
  • hormonal and neural influences on behaviour
  • social behaviour, including sexual behaviour, maternal behaviour and dam-neonate interactions
  • behavioural problems.
Learning Outcomes:

The objectives of this subject are to:

  • extend the student's knowledge of the content covered in Applied Animal Behaviour subjects in the undergraduate programmes.
  • provide students with a knowledge and understanding of applied animal behaviour that can be applied effectively in farm, companion, zoo and laboratory animal research, management, care and production.

  • One 2000 word assignment - Part A due during the delivery period, Part B due within three weeks after the intensive delivery period (50%); 6 x group presentations during the delivery period, up to an equivalent of 10 minutes per student (25%); and a 15 minute seminar presentation a week after the intensive delivery period (25%)
Prescribed Texts:

Barnard, C. (2004) Animal Behaviour: Mechanism, Development, Function and Evolution. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

McFarland, D. (1999) Animal Behaviour. Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Fraser, A.F.and Broom, D.M. (1990) Farm Animal Behaviour and Welfare. CABI.

Jensen, P. The Ethology of Domestic Animals. An Introductory Text. CAB International.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students should have developed the following generic skills:

  • academic excellence
  • greater in-depth understanding of scientific disciplines of animal behaviour

The student will develop:

  • critical thinking and analysis, and problem solving
  • flexibility and level of transferable skills should be enhanced through improved ability to communicate ideas effectively in both written and verbal formats.

This subject involves the use of animals. Students should be aware that this is an essential part of the course and exemption from this component is not possible.

Q Fever

Students enrolling in the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences are advised that some courses of study may put them at an increased risk of contracting Q Fever. Q Fever is a relatively common preventable condition which, while rarely fatal, can cause a severe acute illness and can result in damage to heart valves and chronic fatigue. It is recommended that students consider undertaking screening and vaccination for Q Fever prior to commencement of study. Students may be required to provide proof of vaccination prior to undertaking some coursework. Your course coordinator will advise you of this requirement prior to commencement of the study semester. Vaccine costs for students are not covered by the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme, Medicare, or by the University. Some students with full private medical coverage (which has hospital and ancillary cover) may receive partial re-imbursement for vaccine costs.

Related Course(s): Graduate Certificate in Agricultural Sciences
Graduate Diploma in Agricultural Sciences
Master of Animal Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: 100 Point (A) Master of Agricultural Sciences
100 Point (B) Master of Agricultural Sciences
150 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences
200 Point Master of Agricultural Sciences

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