Blog > Farming and Livestock Articles

Articles on Farming, Livestock and agricultural practices, by John Mason and staff of ACS Distance Education

We've developed a new micro course on managing the soil biome.

This is a rapidly growing field of study - critical to agriculture, horticulture and environmental management.

Soil microorganisms were previously "out of sight -out of mind" ....but we are now understanding that they are critical to plant growth, control of carbon emissions, soil stability, and so much more.



Aquaponics is the ultimate system for home food production.

In a small space, you can grow both vegetables, fruit, herbs and edible fish.

It can be as simple or complex, and as small or large as you want



Ungulates are mammals which have hooves or structures like hooves on their toes. They include most of our farm animals: horses, cattles, sheep, goats, pigs and others, as well as many very important wild animals. 

Nowadays we recognise that animals learn in different types of ways. The following table illustrates learning from simpler mechanisms at the top down to more complex types: 

  • Classical Conditioning - Animal learns by associating a stimulus with a response
  • Operant Conditioning - Animal learns by positive or negative reinforcement following an action
  • Learning Sets - Animal learns through trial and error
  • Insight Animal - Animals learn through understanding the relationships between different parts of a problem 
  • Imitation - Animal learns by watching others and using mental representations to copy them
  • Cognitive Mapping - Animal learns by using mental representations of the environment
Ducks are a friendly family pet which can provide garden pest control, delicious eggs or meat. Ducks have a life span of around 10-15 years. A male duck is called a drake, a female is a duck and their babies are called ducklings. They require a little more open space than chickens however they are less maintenance overall. When choosing a breed you must consider the size and temperament which would suit your needs as well as the intended use of the bird –are you intending to keep ducks as pets, eggs or meat production?