Learning outcomes of the course unit
The course aims to enable the student to know and to understand the essential elements of morphological evaluation of farm animals, the methods of breeding of beef cattle, swine, equine sheep, goats, rabbit and poultry, the different types of structures of rearing pigs, the carcass characteristics and meat quality in the different categories, the composition and quality of sheep, goat and buffalo milk, the main criteria of animal welfare, physioclimatology, 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, at the end of the course, will have to demonstrate knowledge and understanding about:
- The key elements of morpho-functional evaluation of animals in livestock production.
- The characteristics of beef cattle breeding and the different types of housing.
- The characteristics of pig breeding and the different types of structures.
- The characteristics of sheep and goats rearing.
- The characteristics of buffaloes breeding.
- The chemical-physical and technological properties of sheep, goat and buffalo milk.
- The characteristics of rabbit and poultry breeding.
- The characteristics of equine breeding.
- The characteristics of carcass and meat quality in the different categories.
- The key elements of animal welfare, the main legislation for cattle and swine welfare and relationships with breeding structures.
- Basic knowledge of hygiene livestock, the main modalities of cleaning, disinfecting and disinfestation and the main elements of livestock biosafety.
- The main concepts of physioclimatology, climate and microclimate, methods of measurement of climatic parameters, definition and calculation of THI.
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: 1005122 - Anatomia Normale Veterinaria and 1004812 - Zootecnica Generale e Miglioramento Genetico
Course contents summary
The first part of the course is the morpho-functional evaluation of animals in livestock production.
The second part of the course is focused on the production of beef and on beef cattle rearing techniques, the characteristics of carcasses and meat in the different categories of animals.
The third part of the course deals with the production and quality of sheep, goat and buffalo milk and the breeding of buffalo sheep and goats.
The fourth part of the course is focused on the production of meat sheep rearing techniques, the characteristics of carcasses and sheep meat.
The fifth part of the course is focused on general aspects of breeding of horses.
The sixth part of the course is pig breeding and characteristics of carcass and pork meat.
The seventh part of the course deals with rabbit and poultry tunnel, for the production of meat and for the production of egg.
The eighth part of the course focuses on animal welfare, analyzing the main cattle and pig welfare legislation and relations with the breeding structures.
The ninth part of the course deals with the principles of farm hygiene, the main methods of cleaning, disinfection and disinfestation and the general criteria of 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 to cattle, buffalo, sheep, horses, pigs, rabbit and poultry farms will be carried out.
Morpho-functional evaluation of livestock. Morpho-functional typology elements and aptitude of livestock animals. Animal mechanics and evaluation of plumb-lines. Movements and gaits. Horse, pig, goat and sheep coats. Horse identification. Age determination in horse and cattle and other livestock species.
Dairy sheep, goat and buffalo production: Sheep, goat and buffalo rearing technologies. caprine, ovine and buffalo milk production and quality.
Sheep meat production: Sheep breeding techniques: reproduction, lactation and weaning. Carcass and meat features in the different classes.
Beef production: cattle breeding techniques. Functional parameters. Production of: veal, baby beef, beef. Carcass characteristics and meat quality in the different cattle categories.
Horses breeding: production techniques and breeding of horses.
Pork breeding: breeding of weaning pigs, the replacement gilts, boars, sows in gestation and lactation. Breeding of pigs for the production of meat and fine cuts. Morpho-functional evaluation of live animals and carcasses. Meat quality.
General characteristics of poultry and rabbit breeding in Italy. Poultry and rabbit meat production. Egg 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 productions of livestock. Active and passive control of the microclimate.
Guided tours to cattle, buffalo, sheep, horse, pig and poultry 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.
During the lectures in the classroom, with the use of audio-visual facilities, morphological evaluation of livestock, livestock breeding characteristics and the properties of animal productions will be presented. The course will be supported by several guided tours to livestock 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 livestock farm management.
Farms are chosen specifically on the basis of diversification, in order to be able to show a wide view of possible livestock. 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. 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.