Organic livestock production systems

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of this course is to provide a theoretical and practical knowledge on organic animal production. The theoretical lessons will provide the principal knowledge about the development of the organic movement in EU and in the world as well as the EU regulation of this method. The students will learn the main characteristics of this rearing method both from the management point of view and from the view of animal health and welfare. The lessons will also provided the basics of the organic certification process . Theoretical lessons and practical visits to the farms will support the learning.
Expected learning outcomes
The student must have understood the importance of diversification of farming system to protect the environment and biodiversity. The student will be able to manage this farming system, taking into account the characteristics of adaptability of each species to different natural environments to ensure a good level of production, animal health and welfare.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
First semester
Due to the emergency, visits to the farm will be replaced by videos made specifically in some organic farms accompanied by a round table with the farmers
Course syllabus
Introduction to the course and statistics 1 hour
Historical notes on the development of the organic movement 1 hour
IFOAM and the values of organic production 1 hour
Notes on specific legislation 1 hour
The Certification process 1 hour
Animal welfare: the critical points in organic production 2 hours
Animal welfare evaluation 1 hour
Rearing systems:
monogastric (pigs, poultry, rabbits) 5 hours
polygastric (cattle, goats, sheep) 3 hours

Views on the farm according to farmers availability and heath conditions 16 hours
Prerequisites for admission
To be able to effectively acquire the course contents it is essential that the students have knowledge of the intensive farming systems. In particular, the structures, the management and the principles of nutrition.
Teaching methods
The didactics will develop through three levels: the frontal lessons in which the historical context in which the biological method has been developed and the rearing techniques of the farmed species will be analyzed. The course will be supplemented by visits (in groups) in which students will be able to approach some organic farms. In order to make the students more aware, the third part will consist of some short seminars conducted by groups of students who will describe to their peers the educational output that involved them. The seminars should try to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the visited farms with respect to what was learned during the course.
Teaching Resources
Notes and in-depth material provided by the teacher available on the Ariel platform
Specific scientific and popular magazines
Web sites
Assessment methods and Criteria
Learning will be verified by a written test or oral exam. In both cases, the test will have as objective the verification of the knowledge about the farming systems under organic methods. Moreover, the verification of the development of critical judgment and the acquisition of specific technical terminology will be verified.
AGR/19 - ANIMAL SCIENCE - University credits: 3
Practicals: 16 hours
Lessons: 16 hours
Professor: Ferrante Valentina
By appointment
To be agreed