58183 - Animal Nutrition

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

After completing this module the student knows the basic principles of animal nutrition. It 'can estimate the needs of livestock and pets, and to formulate rations. He knows the relationship between nutrition and quality of foods of animal origin and consequences on animal health and food nutrition mistakes

Course contents

The course of Animal Nutrition is part of the Integrated Course of NUTRITION AND ANIMAL FEEDING.

The objective of the Integrated Course is to provide the student with knowledge relating to the nutrition and feeding of livestock (cattle, sheep and goats, buffaloes and pigs) and pets (dogs, cats and horses). The student will know the energy and nutritional needs of the different animal species and the feedstuffs that can be used to satisfy them. The interactions between nutrients, digestive and metabolic processes as well as production performance will be addressed. The student will learn how to formulate rations to support animal production in quantitative and qualitative terms as well as the well-being of all animal species. The course will also deal with the legislation relating to animal feeding as well as characteristics, technological and conservation treatments, and possible contamination of raw materials.

The Integrated Course will be divided into 4 courses:

- Animal nutrition (theoretical lessons and practical activities held by Prof. Andrea Formigoni and Dr. Ludovica Mammi)

- Large animals feeding (theoretical lessons and practical activities held by Prof. Andrea Formigoni)

- Companion animals feeding (theoretical lessons held by Prof. Giacomo Biagi and practical activities held by a contract teacher)

- Feed technology & production (theoretical lessons and practical activities held by Prof. Alberto Palmonari)

At the beginning of the course, detailed information will be provided on the internal organization of the theoretical and practical lesson timetable, as well as on the examination methods and registration.

Specifically, the following teachings will be dealt within the course of Animal Nutrition: Nutrition importance for vet pratictioners. Composition and roles of feedstuffs. Water. Nutrient digestibility. Nitrogen sources. Protein quality evaluation and ideal protein concept. Lipids: roles in animal nutrition. Carbohydrates in animal nutrition. Dietary fiber. Minerals and Vitamins: conventionals and non conventionals roles. Ruminant nutrition. Rumen functions: basic concepts. Dinamyc nutrition of the rumen. Rumen fermentation impact milk & meat quality and animal heath. Functional food from rumen fermentation. Feedstuffs energy content and animal requirements.


Study book

Ronchi, Savoini, Trabalza Marinucci. Manuale di Nutrizione dei Ruminanti da latte. Edises Università. 2020.

Antongiovanni M. e Gualtieri M. : Nutrizione e Alimentazione animale, Edagricole

McDonald-Edwards Greenhalgh: Nutrizione animale, Tecniche Nuove.

For specialized in-dept

INRA Feeding system for ruminants. INRA. Wageningen Academic Publisher. 2018.

Alimentation des bovins, ovins & caprins. INRA.

Pulina G., L'alimentazione degli ovini da latte. Avenue media. Bologna

Mordenti et al., Manuale di alimentazione del suino. Edagricole.

Miraglia N., Catalano A.L., Alimentazione pratica del cavallo sportivo. Tip. Poliglotta. Milano.

Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush: Small Animal Clinical Nutrition. Walsworth Publishing Company. USA.

NRC: Nutrient Requirements of 1) dairy cattle; 2) swine; 3) Horses 4) Beef 5)sheep

Teaching methods

Front and practical lessons

Students with special needs are invited to contact the teacher by e-mail to organize the teaching and examinations in the best possible way.

Assessment methods

The final exam will integrate the animal nutrition, large animal feeding class, pet feeding class, feed technology class. The final examen will consist of a multiple choice test and a practical part as follows:

  1. Initially the student will have to formulate a ration for one of the specie studied during the integrated classes (swine, ruminants, cats or dogs)

  2. Then the student will be asked to identify and describe a feed ingredient

  3. Finally, the last part will include 54 multiple-choice questions (6 questions for each one of the 10 credits of the integrated course.

  4. The students will get up to 3 points fro the practical test, up to 27 points from the multiple-choice questions and up to 3 from the feedstuff description.

Teaching tools

Lectures, exercises, rationing activities and farm visits.

Notes and teaching materials is available to students in electronic format.

"Razionare" software

Office hours

See the website of Andrea Formigoni

See the website of Ludovica Maria Eugenia Mammi