Husbandry of Reptiles

This course will teach you all about the husbandry of reptiles. The practical components of this course are offered during a teaching period in Maasland, the Netherlands yearly. For a full course calender, please visit

Poultry production

Modern day Poultry farming focuses on animal performance. The most critical factor for success within this sector is feeding! You will gain an understanding of scientific advances in nutrition, and investigate how these are applied to the practical poultry farming environment. Learning about animal health is an interesting and important subject for anyone thinking about working in the poultry industry. On completion of this course, you will have an understanding of how to prevent certain illnesses and diseases with the use of careful planning and health management regimes, to minimize the impact they have on animals and owners alike.

After this course you are able to identify different poultry production systems, also focused on the different poultry production systems. Besides that you are challenged to develop a new innovative system!


Nordic Animals

This course about Nordic Animals teaches you about selected species of wild (or semi-wild) mammals and birds living in the north of Sweden. During the course, you will learn about and undertake the following topics and activities:


  • Biology of Nordic Animals: Species,
    ecology,  behavior, natural feed.
  • Working with Nordic Animals in captivity: Daily routines, feeding, cleaning, safe work.
  • Conservation Biology: Cites, red lists, protected species, projects.
  • Excursions: Biotopes, overnight in the wild.

You can participate in the course at Grans in Sweden. Please enrol here for participating in the course. 


Animal Health

In this course you will learn about the most common diseases of farm animals, the factors influencing animals´ health such as nutrition and environment. Different ways of treatment will be explained and practically demonstrated.

Theoretical lessons are supported by practical workshops on our organic school farm.

Experts (veterinarians and advisors) will give a solid overview over the topic. A practical two-day training on a farm will give you insight in the daily routine of a typical Austrian farmer. Many excursions will show different methods to ensure good standards of animal health and welfare.


Beef cattle husbandry

In this unit we focus on keeping and breeding beef cattle. Upon completion of this course, a trainee should be able to:





  • Understand routine and/or
    relevant beef cattle stock tasks;
  • Understand how to look after
    and feed beef cattle throughout the annual production calendar;
  • Understand the breeding and
    reproduction of beef cattle;
  • Describe safe
    techniques of administrating medication, showing knowledge of the types of
  • Understand
    the importance of cattle  identification
    and keeping the relevant records.


After a brief explanation about the claw physiology, you will execute the maintenance and therapeutic treatment of hoofs of dairy cows.
You assess the state of the cow before and after treatment, and score the claw to different infections. You give advice to the farmer to
improve hoof health. You explain the relationships between nutrition, housing, selection and hoof care eg. you select an appropriate bull
for a cow, with focus on feet and legs. You calculate the mineral needs for healthy claw.

During your period at VABI, there will be company visits to feed companies and suppliers of claw care products.
VABI makes the course practical by spending practical training at dairy farms as a part of the course

Hightech milking

In this course you learn everything of automation in the dairy equipment world: automatic
milking systems, feed pusher, automated calf feeder, barn cleaner, … Summarized: everything
that helps a farmer to have less labour on his dairy farm. In the first week of the course we invite all different suppliers of dairy equipment, and you will learn about all their automated products.
You will visit several Hightech milking farms with all kind of different automated equipment. In
the second week, you will install a feed pusher on a farm, you will handle, maintain and evaluate
the machine. In the third week, you will have the possibility to do an internship on a Hightech
Milking farm or do the job with a technician of supplies in dairy equipment. During this week, you learn also if an investment in such equipment is profitable, you will maintain them, and if
you go back home, you should know what automated products are interesting for your future
dairy farm!

New Horizons in pig production

High production efficiency and high standards regarding product quality and animal welfare are prerequisites regardless where a pig is reared in Europe. This course is for students aiming for being in charge for pig production in the future. You’ll learn about the essentials related to production efficiency, product quality and animal welfare. You will see various ways to produce pigs in order to challenge your perception of pig production systems. In the end, you must combine these elements into a model-draft of your future dream production system. You must be able to explain how this system will live up to efficient production of high quality pig meat and good animal welfare.

Topics covered in the course:

  • The needs and behavior of the pig
  • Factors of importance to efficiency, quality and welfare in pig production
  • Basics of biosecurity, production logistics and farm design

Upon this course you can

  • act on the basis of core knowledge about the need and behavior of the animal
  • observe and evaluate different production systems in a systematic way
  • do basic calculations and estimations related to farm design and produce a basic draft of a pig production system with emphasis on efficiency, quality and animal welfare.

You will know of:

  • universal factors of particular importance to pig growth an welfare
  • pro et con of various production systems.
  • Development of future pig production systems

Dog Daily Care and Welfare in Finland

This course covers 4 topics related to basic dog care:

  • Biology dogs: Breed, characteristics, digestion, anatomy, behaviour, genetics;
  • Working with dogs: Feed, feeding strategy, caring and handling;
  • Housing and husbandry: Facilities, cleaning, daily routines, bio security;
  • Healthcare and safety: Health and safety, prevention of injuries and diseases, bio security, first aid.

Students can participate in the practical course at Kainuun ammattiopisto, Kajaani, Finland.

Introduction to sheep husbandry

The trainees will learn the basics about sheep husbandry. Importants subject that are covered in this course are:





  • Sheep stock tasks;
  • Sheep behaviour;
  • Sheep nutrition;
  • Sheep Production Cycle;
  • Sheep Health;
  • Sheep records.