Module Identifier RSM1420  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Phillipa K Nicholas  
Semester Semester 1  
Course delivery Lecture   1 x 2 hour lecture per week  
  Seminars / Tutorials   1 x 2 hour seminars/tutorials per week  
  Practical   6 x 2 hour practicals  
  Other   3-day study tour  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment Assignment Outcomes assessed: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 4,000 words50%
Semester Assessment Group Project (Business Plan)  50%

Brief description

This module will form one of a suite of modules offered as part of the post-graduate diploma in organic agriculture but may also be of interest to students studying for higher degrees in animal science and general agriculture. Students selecting this module will develop further expertise and specialist knowledge in the management and health of livestock and will able to critically evaluate current literature on relevant topics in organic agriculture. It is essential that students have already developed a good understanding of the principles of conventional livestock production and that they have sufficient background knowledge and/or an interest in animal physiology and nutrition.   The title has been changed to reflect the content of the module.


The module will cover the following topics:

1) The role of livestock in organic agriculture;ie the philosophical basis of organic livestock production and current issues, eg breed selection, animal behaviour, breeding for disease resistance and current issues in organic certification/implementation of UK/EU regulations;

2) Feeding organic livestock i.e. evaluating the principles (theory and practice) of feeding organic livestock with reference to practical constraints and the need to ensure that the nutritional requirements of livestock (sheep, cattle, pigs and poultry) are met; this will include discussion of current research on the subjects of `novel? forage production, forage and fodder crop management and the use of concentrates;

3) The principles of animal health and welfare i.e. evaluation of disease prevention and control strategies with reference to specific diseases and management practices, this will include discussion/debate on the use of conventional medicines/strategies vs complementary therapies.

The broad aim of the module is to provide students with sufficient background knowledge of the principles of livestock production (with examples) so that they can understand and critically evaluate the objectives, principles and practice of organic livestock production with reference to the science and philosophy underpinning organic livestock production.

Reading Lists

Boehncke E (1997) Preventive strategies as a health resource for organic farming: In Isart, J and Llerena JJ (eds) Resource use in organic farming Proceedings of 3rd ENOF Workshop, Ancona
Boehncke E and Molkhentin V (eds) (1991) Alternatives in animal husbandry. Conference Proceedings University of Kassel, Witzenhausen
Chamberlain A, Walsingham J M and Stark B (1989) Organic meat production in the '90s Proc. Conf. Reading University, September 1989, Chalcombe Publications
Foelsch D (ed) (1978) The ethology and ethics of animal production Birckhaeuser, Basel
Fox, M W (1984) Farm animals: husbandry, behaviour and veterinary practice University Park Press, Baltimore
Fritz S and Andresen T (1994) Organic Animal Husbandry Fritz and Associates, Australia
Garnworthy P C and Wiseman, J (2001) Recent advances in animal nutrition Nottingham University Press
Haggar R J and Padel S (eds) (1996) Conversion to organic milk production Technical Review No. 4. Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, Aberystwyth.
Hemsworth P H and Coleman G J (1998) Human-livestock interactions: the stockperson and the productivity and welfare of intensively farmed animals CAB International
Keatinge, R. (1997) Controlling internal parasites without anthelmintics Report for MAFF. ADAS, Redesdale.
Keatinge, R. Organic hill livestock research - Annual reports 1994 - 1998 ADAS, Redesdale
Lampkin N H (1990) Organic Farming Farming Press
Macey, A (2000) Organic livestock handbook Canadian Organic Growers, Ottawa
Newton, J (1992) Organic grassland Chalcombe Publications, Canterbury
Ostergaard, T V (ed) (1996) Fundamentals of organic agriculture. Proceedings of 11th IFOAM International Organic Farming Conference IFOAM, Tholey-Theley
Owen J B and Axford R J F (eds) (1991) Breeding for disease resistance in farm animals. Proceedings of Conference CABI
Pond W G and Pond K R (2000) Introduction to animal science John Wiley & Sons Inc
Roderick S, Short N and Hovi M (1996) Organic livestock production - animal health and welfare research priorities. VEERU, University of Reading

Technical Reports
Lampkin N H (ed) (1997) Constraints on organic poultry production. Report for MAFF MAFF

Web Page/Sites
Official Journal of the European Communities (1999) Regulation 1804/99 on organic livestock production European Commission 399R1804 html


This module is at CQFW Level 7