Behaviour management for future animal husbandry

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Behaviour management with focus on animal welfare is a rapidly growing area both within and outside of Sweden.

A project we are working on is a test bed in our animal hospital at Sötåsen agricultural college, there we have long-term strategies with the aim for the keeping of animals. One example of how the test bed is implemented as we work with is how we cut the hooves of our goats. Previously the method for cutting was based on who did it, sometimes the animal keepers have chased the goats to later be able to hold them down and cut the hooves.

In the test bed we instead work with a strategic plan on how the procedure should be carried out by cutting while the goats eat, or we lure the goat to want to complete the cutting and come to the keeper with the help of candy. There are many advantages of doing it this way, partly it becomes less stressful for the animal and it becomes better animal welfare. Because the animal feels better the risk for the keeper to receive kicks and similar things are reduced.

The cutting of the hooves is one example of many in the tests to work with behaviour management for animal welfare. In addition, we arrange courses in how to work with strategies in animal training. The project contributes to a development of college education and our students become even better fitted for a future job in the industry.