Ree RuMeN - Precision Feeding for the Environment: Rumen, Methane, and Nutrition

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
RuMeN aims to study, through in vitro laboratory tests, the role of feeding on rumen fermentations, with a view to improving the production efficiency of animals and the economic and environmental sustainability of the livestock farm. The topics will be addressed according to the modalities of a research project, that is, starting from an analysis of the scientific literature on the problem of enteric methanogenesis, formulating a hypothesis and collecting measured data to be processed and interpreted.
Expected learning outcomes
The student will learn to know and evaluate practically the possible nutritional strategies for the mitigation of methanogenesis on the basis of chemical and biological analyses, through the use of in vitro techniques carried out using a ruminal inoculum, also useful in a research and development perspective of the animal feed industry.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second semester
The laboratory activities will be carried out in presence in the didactic and experimental laboratories of the Department, appropriately equipped for the Covid-19 emergency, observing the safety measures indicated by the University.
Course syllabus
The laboratory program will be divided into the following activities:
1) Presentation of the topic addressed and methodological framework of the planned activities.
2) Practical sessions in the laboratory for the preparation and analyses of the samples to be evaluated.
3) Classroom activities of processing results and subsequent guided statistical evaluation.
4) Plenary discussion of the results.
5) Training for the preparation of the final report and presentation.
6) Final report draft preparation.
Prerequisites for admission
Basic knowledge of animal nutrition and feeding.
Teaching methods
The Laboratory will last for 5 working days, will take place over the course of two weeks in September 2020 and will welcome a maximum of 8 students. The activities will be carried out at the Zootechnical in-vitro laboratory of the Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. In particular, the Gas Endevour instrument will be used, consisting of 15 fermenters for the automatic and continuous measurement of rumen fermentation gases (CO2 and CH4). Furthermore, on the fermentation residues the digestibility of dry matter and fibre will be determined, and, by means of a gas chromatographic analysis, the composition in volatile fatty acids will be assessed.
The laboratory includes a few hours of frontal teaching but will mainly consist of laboratory and interactive classroom activities.
Teaching Resources
At the beginning of the Laboratory some scientific articles will be provided to the students on the topics to be addressed and the protocols for carrying out the laboratory activities.
Assessment methods and Criteria
The verification of learning will consist in the evaluation of the final report prepared by the students which must be structured according to the following scheme: i) introduction; ii) objective; iii) methodology; iv) results, including figures and tables; v) discussion and conclusions.
The report must be drawn up within ten days of the end of the laboratory activities. The presentation of the results will take place on a date that will be communicated directly to the students.
AGR/18 - ANIMAL NUTRITION AND FEEDING - University credits: 3
Laboratories: 40 hours
Lessons: 4 hours
On appointment
Dipartimento di Scienze Agrarie e Ambientali, sez. Zootecnia
By appointment
Tuesday 11-12