65902 - Livestock Breeding

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Roberta Davoli

  • Learning modules Roberta Davoli (Modulo Mod 1)
    Paolo Trevisi (Modulo Mod 2)

  • Credits 6

  • SSD AGR/17

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 1)
    Traditional lectures (Modulo Mod 2)

  • Language Italian

  • Campus of Bologna

  • Degree Programme First cycle degree programme (L) in Marketing and Economics of the agro-industrial system (cod. 8526)

  • Teaching resources on Virtuale

  • Course Timetable from Sep 24, 2021 to Oct 29, 2021

    Course Timetable from Nov 03, 2021 to Dec 17, 2021


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Zero hunger Quality education Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student will achieve the knowledge of the essential technical-scientific elements of animal productions science and of selection methods and he/she will be able to face the control and the basic management of the more frequent farming and breeding systems . Moreover the student learns the fundamental elements of reproduction, genetic improvement and farming Technologies. The student will gain critical evaluations skills on livestock breeding themes of professional interest and a good aptitude to apply the skills achieved in the social and working frameworks.

Course contents

The course of Zootecnica has 6 Credits with two Modules of 3 credits each . The two Modules are the following: Livestock Breeding  and Farming Technologies 

Course of Livestock Breeding :  3 credits (Prof.ssa Roberta Davoli)

Course of Farming Technologies: 3 Credits  (Prof. Paolo Trevisi)

The programme of Course of Livestock Breeding ( 3 credits ) (Prof.ssa Roberta Davoli) has 3  Teaching Units 

Unit 1. Animal production science and genetic improvement of livestock ( teaching unit 1: 12 hours)

Farm animal species. Systematic classification of the animals : concept of specie, breed. Study of  the main milk and meat breeds and their diffusion area. Livestock productions: statistics. Milk production. Lactation curve . Factors that influence milk production and milk quality. Body Condition Score.  Milking. Bovine meat production and notes on the other meat specie . Factors influencing meat production and meat quality. Overview on reproduction in farm animals.

Genetic selection . Heritability of quantitative traits.  Genetic progress of livestock and influencing factors. Selection methods for genetic improvement. Progeny test, Performance test, Sib Test, Pedigree index. Organisation of farm animal selection in Italy . Herd books of the main livestock species reared in Italy and National Register. Outline of BLUP and GBLUP  methods. Crossbreeding between bovine breeds, aim of crossbreeding.

 Expertise achieved by the students with unit 1

a) knowledge of the essential biological and physiological basis of animal productions and selection.

b) knowledge of the factors influencing animal productions.

Unit 2. Livestock farming ( teaching unit 2 : 10 hours)

The major  zootechnical systems. Monogastric and polygastric animals: basic elements of animal nutrition,  and digestive physiology. Main animal feeds. Reproduction and reproductive systems. Weaning of calves. Dairy cow  and dry cow rearing. Main farming factors to be considered with milking and dry cows. Simple notes on heifer farming. Bovine meat production. Short mention on other meat specie. Slaughtering procedures, Bovine Carcass grading .

 Capacity achieved from unit 2

a) knowledge of  the importance of livestock systems  in agriculture  and  knowledge of  the basic elements of their application and  problems connected with their application.

b) knowledge of production and reproduction methods and essential physiological basis.

c) achievement of fundamental elements to critically evaluate different livestock systems and to consider a simple economic analysis of the different rearing systems .

d) application of the knowledges to the assessment of a livestock farm for the different aspects concerning livestock rearing and their products .

3) Seminars and visit to farms (Teaching Unit 3: 8 hours).

3.1 The visits to farms with livestock will be performed only if authorised on the basis of sanitary emergency due to COVID19 .

3.2 Seminars with techniques and experts on livestock farming and farm management.

Competences achieved unit 3:

a) Knowledge of the actuality of the livestock farming.

b) Achievement of the basic levels of capacity to evaluate and apply in basic way the knowledge  of the aspects gained during the course of lessons concerning in particular the  management of dairy cow of  selected breeds for milk production.

c) Validation of the elements aquired during the lessons though the meetings with operators involved in the specific Sector.

Programme of the Course Farming Technologies : 3 credits (Prof. Paolo Trevisi) and 2 Teaching Units 

The student that aim to attend this course should have already acquired a good compression in the basic biology, genetic and nutrition of farm animals. The course is divided in 2 units :1 frontal teaching and 1 Practical Teaching Unit. The first Teaching Unit is  articulated in frontal teaching lessons on the following major issues:

1) Evidence on the economy of the pig market at National and European level

2) Livestock technologies and slaughter procedures (outline of the legislation)

3) Main problems related with the pig breeding

4) Principles and methods of pig reproduction

5) Pig feeding in the different productive stages

6 ) Outline of genetic selection of pigs

The Unit 2 of the course is a practical teaching Unit and  includes seminars carried out by the industry and professionals from the pig sector and a visit to a pig farm in which will be highlight the management techniques and the practical problems related with heavy pig rearing.

