932308 Animal production systems

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Steiner, Simon , Leeb, Christine , Winckler, Christoph , Zollitsch, Werner , Knaus, Wilhelm Friedrich , Hörtenhuber, Stefan
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction


General information: The umbrella topic changes annually; current topics of relevance to livestock production will be addressed in the seminar. The students will formulate their individual topics and the underlying research question on their own, but will be assisted by the lecturers upon request.
The topic and the research question must address an animal production system from an overall perspective and should not be narrowed down towards a segmented approach. Topics such as "The cattle breeding program xy", "Use of feedstuff ABC in growing-fattening pigs", "Animal friendly husbandry systems for ......", etc. are not appropriate and will not be accepted!
Within the chosen topic, a research question is to be formulated and answered, based on the information collected.

Content for the upcoming winter semester (2023/24):
The umbrella topic is 'animal welfare, environmental impact and economics' which emphasises the link between animal husbandry and environmental effects of an animal production system and the economic consequences of possible improvements within these two fields.

Within this umbrella topic, you are expected to perform the following tasks:
* Choose an animal production system you want to cover.
* Provide a thorough characterization of the animal production system and its functionalities.
* Describe the animal welfare situation, relevant environmental effects and how these aspects are interrelated within the chosen animal production system.
* Lay out the conflicting goals that exist, work out necessary changes and possible improvements in the future as well as the economic implications of these improvements.

Previous knowledge expected

Sound knowledge of the basics of animal breeding, husbandry and nutrition which are at least equivalent to the respective Bachelor-courses is an indispensable precondition. IMPORTANT: incoming students (mobility programmes) are warmly welcome, but are strongly advised to critically reflect their respective knowledge BEFORE they register for this course! The ability to integrate different disciplinary perspectives at the level of production systems is absolutely necessary for describing and analysing complex problems in animal production systems. Having achieved a first insight into the characteristics of Animal Production System is expected, as well as into approaches which are suitable for addressing the production system in its entirety.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

Achieving the ability to work independently around the chosen research question and to present the relevant results of this work.
Ability to integrate disciplinary perspectives and solutions into an approach that is adequately addressing the most important elements of animal production systems, including their interactions.
Ability to understand an analyse the implications of the conceptual setup of animal production systems in reflection of the umbrella topic.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.