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Provide food and water for animals

Unit Descriptor This unit of competency covers the process of preparing and providing food and water for animals. It requires the application of knowledge and skills to provide food and water and report and maintain records. In addition, it requires an awareness of animal welfare and behaviour, and safe workplace and sustainable environmental practices associated with animal care. Working with animals at this level is likely to be carried out under direct and close supervision according to organisational policies and procedures. In addition to legal and ethical responsibilities, all units of competency in the Animal Care and Management Training Package have the requirement for animals to be handled gently and calmly. The individual is required to develop an empathetic understanding of animals in their care, so that stress and discomfort can be minimised. The work functions within this unit require the demonstration of basic operational knowledge in a moderate range of areas and the application o

1 . Prepare for feeding
  1. Food and food supplements are confirmed and prepared in line with feeding plans.

  2. Food temperature requirements for preparation and storage are followed correctly.

  3. Existing and potential hazards in the workplace are identified and reported to the supervisor.

  4. Food and water containers appropriate to the animal and situation are used.

  5. Sufficient food and water containers are used when feeding animals in social and multi-taxa enclosures.

2 . Feed and water animals
  1. Suitable personal protective clothing and equipment is selected, used and maintained in accordance with occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements.

  2. Food and food supplements are provided in accordance with feeding plans and organisational policies and procedures.

  3. Food and water supply are checked and maintained according to feeding plans.

  4. Feeding process is monitored to ensure animals are feeding effectively in accordance with feeding plans.

  5. Variations to individual eating and drinking patterns are noted and promptly reported to supervisor.

3 . Complete the feeding and watering process
  1. Feeding and watering process is recorded in accordance with organisational procedures.

  2. Eating and drinking abnormalities are recorded and reported to the supervisor according to organisational policies and procedures.

  3. A clean and safe area is maintained during and on completion of feeding and watering in accordance with OHS and organisational requirements.

  4. Food and food supplements are stored according to organisational policies and procedures.

  5. Food and food supplement stock levels are recorded and reported to supervisor.

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?By gathering information about the feeding plan from supervisors.1
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?By recording information in respect to eating and drinking.1
How are activities planned and organised?Activities can be planned and coordinated with feeding and monitoring routines.1
How are problem solving skills applied?By following procedures to achieve feeding requirements.1
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?By measuring food requirements according to the feeding plan.1
How is use of technology applied?By ensuring required quality and quantity of water is supplied.1
How is team work used within this competency?By assisting in the recording of information appropriate to organisational policies and procedures.1

Range Statement

What type of food and food supplements may be checked and provided to livestock?

Food and food checks may include quantity of food, quality of food, the incidence of toxic species and weeds, and checking for cleanliness and freshness including the removal of stale or contaminated food.

Food supplements may include hay, grain, trace elements, vitamins and sources of specific-purpose foods.

Supplementary feeding may be required to cover seasonal, drought or other feed shortages and trace element deficiencies.

What might be included in a feeding plan?

Target weights, amount and type of food and food supplements, how to introduce animals to dietary changes, feeding frequency and rates, feeding methods and procedures, weed and pest control strategy, supervisor's instructions, reporting and recording requirements, presentation of food that stimulates activity and allows animals to mimic normal wild activity.

What food temperature requirements may be followed?

Food temperature requirements may include minimum temperature for safe cold storage and minimum temperature and time for defrosting frozen food. The temperature of food may affect palatability or digestion factors.

What existing and potential hazards may be encountered in the workplace?

Animal movement and handling, solar radiation, organic and other dusts, excessive noise, moving machinery and vehicles, the contamination from vermin and the possibility of zoonoses.

What personal protective clothing and equipment may be relevant?

Boots, overalls, gloves, protective eyewear, hearing protection, respirator or face mask and sun protection (e.g. sun hat and sunscreen).

What OHS requirements may apply?

Safe work practices will include the use of personal protective clothing and equipment including safety goggles and glasses, protective masks, safety gloves, aprons, appropriate footwear and animal handling gauntlets.

Protocols for safe work practices may include hazard identification and risk minimisation; the handling, use, storage, transport and disposal of chemicals; and the handling and disposal of biological wastes.

The handling of chemicals and medicines in the workplace requires extra care to ensure safe work practices are maintained.

Safe work practices include the packaging and handling of animals and equipment. Appropriate safe handling techniques for the task are used to reduce muscle load on exertion.

Some workplaces may expose personnel to risks such as zoonoses, release of infective agents (both animal and human), chemical spillage and gas leakages.

What does checking water supply involve?

Ensuring that quality, quantity and access are sufficient and meet the feeding plan.

Why should the feeding process be monitored?

The feeding process should be monitored to ensure that no one animal or group of animals dominates the food and / or water supply.

What eating and drinking abnormalities may be observed?

This may include the general observation of sick animals, shy feeders, weight loss, scouring, greedy (bossy) feeders and ill thrift.

What organisational requirements may apply?

Standard operating procedures, industry standards, production schedules, work notes, product labels, manufacturers' specifications, operators' manuals, organisational policies and procedures (including waste disposal, recycling and re-use guidelines), OHS procedures, supervisor's oral or written instructions and work and feeding plans.

Evidence Guide

What are the critical aspects of evidence required for this unit of competency as a whole?

The critical requirements that are valuable for this unit of competency as a whole are listed below.

Assessment must confirm one's ability to:

What specific knowledge is needed to achieve the performance criteria?

Knowledge and understanding are essential to apply this unit in the workplace, to transfer the skills to other contexts and to deal with unplanned events. The knowledge requirements for this unit of competency are listed below and include:

What specific skills are needed to achieve the performance criteria?

To achieve the performance criteria, some complementary skills are required. These skills include the ability to:

What are the specific resource implications for this unit of competency?

For valid assessment, one must have opportunities to participate in a range of exercises, case studies and other real and simulated practical and knowledge assessments that demonstrate the skills and knowledge to participate in providing food and water for animals. One must also have access to the resources listed below that include:

What considerations should there be for consistency in performance?

To ensure consistency in one's performance, competency should be demonstrated on more than one occasion over a period of time in order to cover a variety of circumstances, cases and responsibilities and, where possible, over a number of assessment activities.

The skills and knowledge required to provide food and water for animals must be transferable to a range of work environments and contexts and include the ability to deal with unplanned events. For example, this could include work within animal care industries such as animal technology, animal control and regulation, companion animal services, veterinary nursing or captive animals. It may include workplaces such as city, regional or rural facilities, small and large captive animal facilities, traditional or open-range type facilities, wildlife parks, sanctuaries, mobile farms, theme park environments, veterinary clinics, pet shops and boarding, breeding and / or grooming facilities.

What considerations should there be for context of assessment?

Assessment for this unit of competency is to be largely practical in nature and will be most appropriately assessed in the workplace or in a situation that reproduces normal work conditions.

There must be access in either situation to the appropriate equipment and / or resources to enable one to demonstrate competency.

Are there other units of competency that could be assessed with this one?

This unit of competency could be assessed on its own or in combination with other competencies relevant to the job function, for example:

RUV2103A Assist with general animal care