Nutrition, feeding and animal husbandry

A.Y. 2018/2019
Overall hours
AGR/18 AGR/19
Learning objectives
The first aim of the course is to provide the basic
knowledge on animal nutrition and feeding: the different
alimentary and nutrient principles, the main feed
(forages and concentrates), the requirements of the
animals in production (milk and meat) and the different
practical feeding techniques. The second aim is to provide
both theoretical and applied knowledge about husbandry
techniques of domestic animals and the influence of
animal production systems on quality of animal products,
environmental impact and animal welfare.
Expected learning outcomes
After passing the exam, the student will have gained
competence on the main feed, of their utilization by the
animals and of the different practical feeding techniques
under the various stages of development, the
physiological phases, and the levels of production.
Moreover he will have acquired basic skills and tools for
technical assessment of different animal production
systems in order to progress to higher levels of study or
to work in a livestock farm as a technician or consultant.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
Nutrition and feeding
Course syllabus
Programme of the teaching unit. 1: Animal Nutrition and Feeding. The chemical composition (water, minerals, organic matter, carbohydrates, lipids, nitrogenous compounds) and the related main chemical analyses of feeds will be described. Overview of the mineral and vitamin nutrition. The different factors affecting feed intake and digestibility will be examined. The role of fibre in animal nutrition and feeding and its dietetic and nutritive functions in ruminants and monogastrics will be carefully analysed. Energy and protein metabolism, the two pillars in animal nutrition, in ruminants and monogastrics will be thoroughly explained. Biological analyses of feeds for the determination of in vivo, in vitro (Tilley & Terry and Daisy) and in situ (nylon bags) digestibility, and the assessment of rumen fermentability (gas production) will be also described, in the view of showing to the students the importance of the interactions, beyond the chemical composition of the feed, between the feed itself and the digestive system. The main nutrient requirements of cattle (dairy and beef) and pigs, in the different stages of growth and physiological phases, will be summarized. In the second part of the course, the main feed (forages and concentrates) will be described. Particularly, among the forages (grass, hays, silages, stalks and straw) special reference will be made to those more frequently used: maize silage, Italian ryegrass, Lucerne, autumn-winter cereals. Among the concentrates a particular attention will be paid to the most important cereals, brans, protein meals of vegetable and animal origin, oilseeds, liquid feeds and different industrial by-products. Each feed will be considered for its main chemical and nutritional characteristics as well as the way of use. The last part of the course will focus on the feeding techniques, with practical examples of diets for dairy (calves, heifers, dry and lactating cows) and beef cattle (growing and fattening/finishing) and for pigs (piglet, growing, fattening/finishing, pregnant and lactating sow). Two farms, one for cattle and one for pigs, will be visited with the students to verify in the field the information and the knowledge gained in classroom.
Teaching methods
Learning material of the teaching unit 1:Animal Nutrition and FeedingMinutes of the lessons.Animal Nutrition, by McDonald, Edwards, Greenhalgh and Morgan, Longman, 1995.
Animal husbandry
Course syllabus
The aim of the course is to provide both theoretical and applied knowledge about animal husbandry in terms of management, breeding and feeding. A second goal is to give some instruments to assess the influence of animal production systems on quality of animal products, environment and animal welfare. Main topics: - Statistics, economics and regulations (0.5 ECTS): animal production in Italy; livestock statistics; animal food production and consumption; laws and regulations on animal production and animal food - Milk production (1.5 ECTS): dairy cattle breeds; milk composition and properties; factors affecting milk yield and composition; lactation physiology; milking techniques; dairy herd management and feeding; reproduction management and fertility; calf and heifer rearing; sheep, goat and buffalo milk production. - Beef cattle production (1 ECTS): beef cattle breeds; meat composition and structure; growth and development of meat animals; factors affecting meat production and quality; carcass evaluation; main beef cattle categories (veal calves, heifers, bulls); beef cattle management and feeding; cow-calf production systems - Swine and poultry production (1 ECTS): swine breeds; sow reproduction; sow management and feeding; rearing replacement females; rearing and finishing techniques of light and heavy pigs; egg and poultry meat production.
Teaching methods
- Notes from the course lessons - Online course:
Animal husbandry
AGR/19 - ANIMAL SCIENCE - University credits: 4
Field activity: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
Nutrition and feeding
AGR/18 - ANIMAL NUTRITION AND FEEDING - University credits: 4
Field activity: 16 hours
Lessons: 24 hours
On appointment
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, sez. Zootecnia
by appointment
Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences - Via Celoria 2