Competences achieved: The course give the basic scientific and technical knowledge about management, nutrition, genetic selection and slaughtering techniques for heavy pigs breeding, in order to obtain have good performance and products with high technological quality, suitable for the typical productions like Parma and San Daniele ham and other seasoned products. In particular, the student is able to: - manage farms - prepare feeds for different categories of animals - monitor the quality of the productions at company and consortium level - carry out technical assistance activities.


Course of Livestock Breeding ( Prof. Roberta Davoli)

1) Notes from the lessons with PowerPoint presentation 

2) Slides presented and commented during the lessons that the teacher will give to the students. The slide will be on the platform Virtuale.it  of UniBo.

3) The following text-books:

G.Bittante, I.Andrighetto, M.Ramanzin. "Fondamenti di Zootecnica" -Liviana Editrice.

Course of Farming Technologies ( Prof Paolo Trevisi)

PowerPoint presentation

Teaching methods

Course of Livestock Breeding ( Prof. Roberta Davoli)

The course of the module Livestock Breeding is splitted in 3 teaching units with two units represented by frontal and /or on line lessons and the third is represented by open discussion with the students on the arguments developed during the lessons,  seminars with operators or experts of the main themes of the course. The frontal and /or on line lessons given by Prof.Roberta Davoli. Seminars will be organised  with  the support of  experts in the specific field. The frontal and /or on line lessons will be realised using  suitable documents and slides that will be given to the students at the end of the course for the exam.

Course of Farming Technologies ( Prof. Paolo Trevisi)

The courses is divided in two teaching units:

1) theory: 20 hours of frontal lectures supported by videos, photos and slides

2) Practice: 4 hours of seminaries and( if possible in functions of pandemic conditions) 6 hours for  visit to farms and other structure related with pig farming

Assessment methods

At the end of the course  is planned  the evaluation  of the students consistent in an oral examination. The student on the basis of the rules and procedures of University of Bologna can choose if the exam will be  in presence or on line utilising the informatic platforms available at University of Bologna. The lessons of the two modules "Livestock Breeding" and "Farming Technologies"are both parts of the course of " Zootecnica" then to pass the exam the student has to get the vote of at least 18/30 in each of the two Modules  representing the course of Zootecnica( 1 Module of 3 Credits  with  Prof.Roberta Davoli and one Module of 3 Credits with Prof. Trevisi) with 3 questions asked for each of the two Modules of the Zootecnica course. The exam will be at the end of the lessons of the courses of both Modules" Livestock Breeding" and "Farming Technologies".

The final evaluation of the exam of Zootecnica (Farm animal breeding)  expressed in thirtieths will be the mean value of the votes obtained in each of the two Modules "Livestock Breeding" and "Farming Technologies" and the evaluation will take into account jointly the level of knowledge and the skills acquired by the student in relation to the contents of all of the teaching Units.

The final vote obtained in an oral exam will express the degree of achievement of an organic vew of the topics and subjects discussed during the lessons together with their critical utilization in relation to the themes faced during the course.

The vote  will be assigned  following these criteria:

- A strong and deep knowledge of the topics addressed during the course together with  high capacity of critical analysis, of links among the arguments and with a high and sure  mastery of the specific terminology will be evaluated with the highest vote (30-30L)

- An in-deepth knowledge of the topics addressed during the course together with  capacity of critical analysis, of links among the arguments and a mastery of the specific terminology will be evaluated with good vote (27-29)

-A technically adequate knowledge and a medium capacity of analysis evn though non very well articulated , expressed in a correct langiage  will give discrete vote ( 23-26)

A preparation and a sufficient capacity of analysis even if quite limited , expressed using a language only formally adequate and only formally correct, will give the sufficiency of the vote (18-22).

The presence of serious gaps, a not suitable language, an exclusively  mechanic and mnemonical limited knowledge of the arguments with the lack of the specific level of knowledge will determine  a non positive evaluation. The student may not accept the negative vote and asks to repeat the exam in a future date.

The examination will last 25-30 minutes and aids are not allowed a part for the students who have the rights to use them. The dates, the times  and the rooms of exam and the examination procedures are visible on web site of the degree course. To sign up for the exams it's necessary to utilize the applicative web Alma Esami 

 The examination will be at the end of the lessons of both the modules  that constitute  the course of Zootecnica. The final vote is the mean value of the two votes in each part of the exam Livestock Breeding" and "Farming Technologies"

The exam is in italian language but it's possible also for the  students to have the exam in english Language.

Teaching tools

For both courses the lessons will be  frontal and /or on line lectures supported by power point slides.

The slides will be put on line on the platform Virtuale.it  of UniBO  for the students of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Roberta Davoli

See the website of Paolo Trevisi