About this Course
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Approx. 9 hours to complete


Subtitles: English, French
Learners taking this Course are
  • Biologists
  • Social Workers
  • Nurses
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Researchers

100% online

Start instantly and learn at your own schedule.

Flexible deadlines

Reset deadlines in accordance to your schedule.

Approx. 9 hours to complete


Subtitles: English, French

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

18 minutes to complete

Getting Started

2 videos (Total 8 min), 1 reading
2 videos
Rules of engagement (from Animal Behaviour & Welfare course)6m
1 reading
Finding more information10m
2 hours to complete

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

13 videos (Total 28 min), 5 readings, 1 quiz
13 videos
What is a chicken?1m
Prehatch and hatching1m
Other types of learning3m
Hormones and Behaviour52s
Smell and Touch2m
Interview with Sarah Brocklehurst3m
5 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
1 practice exercise
Domestication, Development and Learning, the Senses30m
2 hours to complete

Behaviour Patterns of Chickens, Part 1

12 videos (Total 32 min), 4 readings, 1 quiz
12 videos
Feeding Behaviour1m
History Of Feeding, Contrafreeloading3m
Motivation To Show Feeding Phases1m
Broiler Feeding Behaviour1m
Drinking Behaviour3m
Preening And Dustbathing4m
Stretching, Wing Flapping, Thermoregulation, Sleeping3m
Dominance Behaviour, Aggression, Bird-to-bird Pecking5m
Social Spacing1m
4 readings
Article on feed choice in chickens10m
Drinking from a nipple drinker or dish10m
Distinction between preening, and oiling + preening10m
Aggression between males10m
1 practice exercise
Behaviour part 130m
2 hours to complete

Behaviour Patterns of Chickens, Part 2

12 videos (Total 40 min), 6 readings, 1 quiz
12 videos
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 Eating58s
6 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
1 practice exercise
Behaviour part 228m
1 hour to complete

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

5 videos (Total 16 min), 3 readings, 2 quizzes
5 videos
Ethics and Poultry Production4m
Welfare Organisations and Accreditation Schemes2m
Effects of Stressors1m
Assessing Welfare: Behavioural and Physiological Measures5m
3 readings
Ruth Harrison10m
Article on a 'good life' for hens10m
Welfare accreditation schemes10m
2 practice exercises
Welfare, ethics, welfare standards24m
A Life Worth Living Exercise (just for fun)6m
154 ReviewsChevron Right

Top reviews from Chicken Behaviour and Welfare

By MSJul 31st 2019

Great information about chickens' instinctive behaviors and the advantages and disadvantages of various means of caring for them. I learned a lot about the various systems used throughout the world.

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.



Dr Victoria Sandilands

Senior scientist
Avian Science Research Centre, SRUC

About The University of Edinburgh

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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.

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