311 Animal Husbandry


  • Helene Haataja, Hyria Koulutus Oy
  • Milla Jantunen, Koulutuskeskus Salpaus
  • Kia Kleemola, Koulutuskeskus Salpaus
  • Jonna Luoto, Keski-Pohjanmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä
  • Pihla Pavas, Keski-Pohjanmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä
  • Roosa Pihamaa, Koulutuskeskus Salpaus
  • Salla Vakkilainen,
    Keski-Uudenmaan koulutuskuntayhtymä Keuda

International competitor

  • Lina Sundqvist (Sweden)

Competition task structure and main task module components

There are Food production animal tasks (modules 1 and 2), and Small animal tasks (modules 3 and 4) in the com-petition. The tasks must be performed individually.


Module 1. Automatic milking in loose-housing cowshed at dairy farm
Competition time 30 min, 30 points

You work at a dairy cattle farm. During your shift, you should milk one cow with the automatic milking system and analyse the cell count of the cow milk. In the milking task, you should take the cow for milking, milk the cow in the pen with automatic system and analyse the milk cell count. The competitor will have an assistant, who can help to get the cow back to the pen. After milking, the competitor goes back to the cowshed’s office, where he or she will for 15 minutes answer the questions regarding milk quality management and milk producing.

Objects for assessment

  1. Milker 12 points
    • hygiene and use of protective equipment
    • work safety
    • working life skills
  2. Performing milking 14 points
    • hygiene in milking
    • milking as a technical performance
    • analyzing the cell count, and how the milk can be separated if needed
  3. Theoretic knowledge of milk quality control and milk producing 4 points
    • quality control
    • sustainable dairy cow


Module 2. Sheep caring
Competition time 30 min, 20 points

The sheep farm owners are on holiday. Despite the holiday, the animals must every day be cared for. Luckily, the owners have got a professional worker to the farm. The task is to feed a group of sheep, using a skid steer loader, and inspect the animals visually. The objects for assissment are the disease protection, sheep handling and han-dling the skid steer and working life skills. The competitor chooses the right protection equipment for himself or herself and performs a pre-start check for the skid steer. The competitor brings work safety/ protection equipment with him or her to the competition venue (the preliminary task).

Objects for assessment

  1. Handling animals, 2 points
  2. Feeding animals and water for drinking, 4 points
  3. Working life skills, 2 points
  4. A pre-start check for the skid steer, 3 points
  5. Choosing a route, 2 points
  6. Moving and transporting feeding stuffs, 3 points
  7. Work safety/ protection equipment, 3 points


Module 3. Dog caring
Competition time 30 min, 30 points

A client comes to the animal boarding with his or her dog. The client is going to buy some outdoor equipment for the dog. The client wants that the animal boarding personal will help him or her. The client also wants to get some advice about his or her dog’s health inspection and choosing a right diet for the dog. Justify your choices and your working. The customer service, work safety and sustainable development must be taken into consideration

Objects for assessment

  1. Handling the dog, 6 points
  2. Choosing a right diet, 3 points
  3. Choosing suitable outdoor equipment, 4 points
  4. Health inspection and vaccines for the dog, 6 points
  5. Work safety and hygiene, 3 points
  6. Customer service, 6 points
  7. Observance of the allotted competition time, 2 points


Module 4. Rodent caring
Competition time 20 min, 20 points

A customer comes to the pet shop and would like to buy a pet rodent. The competitor should advise the customer in rodent feeding, caring and handling. Justify your choices and your working. The customer service, work safety and sustainable development must be taken into consideration. The theoretical knowledge of health, animal dis-eases and feeding is tested in this module.

Objects for assessment

  1. Knowledge of species-appropriate feeding, 4 points
  2. Conditions, knowledge of species and behaviour (light, heat, technology, interior, etc.), 6 points
  3. Handling and sex identification, 3 points
  4. Animal diseases, hygiene and risks, 2 points
  5. Communication skills, taking into account the customer, 3 points
  6. Observance of the allotted competition time, 2 points


Description of the assessment process

The evaluation includes both objective and subjective assessment. Assessment is performed by 3-4 judges: one judge is a teacher, the second represents employees and the third represents workers.


Materials, equipment and work phases used and the competition area

Module 1. Materials, equipment and machines used

  • A loose-housing cowshed (built year 2014, about 100 cows)
  • There is an automatic milking system DeLaval VMS at the farm
  • A cell count plate and cell count substance
  • Dairy cattle farm’s quality manual
  • Measurement results of milk quality control

Module 2. Materials, equipment and machines used

  • ”Lampola” – a group of sheep in an open-air runs
  • A skid steer Avant 523
  • Feeding stuffs for sheep
  • Work safety equipment

Module 3. Materials, equipment and machines used

  • Different kinds of jogging equipment for the dog
  • Dog’s vaccination card
  • Dog’s food
  • A computer/tablet
  • A care agreement

Module 4. Materials, equipment and machines used

  • Equipment for caring rodents
  • Food for the rodent
  • A computer/tablet


What the competitor brings to the competition venue

The competitor must have an identity document.

The competitor must bring appropriate work clothes and shoes for Small animal tasks. The competitor also brings personal protection and work safety equipment for Sheep task (the preliminary task).

In Milking task, the competi-tors use overalls donated by the cooperative partner, and safety rubber boots from the farm.


A sample task and assessment as a whole

The tasks are based on previous Taitaja tasks. The previous tasks can be found here.

The tasks can be changed for the competition max. 30%.



  • main judge Kari Melkas, Riveria
  • Roosa Honkanen, Sirolan lammastila
  • Minna Eronen, Farmirekku
  • Sari Kokko, Nutrolin Oy
  • Mari Pukkila, Keuda
  • Maria Wirtanen, Optima
  • Minna Jolkkonen, Osuuskunta ItäMaito
  • Henna Rinta-Kiikka, Suomen marsuyhdistys
  • Päivi Kallionpää, YSAO

Taitaja Competition enables the develompent of competence and competence demonstration for the competitors. The judges of the skill categories will give feedback to the competitors during the competition and they will also evaluate the competition tasks. The presentations and ideas created during the competition are in the public domain and can be used by an individual or an enterprise. The presentations and ideas can be used as they are or further developed. The Taitaja2019 event is mainly publicly funded from the semifinals to the finals. The materials produced during the event are openly availabe without any usage fees.