cod. 1004802

Academic year 2013/14
2° year of course - First semester
Academic discipline
Zootecnica speciale (AGR/19)
Discipline delle produzioni animali
Type of training activity
48 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

The course aims to enable the student to know and to understand the essential elements of morphological evaluation of farm animals, the methods of livestock breeding, the different types of structures, the composition and quality of bovine, sheep, goat and buffalo milk, the main criteria of animal welfare, physioclimatology and farm hygiene.
This is also with the aim to develop the student's ability to use the knowledge and understanding gained in identifying the different problems that can occur in different types of livestock farms.

The student, also, applying the knowledge and understanding acquired, must be able, also working with farmers and other professionals, to
- contribute to the proper management of a livestock farm
- Contribute to the prevention of problems that can meet a livestock farm
- Know how to detect and interpret the main parameters of a livestock farm


Prerequisites: 1004801 - Anatomia, Embriologia, Istologia degli Animali Domestici; 16964 - Biologia Animale e Vegetale and 1004803 - Zootecnica Generale, Miglioramento Genetico e Biodiversità

Course unit content

The first part of the course is the morphofunctional evaluation of animals in livestock production, definition, terminology, morphological and functional regions.
The second part of the course focuses on dairy cows breeding, calves and heifers breeding. The different types of housing and the different types of milking systems will be described.
The third part of the course takes into account the main quantitative and qualitative characteristics of bovine milk, different factors of variation and milk quality payment.
The fourth part of the course focuses on general aspects of beef production and the techniques of cattle breeding of beef breeds.
The fifth part of the course introduces the production and quality of milk sheep, goat and buffalo, and breeding of sheep, goats and buffalo; also some principles of sheep meat production and pig breeding are described.
The sixth part of the course focuses on animal welfare, analyzing the main cattle and pig welfare legislation and relations with the breeding structures.
The seventh part of the course deals with the principles of farm hygiene, the main methods of cleaning, disinfection and disinfestation general and the criteria and livestock biosecurity.
In the last part of the course will discuss the main concepts of physioclimatology, climate and microclimate, methods of measurement of climatic parameters, definition and calculation of THI.

During the course guided tours are conducted in livestock farms.

Full programme

Livestock morpho-functional evaluation. Brachimorphous, dolicomorphous and mesomorphous typologies. Cattle coats. Morpho-functional evaluation methods of animals and report cards. Regions in the head. Regions in the trunk. Regions in the fore legs and related defects. Regions in the hind legs and related defects. First elements of animal mechanics and stance evaluation. Weighing and measurements. Morphologic evaluation. Age determination in cattle and other livestock species.
Dairy cattle breeding and milk production. Dairy cow consistence and possible productions. Productive cicle of dairy cow. Dairy cow breeding organisation. Calf breeding for replacement. Heifer breeding. Dairy cow breeding. Culling and replacement. Causes of cow culling. Cow housing types: tie-stall and free-stall. Machine milking. Milking systems: milking equipment for cowsheds and milking installations for milking parlours.
Milk quality and properties and variation factors. Milk chemical composition. Milk proteins. Milk physico-chemical properties. Variation factors in milk production: genetic factors, physiological factors, feeding factors, pathological factors climatic conditions and management. Principles of milk production legislation. Milk quality payment.
Production of sheep, goat and buffalo milk: Overview on breeding of dairy sheep, goat and buffalo, and production and quality of sheep, goat and buffalo milk.
Production of beef, sheep and swine meat: breeding techniques. Main types of production.
Animal welfare: the main cattle and pig welfare legislation, and the rules on animal welfare and relations with breeding structures.
Principles of farm hygiene: cleaning, disinfection and disinfestation. General criteria for biosafety.
Physioclimatology: definition of climate and microclimate; methods of measurement of climatic parameters; definition and calculation of THI. Effects of microclimate on the qualitative and quantitative production. Active and passive control of the microclimate.

Guided tours to livestock farms.


AA:VV. Benessere Animale . Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Umbria e Marche Editore, 2010
AA.VV. Etologia applicata e benessere animale. Vol. I e II. Point Veterinarie Italie, Milano, 2008
ALAIS C.: Scienza del latte - principi di tecnologia del latte e derivati. Ed. Tecniche Nuove, Milano,1984
BITTANTE G., ANDRIGHETTO L., RAMANZIN M.: Tecniche di produzione animale. Liviana Ed., Torino, 1993
CATALANO A.L.: Valutazione morfo-funzionale del cavallo. Igiene ed etnologia. Goliardica Ed., Parma, 1984
MEREGALLI A.: Conoscenza morfofunzionale degli animali domestici. Liviana Editrice, 1980.
MONETTI P.G.: Allevamento dei bovini e dei suini. Cristiano Giraldi Ed., Città di Castello (PG), 2001.
MONTEMURRO N. Igiene zootecnica. Edagricole, Bologna, 2002.
NAPOLITANO F., DE ROSA G., GRASSO F., Comportamento e benessere degli animali in produzione zootecnica. Aracne Editrice, Roma, 2007
PARIGI BINI R., SOMEDA DE MARCO A.: Zootecnica Speciale dei Bovini. Produzione della carne. Patton Ed., Bologna, 1989
SUCCI G.: Zootecnia speciale. Città Studi Ed., Milano, 1995
SUCCI G., HOFFMANN I.: La vacca da latte. Città Studi Ed., Milano, 1993

Teaching methods

During the lectures in the classroom, with the use of audio-visual facilities morphological evaluation of farm animals, the characteristics of livestock farm animals, the characteristics of their productions will be presented. The course will be supported by visits to farms in order to make it clear to the student, through a direct experience in the field, the theoretical concepts discussed in the classroom.
The lessons will also be supplemented by seminars to deepen some specific issues.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course will include an oral examination on a series of questions which will be previously provided to students at the end of each topic. Through questions regarding the course content will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of knowledge and understanding. The student must demonstrate that they have mastered the knowledge about the morphological evaluation of farm animals, the breeding of dairy and beef cattle, on the chemical-physical and technological properties of milk, on sheep, goat, buffalo production, on animal welfare physioclimatology and farm hygiene. By means of the questions in the oral examination will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of linking the arguments and to find solutions to problems, and if it proves to have good reasoning skills and independent judgment. It will be also assessed the appropriate specific language.

Other information

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