We are almost at the end of the first period and heading to the exams. This period I followed two courses: 1. Ethological methods and experimental design, and 2. Applied animal behaviour. The first course is really focused on how to observe animals, how to make an ethogram, which is the best way to observe animals and to get the best results. The second course is about why animals perform some kind of behaviours, and how these behaviours can help the animals to survive.
For the first course we went on a few excursions to practice observation skills. At the beginning of the course we went to Skansen, which is located in Stockholm. Skansen is from origin an open-air museum where you can see how the Swedish people lived between the 16th and the first half of the 20th century. But nowadays they also have a Zoo with all kinds of animals. Furthermore, we went to Lövsta, the research stables of the University. It is comparable to Carus in Wageningen, the research stables of the WUR. In Lövsta we visited the cow and pig stables to observe these animals and also to practice our observation skills. It is really nice that they give us so much different opportunities to practice these skills, instead of only teaching these subjects in the lectures and by reading it from a study book.
For the second course we also went to Lövsta, where we got a guided tour around the stables. This was really interesting because they explained why they build the stables like this and why they keep the animals in certain ways.