Backyard Chickens | Centre for Veterinary Education

Backyard Chickens

Backyard Chickens

This course introduces backyard poultry to the clinician to allow comprehensive and effective workup and care for these patients.

Keeping a few chickens in the backyard has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last decade, with the backyard chicken becoming one of the most common birds presenting for veterinary care. 

This course aims to give you more confidence in approaching your backyard poultry cases by firstly providing an introduction to pet chicken medicine and then discussing common infectious and non-infectious diseases, anaesthesia and surgery. 

Veterinary nurses with a special interest in the topic are welcome to enrol in this course. Please be aware that the course is designed for qualified veterinarians and you should consider this in light of your knowledge and experience before you register. 

Past participant:

"As a busy practice owner and mum I find it very hard to keep up with my continuing education. This course was very achievable in the time I had, the knowledge gained was very practical. Great value for money."

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, you will:

  • Be able to apply the principles of SOAP to a pet chicken

  • Understand the use (& restrictions) of common medications

  • Understand common diseases of backyard poultry

  • Understand how avian anatomy and physiology affects the use of anaesthesia in chickens

  • Be familiar with common surgical problems in chickens. 


1.  An introduction to pet chicken medicine

  • Introduction to pet poultry

  • Physical examination, diagnostic testing and diagnostic imaging

  • The use of drugs in backyard poultry

2.  Infectious diseases

  • Parasites

  • Respiratory infections

  • Common viral infections and fungal infections

  • Exotic diseases

3.  Common non-infectious diseases

  • Reproductive disease

  • Dog attacks

  1. Anaesthesia and surgery

  • Analgesia and anaesthesia

  • Surgery

Course Delivery

This course includes:

  • Written notes, photographs, videos and case studies

  • Self-assessed multiple choice quizzes to test your knowledge and understanding

  • A discussion forum for conversation, debate and information exchange with your peers and tutors

  • An electronic certificate available for download upon successful completion of the course

The estimated time to complete this course is 10 hours and it will be open for 4 weeks.

Limited places remaining


Monday 4 June - Sunday 1 July 2018
Delivered Online


BVSc FANZCVS (Avian Medicine) CMAVA

Bob Doneley graduated from the University of Queensland in 1982. After working as an associate in veterinary practices in Bundaberg, Brisbane, the UK, and Toowoomba, he opened the West Toowoomba Vet Surgery in 1988. This practice, offering medical and surgical services for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles and small mammals, has operated continuously since then.  Bob sold the practice in August 2010, initially to take up the position of Head of the Small Animal Service at the University of Queensland Veterinary Medical Centre at Gatton, and now is an Associate Professor and Head of the Avian and Exotic Pet Service.

Shortly after graduation, he discovered an increasing interest in avian medicine which saw him obtain his Membership of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists in 1991 and his Fellowship in 2003, becoming Queensland’s first specialist in avian medicine and only the third in Australia.  He has authored 2 textbooks on avian medicine and several chapters in other books, as well as over 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals. He has spoken at veterinary conferences throughout Australia and in the USA.

Bob has been extensively involved in his profession. As well as being a member of the Australian Veterinary Association and several avian and exotic pet veterinary associations, he has been awarded the ANZCVS Fellowship Scholarship (2002), the College Prize (2003) and the College Meritorious Service Award (2015). He was on the Board of Examiners of the Australian College of Veterinary Scientists from 2004 till 2010.   

Course Fees

Member TypeTimeOnline
Recent Grad / Part-time Member$289
Student Member$145
Non-member / eMember$578
*Members include: Practice, Professional and Academic members


The TimeOnline nurse rate is the same as the Recent Grad/Part-time member rate in the table above. 

Repeat CPD Participant Discount*

If you have:

  • Completed 2 or more Distance Education (DE) courses in the previous 5 years, you are eligible for a 10% discount on future DE courses.
  • Participated in a CVE DE, TimeOnline or face-to-face CPD in the past 12 months you are eligible for a 10% discount for further registrations (excluding DE, workshops, the Practical Ultrasound -Intensive Short Course and the Recent Graduate Survival Seminar).

*Discounts are not cumulative. For further information about discount options for multiple registrations at the one event, please read the full Terms & Conditions.

Discounts and nurse registrations can’t be processed online. Please contact the CVE on +61 2 9351 7979 (Monday to Friday, AEST 9am to 5pm) or

Further details

Have a question? Your answer could be on our frequently asked questions page. If you cannot find an answer for your question, please email us or call us on +61 2 9351 7979.