Morphological feeding and animal welfare
Module Feeding techniques

Academic Year 2023/2024 - Teacher: ANTONIO NATALELLO

Expected Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and understanding abilities: The student will acquire knowledge on the anatomy and physiology of the digestive system of ruminants and monogastrics, on the chemical-nutritional analyses of feeds for animals, on the characteristics of the different categories of feeds, on the techniques of forage conservation. In addition, the methods by which the parameters under study are interpreted will be provided.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding abilities: The student will be able to evaluate the chemical-nutritional characteristics of food by carrying out laboratory analyses and finding tables in the suggested texts. Furthermore, the student will acquire skills for the formulation of feed rations for some animal categories. The student will also be able to recognize the nutritional and sensory quality of feeds, consciously evaluating and interpreting the parameters that characterize them. 

Making judgements: The diversification of teaching activities will help to enhance the student's independence of judgment. The set of knowledge and skills acquired through lectures and all other theoretical-practical activities (laboratories, seminars held by external experts, technical visits) will allow for conscious learning and the ability to independently apply the knowledge acquired during the course in the different work fields.

Communication skills: Attending lessons and reading recommended texts, also in English, will help the student in the acquisition and use of technical language also in this language. The student will be stimulated to use technical language during classroom discussions and during other activities that will also favour the acquisition of synthesis skills.

Learning skills: The organization of the teaching allows the student to acquire a work method that can be replicated and pursued independently. This may be useful for the drafting of the final paper, for the continuation of studies and for the continuous updating of the knowledge and skills necessary for the profession.

Course Structure

Class lectures (28 h).

In-depth seminars on some of the topics covered, classroom and laboratory exercises (28 h).

As a guarantee of equal opportunities and in compliance with current laws, interested students can ask for a personal interview in order to plan any compensatory and/or dispensatory measures, based on their specific needs and on teaching objectives of the discipline. 

It is also possible to ask the departmental contacts of CInAP (Center for Active and Participatory Integration - Services for Disabilities and/or DSAs), in the persons of professors Giovanna Tropea Garzia and Anna De Angelis.

Required Prerequisites

No one  

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance is not mandatory, however it is strongly recommended because it facilitates the learning process. 

Detailed Course Content

Notes on anatomy and physiology of the digestive system and physiology of the endocrine system. Chemical-nutritional characteristics of zootechnical feeds: chemical analysis, digestibility and nutritional value. Zootechnical feeds: green fodder, hay, silage, concentrates, by-products. Forage conservation techniques: haymaking and ensiling. Notes on the energy and protein needs of animals according to the phase of the production cycle.  

Textbook Information

1. Bittante, Andrighetto, Ramanzin -  "Fondamenti di zootecnica", Liviana Editrice, Padova

2.. Antongiovanni, Gualtieri - "Nutrizione e alimentazione animale", Edagricole editrice, Bologna

3. Mc Donald, Edwards, Greenhalgh, Morgan, Sinclair, Wilkinson - "Animal nutrition", Pearson Education Limited Edition, Harlow, England

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Anatomy and physiology of digestive tract in ruminants and monogastricsChapter 18 (Text 1) -Chapter 8 (Text  2) - Slides on Studium
2Chemical-nutritional characteristics of  feeds: chemical analysis and digestibilityChapter 14 (Text 1). Slides on studium
3Nutritional valueChapter 9 (Text 2) Slides on Studium
4Forages and  concentratesChapters 26 e 27 (Text 1). Slides on Studium
5Haymaking and ensiling techniquesChapter 14 (Text 2). Slides on Studium
6Energy and protein requirements of ruminantsChapter 13 (Text 2). Slides on Studium
7Feed intake at pasture and grazing techniquesSlides on Studium

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

The learning evaluation will consist of an oral exam. 

Overall, the evaluation of the student's preparation will take place on the basis of the following criteria: learning ability and level of insight of the topics covered, synthesis and presentation abilities, use of technical language and critical sense of the student.

The vote follows the following scheme:


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Important shortcomings. Significant inaccuracies

Ability to analyze and synthesize: Irrelevant. Frequent generalizations. Inability to synthesize

Use of references: Completely inappropriate


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: At the threshold level. Obvious imperfections

Analysis and synthesis skills: Just enough skills

Use of references: just appropriate


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Routine knowledge

Ability to analyze and synthesize: ability of correct analysis and synthesis. Argue logically and consistently

Using references: Use standard references


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Good knowledge

Analysis and synthesis skills: good analysis and synthesis skills. The arguments are expressed consistently

Using references: Use of standard references


Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Knowledge more than good

Ability to analyze and synthesize: considerable abilities of analysis and synthesis

Use of references: the topic has been explored in depth

30-30 e lode

Knowledge and understanding of the topic: Excellent knowledge

Ability to analyze and synthesize: excellent abilities of analysis and synthesis.

Use of references: Important insights.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

1. Crude fiber analysis

2. Typical analysis

3. In vivo digestibility assessment systems

4. Feed nutritional value

5. Biochemical processes during the conservation of fodder intended for ensilage

6. Haymaking techniques

7. Rumen fermentations

8. Replacement effect of a grazing supplement

9. Factors influencing voluntary dry matter consumption