Lesson Title: Animal Welfare - What it is all about?
Subject Area: Science
Year Six (11-12 year olds)
Resources and Materials:
- Interactive whiteboard
- Props for dramatic representation
- Video recording technologies/camera
- iMovie, podcasts, movie maker applications or PowerPoint/Keynotes
Biosecurity, welfare, physical, guidelines, government, farmer, housing, health, nutritionist, nutrient, protein, carbohydrate, vitamin, mineral, commercial, temperature, lighting, disease, infectious, parasite, predators, competition, dominant, hierarchy, hygiene, disposal, vaccination, pesticide, insulation, and ventilation.
Higher Order Thinking Skills (Bloom’s Taxonomy):
Quality Assurance is the term used to explain the conditions of how a product is produced under strict guidelines. Conduct research into how Quality Assurance could be implemented in a farm scenario in Australia. Consider issues such as food, safety, quarantine and biosecurity, animal welfare, product labelling and environmental sustainability.
In this lesson students will understand how the growth and survival of a hen is affected by the physical conditions of its environment. They will gain knowledge of the ways in which egg farmers care for their hens and how the government enforces strict guidelines to ensure the safety and wellbeing of egg laying hens.
Aims & Objectives
Upon completion of this lesson students will demonstrate a basic understanding of:
- How the growth and survival of egg laying hens is affected by the physical conditions of their environment
- The definition of animal welfare and biosecurity
- How social competition affects hens
- How farmers and governments are working together to optimise the well-being of egg laying hens in Australia
- Making informed choices as a consumer in relation to the treatment of hens
Key Learning Area:
The growth and survival of living things are affected by physical conditions of their environment (ACSSU094)
Explore dramatic action, empathy and space in improvisations, playbuilding and scripted drama to develop characters and situations (ACADRM035)
- Critical and Creative Thinking
- Information and Communication Technology Capability
- Conduct the pre-test Pop Quiz.
- Introduce the term animal welfare and explain that this lesson will involve learning about the term in relation to egg laying hens on egg farms in Australia. Provide the simple definition 'Animal Welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals. It is concerned with the treatment of animals to ensure their health'. Ask the students why they think animal welfare is an area of importance in relation to egg farming, discuss. Explain to the students that healthy, stress-free birds produce safe and healthy eggs (which is vital for human consumption). Furthermore, consumers of eggs expect the humane treatment of hens.
- As a class, students begin to identify the different ways in which farmers and the government are ensuring the safety and well-being of egg laying hens during egg farming practices, by viewing the online video, Hen Safety and Wellbeing.
- Using the interactive chart, Safety and Wellbeing of Egg Laying Hens, students drag and drop the visual images under the appropriate topic heading on the chart. Students are informed that all of these topics relate to the welfare of egg laying hens on an egg farm.
- As each topic is dragged and dropped into the correct space on the chart, students read and discuss the information pop up boxes, explaining; Housing, Food and Water, Temperature, Lighting, Protection, Free Range Farming, Social Competition, Biosecurity and Vaccination/Health.
- Explain in further detail the term biosecurity 'the practical measures egg farmers take to limit the introduction and spread of infectious diseases and pests within and between farms'.
Main Body of Teaching
- Divide the class into small groups of 4 students. Assign each group one of the topics relating to the welfare of egg laying hens. Using the knowledge gained from the online video and information contained in the interactive activity, The Safety and Well-being of Egg Laying Hens, students use drama and digital technology to convey their understanding of the given topic.
- Each group chooses an appropriate technique from the presentation options online in the Interactive Lesson to dramatise their topic. As well as dramatic action they may wish to use props, voice, auditory effects etc. to enhance their presentation. For example, the group ‘Biosecurity’ could use props including overalls, hairnets, booties, a bottle of disinfectant, dramatic action, voice and sound effects to explain the term and how it is practised on a modern egg farm. Each group is then required to video record and/or photograph their dramatisation and are encouraged to be creative and persuasive in their delivery.
- Once all groups have recorded their dramatisation, collate and store as a class resource. Using iMovie, podcasts or a similar application the video recordings from each group are used to create a class movie that focuses on the way farmers and governments are engaging in safe practices that put the physical and physiological well-being of egg laying hens as a priority. If these resources are not available, create a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation to achieve the same result.
- As a class, students brainstorm a relevant title for their movie/presentation. Once completed, invite another class to view the completed task.
- Discuss what the students have learnt from participating in this task. Enquire about their level of understanding on the importance of animal welfare in relation to egg farming, before and then after the learning activity.
