Module Identifier RS25020  
Academic Year 2003/2004  
Co-ordinator Dr Basil T Wolf  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Meriel J S Moore-Colyer, Dr Michael T Rose  
Course delivery Lecture   44 Hours 44 x 1 hour lectures  
  Seminars / Tutorials   18 Hours 6 x 3 hours  
  Practical   15 Hours 5 x 3 hours  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam3 Hours Written examination Outcomes assessed: 2, 3, 5, 6. 7  60%
Semester Assessment Feed evaluation/rationing assignment Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 4  40%
Supplementary Exam3 Hours Written examination  60%
Supplementary Assessment Feed evaluation/rationing assignment using alternative data  40%

Learning outcomes

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

1. Analyse common feeds
2. Interpret the results of feed analysis
3. Describe the current feeding standards used in animal nutrition
4. Formulate rations for ruminant livestock and horses
5. Outline the principles of Mendelian genetics using examples from domestic livestock and discuss their application to breeding for coat colour, the control of lethal or deleterious conditions with Mendelian inheritance and explain the basis of parentage testing.
6. Apply the basic concepts of quantitative genetics.
7. Describe national breeding schemes for domestic livestock and evaluate aspects of their design that influence the rate of genetic improvement for metric traits.

Brief description

The lecture course involves a study of the present and previous feeding standards used in animal nutrition, leading to a discussion of ration formulation and the analytical techniques required for feed evaluation. The animal breeding component of the module will investigate Mendelian and quantitative genetics, parentage testing, and the definition of selection objectives for successful breeding programmes.   Farm visits will discuss the breeding of dairy cattle and sheep on the University farms. Practical classes include the identificationof various feed ingredients and the determination of the chemical composition of feedstuffs, which will enable students to formulate rations for ruminants and horses.


The primary aim of the new module is to develop an understanding of the principles of animal nutrition and animal breeding together with their application to the management of domestic farm animals and horses. The main aims are:

a. To develop an understanding of the importance of feed analysis and its limitations for efficient animal nutrition.
b. To outline the principles of ration formulation for ruminant livestock and horses and to apply the current feeding standards.
c. To outline the principles of Mendelian and quantitative genetics in animals.
d. To define selection objectives and discuss problems in the evaluation of breeding value in the genetic improvement of performance in horses and farm livestock.

Transferable skills

.2 IT and information handling

The Animal Breeding section of the module will use a computer-assisted learning package to develop skills in the use of formulae to predict response to selection.

.3 Use and analysis of numerical information

The successful formulation of rations for horses and livestock involves the use of relatively complex equations and ideas in order to establish nutrient and energy requirements and allowances. These will form an integral part of the feed evaluation/ ration formulation assignment and will be assessed at that point.
Animal breeding requires an understanding of statistical concepts such as probability, variance, regression and correlation. Skills in the use of numerical information will be developed during lectures and practical classes and will be assessed by examination.

.4 Writing in an academic context

Will be developed and assessed in both the written assignment and examination.

.8 Group activity

Practical classes in Animal Breeding will be used for group activity in non-assessed problem solving assignments that use information provided in lectures.

Reading Lists

AFRC (1993) Energy and protein requirements of ruminants. An advisory manual prepared by the Technical Committee on Responses to Nutrients CAB International, Wallingford
ARC (1980) The nutrient requirements of ruminant livestock CAB Wallingford
Bowling A T (1996) Horse genetics CABI
McDonald P, Edwards R A and Greenhalgh J F D (1998) Animal nutrition 4th. Longman Scientific and Technical
McDonald P (1991) The biochemistry of silage 2nd. Chalcombe
Simm G (1988) Genetic improvement of cattle and sheep Farming Press
Stark B A, Givens D I and Wilkinson J M (1986) Ruminant feed evaluation Chalcombe Publications, Marlow
Webster A F G (1986) Metabolisable protein - the UK approach: in Alderman G and Jarrige R (editors) Feed evaluation and protein systems for ruminants Proceedings of the CEC Workshop, Brussels
Willis M B (1998) Dalton's introduction to practical animal breeding Blackwell Science


This module is at CQFW Level 5