AP2A67-Animal Nutrition

Module Provider: School of Agriculture, Policy and Development
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Partha Ray

Email: p.p.ray@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module will allow students develop an understanding of the requirements of farm and companion animals for energy, protein, minerals and vitamins, and how the ability of a feedstuff to provide these nutrients can be assessed. An overview of the important relationship between animal and human nutrition will be provided as well as the impact of animal nutrition on the environment will be provided. Exercises on diet formulation will be used to integrate nutrient requirements of animals and feed composition in practical, applied feeding scenarios. In addition, there will be one practical exercise involving excision of a digestive tract, which will provide the students with an overview of different segments of a digestive tract and their roles.


This module aims to provide students with an understanding of both basic and applied aspects of animal nutrition. Emphasis is placed on macro and micro-nutrient requirements of farm and companion animals, methods to assess nutritive value of feed ingredients, impact of animal nutrition on human and environmental health and the use of nutrient requirements and feed nutritive value in diet formulation, significance of adaptations in animals’ digestive tract in response to dietary changes.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•Explain the physiochemical basis of requirements for energy and protein and factors controlling feed intake
•Describe methods for the evaluation of feedstuffs to provide energy and protein
•Explain the function of minerals and trace elements and key interactions with vitamins in animals
•Discuss the impact of animal nutrition on the environment and/or on human food composition
•Perform nutritional calculations and produce simple and software optimised diet formulations
•Describe and discuss the anatomical and physiological functions of a digestive tract and relate these to dietary adaptations

Additional outcomes:

Students will gain experience in dissection of a digestive tract and the presentation of practical dissection findings by oral and written means. Students will also gain an insight into the systems used to define energy and protein requirements for animals.

Students will also have the opportunity to develop/enhance the following transferrable skills:

  • Team work

  • Verbal communication and presentation skills

  • Written communication

  • Independent work

  • Numeracy through diet formulation calculations

Outline content:

The lecture content covers:

Feed science and feed characterisation in the laboratory

Energy requirements for maintenance, work, growth, lactation and gestation

Protein quality for non-ruminants in terms of essential amino acids and biological value

Nitrogen metabolism and microbial protein synthesis in ruminants

Protein requirements for animals

Definition and measurement of gross and digestible energy content of feeds and factors affecting digestibility

Definition and measurement of metabolisable and net energy

The evolution of digestive diversity and comparative nutrition in the animal kingdom

Function of key minerals and trace elements and key interactions with vitamins in animals

Diet formulation

 Relationship between animal and human nutrition.

Animal nutrition and the environment

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

There will be two 50-minute lectures per week, followed by up to two hours of tutorial time devoted to exercises for solving nutritional problems which lead to coursework. On one week there will be a practical exercise involving excising a digestive tract. A short presentation and a written report identifying the various anatomical regions of the digestive tract, their physiological functions and linking diet adaptations to anatomical and physiological functions will contribute to assessed coursework.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 8
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 50
Written assignment including essay 15
Oral assessment and presentation 5
Set exercise 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:
A one and a half hour examination requiring answers to all short answer questions in section A, the answer to one of two long answer questions in section B and the answer to one of two long answer questions in section C.

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Set exercises 1 (5%), 2 (5%), 3 and 4 (10% each) to be submitted within two weeks. Presentation (5%) and report (15%) relating to digestive anatomy and function.

Formative assessment methods:

Study questions and tutorials to help students develop ability to answer these question.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    By re-examination.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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