932011 Journal club animal husbandry

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Hintze, Sara , Kull, Kristina
Offered in
Wintersemester 2020/21
Languages of instruction


If we want to improve the welfare of farmed animals, we need to understand why they behave the way they do. This emphasises the importance of having detailed knowledge of their cognitive capabilities (i.e. their ability to acquire, remember and use information). Our knowledge of the mental capacities of farmed animals has the potential to highlight mismatches between husbandry practices and the needs of the animals.

In this journal club, we will discuss scientific articles relevant for the field of farm animal cognition, welfare and husbandry. Potential topics include self-awareness, emotions, human-animal interactions and social learning in farmed animals. Students are encouraged to suggest own topics, e.g. concerning their own (future) master projects. Every participant is expected to present a scientific article and prepare for the discussions.

Previous knowledge expected

No, but willingness to critically read and discuss scientific literature is expected.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

There are two main course objectives. The first one is to discuss in detail what implications do cognitive abilities of farm animals have for current farming practices. For example, what does it mean for inquisitive social animals, such as pigs, to be kept in barren environments which lack mental stimulation? The second objective is to gain more experience in critically evaluating scientific publications. For example, we will address questions related to the methods used (e.g. what would the student do differently, if they were to repeat the experiments?) and style (e.g. is the text clearly presented and well organised?). Additionally, we will discuss about the (im-)possible interpretations of research results, and about conclusions that may (not) be drawn.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.