- Students participate in a quick game of Hot Seating where students take turns in the role as a hen and respond to questions relating to their treatment on an egg farm. Replace to include the farmer in the Hot Seat.
- Conduct the post assessment Pop Quiz.
- Design a ten fact crossword puzzle using information related to animal welfare (the safety and well-being of egg laying hens).
- Use grid paper or a crossword application to complete the task.
- Ask a parent or family member to complete the crossword. Alternatively, complete a friend’s crossword in class.
Some examples of facts include:
- The term used to describe the set of rules used on an egg farm to prevent and control disease.
- _______ systems account for about 37% of Australia’s commercial egg farming.
A= Free Range
- Social _______________ is when dominant hens attack the weaker hens.
Conduct this online in the interactive lesson.
|1. What is animal welfare?
a. The treatment of animals to ensure their health and well-being.
b. The physical and psychological well-being of an animal.
c. Both A and B.
|2. Why is animal welfare so important on egg farms?
a. Healthy, stress-free birds ensure safe and healthy eggs which is vital for human consumption.
b. Consumers of eggs expect and demand the humane treatment of hens.
c. Both A and B.
|3. What is Biosecurity?
a. The way hens are secured/kept in their environment.
b. The practical measures egg farmers take to limit the introduction and spread of infectious diseases and pests.
c. The employees at egg farms responsible for the security of the hens and eggs.
|4. What is meant by the term ‘social competition’ in relation to egg farming?
a. A ‘pecking order’ brought about when hens are housed together.
b. When farmers compete for the best hens.
c. A competition run by supermarkets to determine the best eggs as voted by consumers.
|5. Farmers and Governments are ensuring the safety and well-being of egg laying hens through adequate:
a. Planning, training and record keeping.
b. Housing, food and water, temperature control, lighting, protection, biosecurity measures and vaccination/health.
c. Ensuring there are guard dogs for the hens on all egg farms in Australia.
|1. Complete this statement: The growth and survival of egg laying hens are...
a. Affected by physical conditions of their environment and influenced by the ways in which farmers treat their hens.
b. Maintained when measures are in place to ensure the safety and well-being of egg laying hens.
c. Both A and B
|2. Housing on a caged egg farm is important to the well-being of hens as it:
a. Provides protection from the weather, predators, disease and parasites.
b. Reduces social competition between birds and allows easy identification of sick or injured birds.
b. Both A and B
|3. Farmers ensure hens have:
a. A controlled supply of high quality feed and a balanced diet with six essential nutrients.
b. A diet chosen by the hen based on their particular favourite foods.
c. Both A and B
|4. Which of the following statements is false?
a. A hen can produce eggs all year round with only 2 hours of sunlight per day.
b. Hens need a minimum of 6 hours of darkness at night.
c. Light is critical to the development and formation of a hen’s reproductive system.
|5. Which of the following statements is false?
a. Egg farmers have pest control programmes in place.
b. Caged hens have the highest risk of catching diseases from wild birds and predators.
c. Feed storage and delivery systems are sealed to prevent contamination.
|6. What definition best suits the ‘free range’ system of farming?
a. A system of farming which accounts for 10% of Australia’s commercial egg farming where hens are housed in large sheds and have access to litter and nesting boxes.
b. A system of farming which accounts for 37% of Australia’s commercial egg farming where hens can move around freely and have access to sheds for eating/drinking , sleeping (roosting), laying and protection.
c. A system of farming which accounts for 51% of Australia’s commercial egg farming where hens are caged inside sheds and are provided with a continuous supply of fresh water and food.
|7. Social Competition is:
a. Hens forming a natural hierarchy. Dominant hens fight with less dominant hens to form what is known as a ‘pecking order’.
b. When fighting occurs due to co-mingling.
c. Both A and B.
|8. Biosecurity is:
a. A strict set of rules that prevents the introduction and spread of infectious diseases and pests within and between farms.
b. Only carried out on egg farms that adopt a free range system of egg farming.
c. A set of guidelines that do not affect egg farms in Australia.
|9. Biosecurity involves:
a. Open access by visitors to the egg farm provided they sign a contract.
b. The cleaning of all vehicles, containers and equipment in contact with the egg farm and hens.
c. Only allowing certain domestic animals access to the hens.
|10. Why do hen chicks need to be vaccinated?
a. To protect the chicks against a range of diseases and to increase the hen’s immunity to infectious disease.
b. To avoid the transference of chicken pox between hens and humans.
c. To stop the eggs they lay later in life from becoming contaminated.