About this Course
4.7
341 ratings
129 reviews
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 9 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French...
100% online

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.
Flexible deadlines

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.
Hours to complete

Approx. 9 hours to complete

Suggested: 4 hours/week...
Available languages

English

Subtitles: English, French...

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

Week
1
Hours to complete
18 minutes to complete

Getting Started

This brief module will tell you all the things you need to know to begin, including the syllabus of the course, who we are, how to engage with one another....
Reading
2 videos (Total 8 min), 1 reading
Video2 videos
Rules of engagement (from Animal Behaviour & Welfare course)6m
Reading1 reading
Finding more information10m
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Introduction to Animal Behaviour: Domestication, Behaviour Development and Learning, the Senses

Welcome to the first week of the Chicken Behaviour and Welfare Course. If you haven't seen it - watch the video which introduces you to the course: you can find it under "Getting Started; Welcome!" During this lesson, we will consider what makes a domestic animal, how behaviour develops in the chicken from before hatching and beyond, different types of learning and the senses - vision, hearing, taste, smell and touch. ...
Reading
13 videos (Total 28 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
Video13 videos
What is a chicken?1m
Domestication1m
Prehatch and hatching1m
Imprinting2m
Other types of learning3m
Hormones and Behaviourm
Motivation4m
Vision2m
Hearing1m
Taste1m
Smell and Touch2m
Interview with Sarah Brocklehurst3m
Reading5 readings
What is a chicken? Some images10m
Smithsonian's How the chicken conquered the world.10m
Learning who is your mother10m
Exercise: how operant conditioning works10m
Article on vision10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Domestication, Development and Learning, the Senses30m
Week
2
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Behaviour Patterns of Chickens, Part 1

During this week, we will consider some of the major behaviour patterns of chickens, such as maintenance behaviours of chickens, and social behaviours. Maintenance behaviours means feeding, drinking, and comfort activities. Comfort activities include preening, dustbathing, and perching (among others). Social behaviours include communication, dominance, aggression, and spacing. This week will be a combination of video lectures, in-video quizzes and an interview with a backyard producer. ...
Reading
12 videos (Total 32 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
Feeding Behaviour1m
History Of Feeding, Contrafreeloading3m
Motivation To Show Feeding Phases1m
Broiler Feeding Behaviour1m
Drinking Behaviour3m
Preening And Dustbathing4m
Perching1m
Stretching, Wing Flapping, Thermoregulation, Sleeping3m
Communication3m
Dominance Behaviour, Aggression, Bird-to-bird Pecking5m
Social Spacing1m
Reading4 readings
Article on feed choice in chickens10m
Drinking from a nipple drinker or dish10m
Distinction between preening, and oiling + preening10m
Aggression between males10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Behaviour part 130m
Week
3
Hours to complete
2 hours to complete

Behaviour Patterns of Chickens, Part 2

Welcome back everyone! During this week, we will consider the reproduction process in chickens, from courtship to brooding and hatching of eggs. We will then look at some abnormal behaviours that you might see in chickens. This week will be a combination of video lectures, in-video quizzes, video clips from outside sources, and a downloadable poster on eggshell abnormality....
Reading
12 videos (Total 40 min), 6 readings, 1 quiz
Video12 videos
Courtshipm
Mating Behaviour2m
Nesting and Laying Behaviour2m
Brooding Behaviour2m
Problems With Nesting And Laying Behaviour4m
Interview With Johnny - Breeding And Preparing For The Show Ring5m
Interview With Derek - Small-scale Commercial Broiler Incubation And Hatching9m
Feather Pecking And Cannibalism6m
Stereotypic Behaviours1m
Overdrinking (polydipsia)1m
Litter Eatingm
Reading6 readings
Transcript for interview with Johnny - Breeding and preparing for the show ring10m
Hens that go broody10m
How to assess developing embryos in eggs10m
Egg shell abnormalities10m
Egg eating10m
Different types of feather pecking10m
Quiz1 practice exercise
Behaviour part 228m
Week
4
Hours to complete
1 hour to complete

What is chicken welfare? Defining "welfare", ethical obligations, and welfare standards

During this week, we will consider what we mean by "animal welfare", and how a set of criteria known as the Five Freedoms can help you assess it. Dr Dorothy McKeegan from the University of Glasgow will discuss what the ethical obligations are of meeting an animal's welfare needs, and we will explore some of the various welfare standards that exist. Finally, we will look at welfare indicators, and Dr Barry Thorp from St David's Veterinary Team will discuss with Vicky what signs to look for in chicken flocks to make a welfare assessment. This week's Learning Outcomes: •Define 'welfare' and the Five Freedoms •What drives our ethical choices, including cost-benefit analysis •Describe some welfare standards available worldwide and how they differ •Explain ways to assess welfare, using behavioural and physiological indices...
Reading
5 videos (Total 16 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
Video5 videos
Ethics and Poultry Production4m
Welfare Organisations and Accreditation Schemes2m
Effects of Stressors1m
Assessing Welfare: Behavioural and Physiological Measures5m
Reading3 readings
Ruth Harrison10m
Article on a 'good life' for hens10m
Welfare accreditation schemes10m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Welfare, ethics, welfare standards24m
A Life Worth Living Exercise (just for fun)6m
4.7

Top Reviews

By CLOct 7th 2016

Fantastic course if you're just starting out in the world of chickens. I feel that I gained vital knowledge which has boosted my confidence in my abilities as a back garden hen keeper.

By ASJun 9th 2016

I found this course to be very informative for those who are beginning to learn about chickens or would like to expand their knowledge to improve conditions for their backyard flock.

Instructor

Avatar

Dr Victoria Sandilands

Senior scientist
Avian Science Research Centre, SRUC

About The University of Edinburgh

Influencing the world since 1583, The University of Edinburgh is consistently ranked as one of the world's top 50 universities. Today, we are an established and global leader in online learning, providing degree-level education to 3,000 online students in addition to 36,000 students on-campus. We also offer a wide range of free online courses in a variety of subjects. To find out more about studying for one of our online degrees, search for ‘Edinburgh online’ or visit www.ed.ac.uk/studying/online-learning/postgraduate ...

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Once you enroll for a Certificate, you’ll have access to all videos, quizzes, and programming assignments (if applicable). Peer review assignments can only be submitted and reviewed once your session has begun. If you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments.

  • When you purchase a Certificate you get access to all course materials, including graded assignments. Upon completing the course, your electronic Certificate will be added to your Accomplishments page - from there, you can print your Certificate or add it to your LinkedIn profile. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free.

More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center.