Academic Year 2020/2021 - 2° Year - Curriculum Zootecnico
Teaching Staff Credit Value: 12
Scientific field: AGR/19 - Animal science
Course Language: English
Taught classes: 56 hours
Exercise: 56 hours
Term / Semester:

Learning Objectives

  • Sustainable management of animal production system

    Aim of the course is to deepen the students’ understanding of large, small ruminants and swine management to guarantee sustainability and product quality.

    At the end of the course the student will be able to apply a sustainable management of sheep grazing by fixing the appropriate stocking rate and to plan the use of agroindustrial by-products in animal feed as well as to apply organic farming techniques.


    The course will deliver knowledge on the indicators to evaluate the impact of sustainable livestock production on the quality of animal products. The measurement of the main quality traits of animal products will be addressed, as well as the criteria to source, exploit and elaborate relevant scientific data. At the end of the course students will be able to identify quality parameters of food of animal origin that are influenced by sustainable farming systems. They will be able to make objective measurements of some parameters and to critically interpret and report scientific data relevant to the field.

Course Structure

  • Sustainable management of animal production system

    The course will be shared between lectures through slides on the different topics treated and practical activities in classroom (problem solving approach, simulations exercises, tests, seminars) and/or in lab (analytical procedures) and on the field (technical farm visits).

    Should teaching be carried out in mixed mode or remotely, it may be necessary to introduce changes with respect to previous statements, in line with the programme planned and outlined in the syllabus.

    Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.


    The course will consist of 28 hours of lectures and 28 hours of other activities. The course will be structured by integrating conventional classes on the main topics in program with other teaching approaches on specific fields. Thematic tutorial videos will be used for specific topics in order to better understanding the practical issues related to particular techniques. Some topics will be treated in specific seminars given by the professor or by guest experts in the field. Other topics will be the subject of thematic in-field and laboratory activities, as well as of specific practice exercises.

    If teaching is given in a mixed formula or remotely, necessary changes may be introduced to what was previously stated in order to comply with the provided and reported syllabus. Learning assessment may also be carried out on line, should the conditions require it.

Detailed Course Content

  • Sustainable management of animal production system

    Small ruminant management in Mediterranean areas: feed intake, stocking rate, feeding plans. Organic livestock production: constraints according to official rules on organic animal production and potential effects on product quality. Alternative feed sources in animal feeding (agroindustrial byproducts, alternative legume seeds) and relative effects on product quality. Outdoor swine production. Feeding strategies to reduce GHG emissions by ruminant livestock. Hints on some analytical approaches applied to a sustainable animal productive chain.


    The topics addressed will be tightly complementary to those developed in the module “sustainable management of animal production systems”. These will include: quality parameters (sensory, nutritional and technological) for food products of animal origin; physiological aspects determining the production performance and their impact on the product quality traits; feeding and management strategies to improve product quality traits; potential markers for the authentication of the production system and origin of animal-derived food products. Contents will also include basic laboratory practices in animal production science and specific analytical approaches for the objective evaluation of suitability and quality of feedstuffs and food of animal origin (spectroscopic, chromatography, electrophoresis, and others). Finally, criteria for selection of relevant information from scientific sources, as well as principles of evaluation, collection and reporting of data relevant to the field will be addressed.

Textbook Information

  • Sustainable management of animal production system

    1. Pulina, G. – Dairy Sheep Feeding and Nutrition. Ed. Avenue Media.

    Scientific or expository papers and pdf slides provided by the teacher and uploaded in studium.unict electronic platform.


    1) G. Bittante, I. Andrighetto, M. Ramanzin. Tecniche di produzione animale (nuova edizione) – 2005, LIVIANA

    For specific focuses:

    2) Milk and Dairy Products in Human Nutrition: Production, Composition and Health. 2013. Editor(s): Young W. Park, George F.W. Haenlein. John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

    ISBN (print): 9780470674185 |ISBN (online): 9781118534168 |DOI:10.1002/9781118534168

    3) Lawrie’s Meat Science (8th edition). 2017. Edited by: Fidel Toldrá. Elsevier Ltd.

    ISBN (print): 978-0-08-100694-8 | ISBN (online): 978-0-08-100697-9

    Other teaching material will include:

    -) Copies of the presentations given during the classes, including those presented during the thematic seminars

    -) Links to the tutorial videos used

    -) Scientific publications, protocols of the analytical methods showed in the practice laboratories and other relevant material