Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Livestock Nutrition
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Ration formulation assignment  20%
Semester Assessment Livestock research proposal  (max 2000 words)  20%
Semester Exam 3 Hours   60%
Supplementary Exam 3 Hours   Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  60%
Supplementary Assessment Students must take elements of assessment equivalent to those that led to failure of the module.  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Discuss the principles of energy and nutrient metabolism in farm and companion animals and evaluate the consequences of excess or deficiency of key nutrients.

2. Discuss key laboratory and animal tests used in ration evaluation.

3. Formulate rations for different categories of animals.

4. Discuss and critically evaluate current issues in livestock nutrition and the research addressing these.

5. Discuss the ecology of the rumen and the methods used to modify this.

6. Critically evaluate the methods used to modify the characteristics of animal products.

Brief description

Semester 1 lectures will consider principles of animal nutrition in a broad context, where the evaluation of feeds in a laboratory and field context will be discussed as will principles of energy and protein metabolism and nutrition. The consequences and possible causes of mineral and vitamin deficiencies and excesses will be considered. This knowledge will then be applied to develop an understanding of ration formulation. Semester 2 lectures will focus specifically on current research topics in livestock nutrition, drawing on the ongoing research in animal nutrition in IBERS.


The aims of the module are to provide a deep knowledge of broad feeding principles (for example, energy, protein and mineral metabolism and requirements, feed analysis etc.). Building on this, semester 2 aims to outline the fundamental physiological and microbiological principles that underpin animal nutrition in the context of recent research and to develop an understanding of current issues in livestock nutrition.


A series of approximately 20 lectures and 4 practicals and student seminars.

Weeks 1-10 (semester 1) will cover broad principles of nutrition in 10 x 1hr lectures, 1 field visit and 1 practical:
- Comparative digestive physiology (1 lecture)
- Fundamentals of energy metabolism (2 lectures)
- Amino acid biochemistry and metabolism (2 lectures)
- Roles and functions of minerals and vitamins (2 lectures)
- Dietary analysis and evaluation (farm visit + practical)
- Systems for ration formulation and evaluation (3 lectures + 2hr workshop)

Weeks 12-21 (semester 2) will cover current topics in livestock nutrition in 9 x 2hr lectures:

- Design of animal nutrition experiments (2 hr workshop)
- Nutrient digestion and metabolism (3 lectures)
- Modulating alimentary microbial populations and their ecology (3 lectures)
- Plant-microbe interactions (1 lecture)
- Metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids in order to modify the characteristics of meat and milk (2 lectures)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The ration formulation assessment will need the application of some basic mathematical skills, although the calculations will be performed by the software for the student.
Communication Developing and assessing written communication will be an integral part of the assessments for this module.
Improving own Learning and Performance Detailed feedback will be given for assessments providing students with detailed guidance on how to improve their work and learning.
Information Technology Students will be required to source information from a variety of scientific publication data bases. Students will be expected to deliver their assessments on BlackBoard by uploading documents produced using a word processor, containing written text and illustration. In addition, the ration formulation assessment specifically requires the application of an on-line rationing tool.
Personal Development and Career planning Students will be exposed to methodologies used in industry to analyse feeds and formulate rations, which is a key skill for future careers in the field of animal nutrition.
Problem solving The ration formulation assessment requires calculations of animal requirements and the students to devise a ration that will match as closely as possible the requirement to the nutrient supply
Research skills Students will be expected to demonstrate significant literature research skills in preparation for their assessments, their 'homework' tasks in semester 2, as well as in directed self study. Student's laboratory skills will be developed in their practical laboratory work.
Subject Specific Skills Ration formulation and matching animal requirements to nutrient supply provided by a specific diet is a subject specific skill in this field.
Team work Students will be required to work in pairs or small groups for the 'homework' tasks and in the practical sessions.


This module is at CQFW Level 7