Farm Animal Health (Animal Husbandry II) BAG201

Improve Your Knowledge of Animal Health

Study common health problems, ways such problems develop, appropriate management procedures, and more in this 100-hour course. Specially developed to help farmers, rehabilitators, and general animal carers, this course will help you learn to diagnose basic problems, deliver care, and recognise signs of ill health. An excellent course for building knowledge and confidence in dealing with animals.

Course Duration: 100 hours

Course Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course.

  1. Introduction to Animal Health
    • Describe common diseases affecting farm animals
    • The healthy animal
    • Causes of ill health
    • Preventing ill health
  2. Signs & Symptoms of Diseases
    • Physical symptoms of diseases
    • Common methods of handling animals during health assessments
    • Recognising ill health
    • Restraining a horse
    • Sheep handling facilities
  3. Disease Classification
    • Methods used in classifying animal diseases
    • Viral diseases
    • Bacterial diseases
    • Parasitic diseases
    • Protozoal diseases
    • Disease types in beef cattle
    • Diseases in sheep
  4. Causes and Diagnosis of Disease
    • Causes of disease and the relevant methods of diagnosis
    • Examining cattle
    • Examining a horse
    • Ticks
    • Tick-borne diseases
    • Dagnosis of diseases
  5. Treatment of Disease
    • Methods used in the treatment of diseases in farm animals
    • Vaccination
    • Animal first aid kit
    • Tetanus antiserum
    • Animal nursing
    • Quarantine
    • Slaughter
    • Post-mortem
    • Disease prevention in cattle
    • Disease prevention in sheep
    • Treatment of parasites in sheep
  6. Inflammation
    • Outline the nature and causes of inflammation in farm animals
    • Inflammatory response
    • Causes of inflammation
    • Types of inflammation
    • Symptoms of inflammation
    • Inflammatory exudate
    • Treatment of inflammation
  7. Fever and Immunity
    • The biological mechanisms underlying fever and the immune system in farm animals
    • The fever mechanism
    • Other temperature-related disorders
    • Effect of temperature on enzymes
    • Immunity
  8. Tissue Repair
    • The biological mechanisms underlying tissue repair in farm animals
    • Healing of a clean incised wound
    • Healing of an open wound
    • Common horse ailments
  9. Wounds
    • The biological mechanisms of wounds in farm animals and address different treatment methods for repair of common ailments
    • Types of wounds
    • First aid treatments
    • Bandaging horses
    • Emergencies
  10. Cell changes
    • The causes and biological mechanisms of cell change in farm animals
    • Neoplasms, tumours, and cancers
    • The course of an infectious disease
    • Death
    • Cancers, and more

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How Does a Farmer Recognise Health Issues?

The farmer needs to be familiar with the normal, vital signs of his animals, so that he can recognise health and ill health. Vital signs include:

  • Pulse rate
  • Respiration rate
  • Body temperature

These signs should be measured at rest.

In addition to vital signs, the farmer should continually observe the natural habits and behaviour of stock. Any changes in behaviour should be investigated immediately as it could be due to illness.

The earlier a farmer can treat sick animals, the better. Illness causes individual cells in the animal to break down and die. If treatment is started quickly, the cells can be stopped from degenerating. If treatment is delayed, the damage done by illness can be considerable; especially if the affected cells make up an organ.

The Healthy Animal

The healthy animal is interested in food. It will graze as normal, or in the case of penned animals, look forward to the next feed. The healthy animal will drink its normal amount of water (this is easily checked with penned animals), but more difficult with animals out grazing).

The healthy animal appears bright and alert. It will show its normal response to humans (ie. probably moving away as you approach if it is a grazing animal, or approaching if it is very used to human company). Brightness is most apparent in the eyes. The animal will show interest in unusual noises and sights.

The healthy animal's coat and skin will be supple and in good condition. Hair is one of the first parts of the body to register ill health, and it will also look dull if the animal is lacking some essential vitamins or minerals).

The colour of the mucous membrane is a good indicator of health, as it shows the condition of the blood. Mucous membrane is found around the eye, on the gums, inside the mouth, and at the entrance to the anus. In healthy animals, it should show a salmon pink colouring (but not vivid red).

The healthy animal will pass the normal number of droppings per day; and the droppings will be neither too loose or too dry for the type of livestock, and will be passed easily. If you press your ear to the side of the animal, you should be able to hear rumbling noises — these are signs that the digestive system is working. The healthy animal will also pass normal coloured urine.

Ruminants which are in good health will spend the normal number of hours chewing the cud. Healthy animals will also spend a normal number of hours resting each day. Normal vital signs are as outlined below:

Type of Animal


Respiration Rate

Pulse Rate (beats/ minute)

o Centigrade

o Fahrenheit































(Data adapted from Duke's Physiology of Domestic Animals, 9th & 10th Ed., Swenson, M.J., Ed., 1977 & 1984 respectively, Cornell University Press).


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Fee Information (S2)
Prices in Australian Dollars

PlanAust. PriceOverseas Price
A 1 x $781.66  1 x $710.60
B 2 x $416.96  2 x $379.05

Note: Australian prices include GST. 

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