96986 - Applied Ethology and Precision Livestock Farming

Course Unit Page


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

Responsible consumption and production Climate Action

Academic Year 2022/2023

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student will reach a good level of knowledge of the main behaviors, physiology and pathological symptoms in production animals (ruminants, small ruminants, horses, and pigs). The student will be able to apply this knowledge to obtain an in-depth understanding of the monitoring system named precision livestock system (LPF) applied to the direct management of animals both from the point of reproductive and food production. In particular, the student is able to: - understand the principles on which LPF is based, be able to understand critically, interpreting the data generated by the various monitoring systems on the market, and propose solutions to the farmer in case of warnings for the health and welfare of animals reported by the monitoring system.

Course contents

Introduction to behavior and its evaluation. Feeding, sexual, maternal, locomotor behavior in ruminants, small ruminants, horses, and pigs. Main changes in behavior and clinical symptoms caused by the main technopathies affecting production animals. Introduction to real time monitoring systems available on the market. Problem solving learning with cases in which there are warning signals from the monitoring system


materials in posted on Virtuale

Teaching methods

active laerning techniques

Assessment methods

multiple choice test (mid term exam) (30%)

Oral Presentation entitled "Pros and cons of smarth tecnologies for improving health, production and welfare of …….. (pick a species) ( including at least 10 references) (70%)

The scoring will follow the following rubrica:

A very thorough knowledge of the topics addressed in the course, together with high skills of critical analysis, connection and a secure command of the specific terminology will be evaluated with the maximum score (30-30L).

A thorough knowledge of the topics covered in the course, together with good analytical and critical skills and the possession of a sure command of the specific terminology will be evaluated with good grades (27-29).

A technically adequate preparation and sufficient analytical skills, even if not particularly articulated, expressed in correct language, will produce discrete evaluations (23-26).

A sufficient preparation and capacity for analysis, expressed in a language that is barely formally correct, will determine its sufficiency (18-22).

Students can take the exam in English or Italian. 

Teaching tools

pc, PPT, practical classes on different farms

Office hours

See the website of Barbara Padalino