65902 - Livestock Breeding

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2022/2023

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. Paolo Zambonelli)

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

The programme of Course of Livestock Breeding has 3 Teaching Units.

Unit 1. Animal production science and genetic improvement of livestock (teaching unit 1: 10 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: 10 hours).

3.1 Visits to farms with livestock.

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.

The programme of Course Farming Technologies has 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. Paolo Zambonelli)

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 of UNIBO.

3) The following text-book: 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. Paolo Zambonelli)

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 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 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 (Module 1) and Farming Technologies (Module 2) 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".

Teaching tools

For both modules the lessons will be frontal 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 Paolo Zambonelli

See the website of Paolo Trevisi