cod. 01081

Academic year 2018/19
3° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Zootecnica speciale (AGR/19)
Attività formative affini o integrative
Type of training activity
47 hours
of face-to-face activities
6 credits
hub: PARMA
course unit

Learning objectives

1- Knowledge and understanding:- To know general and special notions concerning production and reproduction cycles and breeding techniques of livestock animal species.- To understand the integration and interdependence between animal physiology and animal breeding and exploitation techniques.- To know and understand the tools for assessing the nutritional and health status of livestock animal species.- To know and understand the tools for assessing the efficiency / profitability of intensive and extensive livestock farms.2- Applying knowledge and understanding:- To be able to recognize, within each species of interest, the different categories of animals.- To be able to describe the general characteristics of the livestock farms and the structures that characterize it.- To be able to interpret and evaluate data on productivity and productive efficiency, fertility and reproductive efficiency, nutritional status, and health status in livestock animals.3- Making judgments:- To know how to analyze the different phases of the productive/reproductive cycle of livestock animals, highlighting the critical issues and proposing any corrective action.4- Communication skills:- To know how to communicate clearly to less experienced and less acclaimed interviewees the correct techniques and operating methods to be implemented in the livestock farms.- Being able to interact positively with the various professional figures working in the farms5- Learning skills:- To be able to adapt its own indications to the different production contexts and to the different managerial levels that can be found at farms. - To be able to properly interpret the results of scientific research on animal production.


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Course unit content

The contents of the course are represented by the description of the productive and reproductive cycles of farm animals and current and past techniques of livestock farming. The most important parameters for monitoring the efficiency/profitability and the health status of the livestock themselves will be illustrate.

Full programme

1 - Dairy cattle
- Organization of the cattle production sector for milk production
- Bovine milk market
- The dairy cow farms
- General organization of cattle breeding and dairy facilities
- The comeback of animals
       The calf: weaning, management, and feeding
              The heifer, the and pregnant heifer: puberty, management and feeding
- Animals in production
- The reproductive and productive cycle of the dairy cow: basics,
sexual cycle, pregnancy and parturition
Milk sinthesis and milking
Lactation: stages, nutrition and related issues
Dry period: stages, nutrition and related issues
- Transition cow
Feeding strategies of dairy cows
Nutritional errors and nutritional metabolic diseases in dairy cows
- Reproductive efficiency parameters
- Production efficiency parameters

2 - Beef Cattle
- Organization of the cattle production sector for the production of meat
- Beef market
- Categories of beef cattle
- Breeds and cattle crossings used for the production of meat
- The beef cattle farms
- Breeding of beef cows
Nutrient requirements and feeding
- Veal calf breeding
Nutrient requirements and feeding
Welfare and health problems of the veal calf
- Breeding of calves and young bulls for meat production
Growth, nutrient requirements and feeding
Welfare and health issues in calves and fattening cattle.
- Production efficiency parameters

3 - Pigs
- Organization of the pig production sector
- Market of pig meat and derived products
- The pig farms
- General organization of pig farming, breeding and types of structures
- Breeding pigs
Gilt: puberty, nutrition and management
Sow: reproductive cycle, feeding and management
sexual cycle, pregnancy and parturition
- Reproductive efficiency parameters
- Fattening pigs
Piglets: breastfeeding, weaning and management
Growing pigs: feeding and management
Selection, evaluation, preparation and distribution of food
Welfare and environmental impact
Major health problems in pig
- Production efficiency parameters

4 – Buffalo - Organization of the dairy buffalo production sector - Buffalo milk market- General organization of the buffalo dairy farm- Animal categories in buffalo breeding - The breeding and productive cycle of the buffalo: generality - Sex cycle, pregnancy and parturition- Characteristics of the buffalo milk - Characteristics of the buffalo meat - Milk buffalo feeding and rationing techniques - Reproductive efficiency parameters - Production efficiency parameters

5 - Poultry
- Organization of the productive poultry industry
- Market of eggs and poultry meat
- Poultry farms
- General organization of poultry farming, breeding and types of structures
- Poultry and livestock for the production of eggs
Reproductive system and reproductive activity
Pullet rearing
Control of the breeding and spawning
Feeding laying hen
- Poultry and livestock for meat production
Incubation and hatching
Rearing and fattening
Feeding chicken for meat production
- Main health problems in poultry breeding

6 - Sheep and goats
- Organization of the productive sector and the sheep and goat products market
- General organization of sheep and goats livestock, breeding types and structures
- Reproductive cycle and reproduction
- Production cycle and lactation curve
- Breeding and fattening of lambs
Breast-feeding and weaning
Producing heavy lamb
- The replacement animal breeding
- Feeding of sheep and goats
- Major health problems of sheep and goats

7 - Rabbits
- Organization of the sector and market of rabbit products
- General organization of rabbit farms, types of farming and structures
- Reproductive cycle, puberty and insemination
- Pregnancy and parturition
- Breast-feeding and weaning
- feeding and management of breeding does
- Fattening
- Feeding and management of fattening rabbits
- Main rabbit livestock health problems


BITTANTE G., ANDRIGHETTO L., RAMANZIN M.: Tecniche di produzione animale. Liviana Ed., Torino, 2003

MONETTI P.G.: Allevamento dei bovini e dei suini. Cristiano Giraldi Ed., Città di Castello (PG), 2001

Cavani C, Castellini C, Cerolini S, Cesari V, et al. AVICOLTURA E CONIGLICOLTURA. Point Veterinaire Italie Ed., Milano, 2008.

Students can find the pdf of lessons on the Elly (http://elly.veterinaria.unipr.it/2017/) platform or get them directly from the lecturer.

Teaching methods

The teaching activities will be conducted mainly in the form of lessons and, in the final part of the course, through guided livestock farm visits .The power point presentations used to support the lessons will be uploaded at the beginning of the course on the Elly platform and can be downloaded by students regularly enrolled in the course.Power point presentations are considered an integral part of the didactic material. Any changes made to the presentations will be promptly reported by the lecturer during the lessons.

Assessment methods and criteria

Learning evaluation will take place through summative assessment.Mode and type of test: interview with a maximum duration of 30 minutes, consisting of no. 5 questions. During the course of the test, the knowledge and understanding of the theoretical (Question 1 - Descriptor 1) and applied (Question 2 - Descriptor 2) themes, the ability to analyze hypothetical cases (Question 3 - Descriptor 3) the communication skill (Question 4 - Descriptor 4) and the ability to interpret scientific results (Question 5 - Descriptor 5) will be verified through the presentation of specific questions, pictures, case study and tables of data. Scale of assessment: the scale of assessment ranges from 0 to 30 cum laude.Weights and evaluation criteria: Each satisfactory answer has the maximum value of n. 6 points; unanswered or wrong answers have a value of 0; punctuality, completeness, and language ownership in all responses allows the achievement of laude.Materials useful to support the test: no paper or electronic material is allowed.Methods for returning test results: The oral result is communicated immediately at the end of the test.
To the students with diagnosis of specific learning disability (DSA) certified under law n. 170/2010, proper specific support will be provided.

Other information

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