Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 1 x 2 hour lecture per week
Seminars / Tutorials 1 x 2 hour seminar per week
Practical 6 x 2 hour practicals and/or a three day study tour


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment  40%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  60%
Supplementary Assessment 40%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   60%

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:

1. Discuss and evaluate the role and integration of livestock in organic farming systems with reference to current research in this area.
2. To critically evaluate current legislation relating to animal welfare and management as well as the regulations governing organic livestock production (feeding, housing, transport, breeding policy and health plan etc.) in the United Kingdom and in the European Union.
3. To critically review the key factors governing forage and fodder quality and utilisation and to discuss, giving examples, its contribution to livestock nutrition, health and performance.
4. To identify and evaluate the key factors governing livestock health, and discuss their application in practice, with particular reference to disease prevention through the use of appropriate management strategies.
5. To develop an understanding of the science underpinning the principles of organic livestock production and to apply the relevant knowledge gained in this and other modules to develop an integrated organic livestock production system.

Brief description

This module will form one of a suite of modules offered as part of the degree in Organic Agriculture but may also be of interest to students studying animal science and general agriculture. Students selecting this module will have already developed a good understanding of the principles of conventional livestock production and they will have a background knowledge and interest in animal physiology and nutrition. At the end of the proposed module students should be able to critically review information and to evaluate the objectives, principles and practice of organic livestock production systems against a background of the scientific principles underpinning livestock production.

Transferable skills

.1 Independent project work
Assignment (40%) designed to encourage independent research

.2 IT and information handling
Practical exercises, feed formulation and animal health data bases

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information
Practical exercises, feed formulation

.4 Writing in an academic context
The assignment will be laid out in the style of an academic report with suitable use of reference material cited according to library guidelines.

.5 Oral discussion and presentation
There will be plenty of opportunity for group discussion and/or for oral presentations/debates on specific current topics.

.6 Careers need awareness
Students will have the opportunity to meet experts in selected topics during the module and will also be provided with current
information from current business enterprises and career opportunities associated with organic livestock production during the organic study tour and throughout the course.

.7 Self-management
The assignment will involve the choice of a suitable topic following discussions with the course tutor. There will be opportunity to the student to undertake independent research for information and to contact selected experts in the subject area chosen.
The written assignment will be used to encourage the development of time management and communication skills.

.8 Group activity
Group activity will be a central feature of this module with opportunities for practical problem solving exercises and group discussions during practical sessions and tutorials. A `study tour? and/or a 3-day residential course/conference will be organized to illustrate practical aspects of organic livestock production and will provide the opportunity for students to meet experts involved the development organic livestock enterprises and other aspects of the organic industry. The conference will also provide the opportunity for students to give presentations based on their assignment work.

Reading List

Andrews, A H (1992) Bovine medicine: diseases and husbandry of cattle Blackwell Science Primo search Bairacli Levy, J de (1984) Complete herbal for farm and stable 4th Faber Primo search Belschner, H G (1984) Cattle diseases Angus and Robertson Primo search Boehncke E and Molkhentin, V (eds) (1991) Alternatives in animal husbandry: Conference Proceedings, University of Kassel Primo search Cullen, P T (1991) Farm animal health; a practical guide Pergamon Press Primo search Haggar R J and Padel S (eds) (1996) Conversion to organic milk production Technical Review No. 4. Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth. Primo search Handsford, P (1992) Herdsman's guide to homeopathy Manor Farm, Godmanstone Primo search Lampkin N H (1990) Organic Farming Farming Press Primo search MacLeod, G (1981) The treatment of cattle by homeopathy Health Science Press Primo search Niezen, J (ed) (1995) Effect of pasture species on parasitism in lambs Agresearch, NZ Primo search Roderick S, Short N and Hovi, M (1996) organic livestock production - animal health and welfare research priorities VEERU, University of Reading Primo search Sainsbury D (1998) Animal health: health, disease and welfare of farm livestock Blackwell Scientific Primo search Sainsbury D and Sainsbury P (1988) Livestock health and housing 3rd Bailliere Tindall Primo search Thedford T R (1983) Sheep health handbook: a field guide for producers with limited veterinary services Winrock Primo search UFAW (1981) Alternatives to intensive husbandry systems UFAW Primo search UFAW (1988) management and welfare of farm animals UFAW Primo search Keatinge, R (1997) Non-chemical approaches to internal parasite control ADAS, Redesdale Primo search Lampkin N H (ed) (1997) Constraints on organic poultry production. Report for MAFF MAFF Primo search MAFF/ADAS (1981) Clean grazing systems for sheep Booklet 2324 Primo search MAFF/ADAS (1982) Grazing plans for the control of stomach and intestinal worms in sheep and in cattle Booklet 2154 Primo search Taylor M (1987) Parasitic worms in ruminants and their control Seminar proceedings, British Organic Farmers, Bristol Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 6