HET201 Applied Ethology

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Inger Lise Andersen

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:60

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:The total student workload is 125 hours. An appropriate distribution of time would be: Lectures and assigned reading: 95 hours. Practical assignments with preparation of reports: 20 hours. Studying for the exam: 10 hours.

Teaching and exam period:August block

About this course

This course addresses important concepts in applied ethology. Topics covered include domestication, behavioural genetics, reproductive behaviour, maternal behaviour, social behaviour, behavioural time budgets, and human-animal interactions. Factors affecting behaviour and welfare, such as breeding, housing design, feeding methods and animal handling, are discussed. The course provides theory and practical exercises on the normal behaviour of cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, poultry, and farmed fish, as well as identifying behaviour and welfare problems in these animals and solutions to these problems.

Learning outcome

Students will be able to explain key concepts in applied ethology. They will have experience with systematic observation of animal behaviour, and should be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal behaviour in production animals. They will gain an understanding of how they can apply ethological knowledge in practice by pointing to relevant measures that can improve animal welfare and productivity. Horses, dogs and cats are not covered but the course provides useful background for courses on these species (HFH255, HFX225). The course also provides important academic background for the courses HET203, HET300, and HET301.
  • The course comprises lectures, discussions and practical exercises in ethology and its application to sustainable animal production. Students will conduct behavioural observations on various production animal species and discuss scientific articles on animal-human interactions, and fulfill a task with observations, collection of date and to produce a poster.
  • Teachers are available for questions about the subject. For practical exercises, a teacher will supervise each group. Lecture material is placed in Canvas.
  • HFX132 ( HFX130-D) provides an important background in basic ethology and is a required course in the NMBU Bachelor of Animal Science.
  • Group work resulting in a poster presentation

  • The censor approves poster, and grades the oral presentation of poster.
  • Students will participate in two obligatory group assignments during the course.

    Students will visit animal facilities (e.g. NMBU's Centre for Animal Research) to collect behavioural data from observation of different production animal species, and will work in small groups to prepare a report on the findings. Note that people entering a Norwegian livestock facility must have been in Norway for at least the previous 48 hours. If direct observations of a particular species are not possible, video recordings of behaviour will be observed.

    Students will also work in small groups to prepare a brief summary of the consequences of positive and negative handling for animal behaviour, welfare and production results, based on 3-5 scientific articles.

    Students will participate in presenting both reports to the other students.

  • The course is taught partly in English, partly in Norwegian.
  • 10 hours per week
  • HET201- Applied Ethology and Animal Welfare - 10 ECTS
  • GSK