cod. 23845

Academic year 2015/16
2° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Zootecnica speciale (AGR/19)
Discipline della zootecnica, allevamento e nutrizione animale
Type of training activity
44 hours
of face-to-face activities
3 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit
in - - -

Integrated course unit module: Special zootechnics

Learning objectives

The course aims to enable the student to know and to understand the essential elements of morphological assessment of cattle, the breeding of dairy cattle, the different types of livestock facilities in dairy cows, the composition and quality cow's milk, also in order to develop the student's ability to use the knowledge and understanding gained in identifying the different problems that can occur in a cattle farm of dairy cattle and suggest possible solutions.

Learning objectives:
The student, at the end of the course, will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding about:
- The key elements of morphofunctional evaluation of cattle.
- The characteristics of the breeding of dairy cow, of calves and heifers and the different types of housing and milking.
- The physico chemical and technological properties of cow's milk, and the factors influencing its variations.
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 dairy cows farm
- Contribute to the prevention of problems that can happen in a dairy cow herd
- Know how to detect and interpret the main parameters of a dairy cow farm.


Prerequisites: 1005122 - Anatomia Normale Veterinaria and 1004812 - Zootecnica Generale e Miglioramento Genetico

Course unit content

The first part of the course is focused on morpho-functional evaluation of cattle: Regions in the head, in the trunk, in the fore legs and related defects, in the hind legs and related defects. First elements of animal mechanics and stance evaluation. Weighing and measurements. Morphologic evaluation.
The second part of the course focuses on breeding of dairy cows, calves and heifers. Also describes the different types of housing and the different types of milking systems.
The third part of the course takes into consideration the quantitative and qualitative characteristics of bovine milk, the different factors of milk variation and milk quality payment system.

Full programme

Bovine morpho-functional evaluation elements. 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.

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.

Guided tours to cattle herds.


AA:VV. Benessere Animale . Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale Umbria e Marche Editore, 2010
BITTANTE G., ANDRIGHETTO L., RAMANZIN M.: Tecniche di produzione animale. Liviana Ed., Torino, 1993
MONETTI P.G.: Allevamento dei bovini e dei suini. Cristiano Giraldi Ed., Città di Castello (PG), 2001.
NAPOLITANO F., DE ROSA G., GRASSO F., Comportamento e benessere degli animali in produzione zootecnica. Aracne Editrice, Roma, 2007.

Teaching methods

During the lectures in the classroom, with the use of audio-visual facilities, morphological evaluation of dairy cattle, dairy cattle breeding characteristics and physico-chemical and technological properties of milk will be presented. The course will be supported by several guided tours to dairy cows farms, in order to make it clear to the student, through a direct experience in the field, the theoretical concepts discussed in the classroom. In addition, the student will be able to confront with employees in the sector in relation to dairy cows farm management.
Farms are chosen specifically with different number of animals, housing types and milking systems, and different purposes of milk production, so that the student can become familiar with all the different realities in the dairy sector. The lessons will also be supplemented by some seminars to deepen some specific issues.

Assessment methods and criteria

The assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course is that this module is examined together with the module of Special Zootechnics B. Therefore, the assessment of the achievement of the objectives of the course in its entirety provides a written examination on a series of questions which will be previously provided to students, followed by an integrative oral examination. Through questions regarding the course content will be determined whether the student has achieved the goal of knowledge and understanding of the content. The students must demonstrate that they have mastered the knowledge about the morphological evaluation of farm animals, on breeding of dairy and beef cattle, on the physico-chemical and technological properties of milk, on sheep and goat, buffalo, horses and rabbit and poultry production, on animal welfare. 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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