Veterinary medicine
Study-unit Code
In all curricula
Massimo Trabalza Marinucci
  • Massimo Trabalza Marinucci
  • Gabriele Acuti (Codocenza)
  • 13 ore - Massimo Trabalza Marinucci
  • 13 ore (Codocenza) - Gabriele Acuti
Course Regulation
Coorte 2018
Learning activities
Discipline della zootecnica, allevamento e nutrizione animale
Academic discipline
Type of study-unit
Obbligatorio (Required)
Type of learning activities
Attività formativa monodisciplinare
Language of instruction
The module provides for the study of the main nutritional and metabolic pathologies of ruminants and in particular of dairy cattle. Therefore, some topics of ruminal physiology and biochemistry will be emphasized in order to understand the etiopathogenetic mechanisms which cause these metabolic disorders. Metabolic pathologies of the horse and carnivores will be treated as well.
Reference texts
Teaching materials can be found on the Unistudium website.

Setti, Mattiaccio. L'innovazione nella stalla da latte. Edagricole ISBN-978-88-506-5543-4.
Educational objectives
The module aims at providing general elements regarding the metabolism of the main livestock species in order to understand some of the metabolic-nutritional imbalances that cause a reduction in productive and reproductive performance. The nutritional and managerial factors involved in the determinism of production diseases will be treated to understand the basis of their prophylaxis. Particular attention will be paid to the nutritional management of dairy cattle in the various physiological stages, and to that of sports horse and domestic carnivores.

The core of the received knowledge is to provide students with the basic
concepts and rules that form the basis of the formulation of a diet and
the correct evaluation of a rationing plan under metabolic-nutritional imbalances.
In particular, the knowledge you expect the student has acquired at the
end of the course are as follows:
- knowledge of the metabolic and pathological factors that constitute a source of variation
of nutritional requirements; knowledge of the characteristics of feeds and their methods of use in the formulation of a diet; knowledge of the processing of raw materials,
additives, formulation systems and of the different treatments applied at
the feed plant; knowledge of the professional spreadsheet used used for rationing.

The skills that the student will have to prove on the basis of the
knowledge acquired are:

a) to evaluate the suitability of different ingredients in relation to their possible use in the diet, considering their percentage of inclusion in the ration and the possible treatments at the level of feed industry;

b) to evaluate a complete diet and its suitability for a particular animal
species, depending on the physiological state and the production level;

c) to correctly use a spreadsheet and a commercial software for rationing.

At the end of the training course the student will have to demonstrate independence of judgment in the following areas:
- evaluation of feed/food destined for livestock and pets;
- planning and formulation of diets in relation to the different metabolic and pathological conditions of animals.

At the end of the training course the student should be able to:
- know how to organize, prepare and show to an audience of equal level of presentation, a dietary program and/or a ration for livestock and pet animals;
- having a debate with people of equal preparation and experts on different subjects, related to physical-chemical and nutritional characteristics of diets;
- demonstrate language properties in both written and oral form, as well as the ability to use terminology (both scientific and suitable for the owner / breeder) appropriate to the profession of veterinarian and nutritionist, also important for job interviews.

At the end of the training course the student will be able to:
- interpret and consult feeding and nutrition texts, both scientific and informative, and know how to use the acquired knowledge to formulate dietary plans for animals under metabolic and nutritional unbalances;
- know how to carry out bibliographical research;
- carry out permanent professional education, both in the private and public sectors, relying on the knowledge learned and internalized during the five-year period of study.
Teaching methods
The teaching methods used are those set out below.

Theoretical lessons:
a) theoretical lessons on all topics of the course.

Practical lessons:
b) Exercises in the classroom, either by manual calculation or with the
help of specific software, aimed at formulating rations for farm animals
and pets. During the exercises, the teacher remains available to the
students, divided into working groups of 2-3 people, for clarification
during the calculation of the ration and for the correction of the work
when it is completed. The results are discussed with the entire class. The
exercises are conducted in four rounds (the students are divided into 4 groups, 2 hours per each group), to enable better learning. Students can
also practice personally in the calculation of rations and debate in the classroom with the teacher to evaluate the elaborate.

d) Field activities at private farms (dairy cattle - beef cattle - sheep) and at the “Azienda Zootecnica Didattica” of the University (pigs - sheep - cattle).

SELF-DIRECTED LEARNING activities can be used as teaching methods (diet formulation or online literature search).
Extended program
Dairy cattle: Energy metabolism and its disorders (ketosis, acidosis and related syndromes) (2 hours).
Mineral metabolism and its disorders (acute and subclinical hypocalcaemia, tetany) (2 hours).
Poultry: nutrition and well-being (2 hours)
Equines: Feeding of the athlete horse (2 hours).
Equines: The role of carbohydrates in the predisposition of some metabolic diseases (2 hours).
Carnivores: management of obesity and diabetes (2 hours)
Carnivores: nutritional management of chronic kidney disease (2 hours)
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