932302 Animal production in organic agriculture

Semester hours
Lecturer (assistant)
Sölkner, Johann , Winckler, Christoph , Zollitsch, Werner
Offered in
Wintersemester 2023/24
Languages of instruction
Englisch, Deutsch


1. The general role of animals in organic farming systems. Basics, agro-ecological aspects, the farm as an organism, elements of the system.
2. Specific approaches to animal breeding in organic agriculture: an organic understanding of livestock; breeding goals; selection traits; breeding programs focussing on longevity.
3. Principles/specific aspects of organic livestock farming: national and European regulations covering organic animal husbandry; ethological requirements for welfare friendly housing systems; animal welfare assessment; livestock health; specific problems in organic livestock farming.
4. Specific aspects of organic animal nutrition: the concept of nutrient requirements from an holistic perspective, animals´ needs and animal nutrition; feedstuffs, their quality and their availability; nutrient flow between farm elements, limitations in animal performance, animal health aspects; feeding strategies for different livestock species.

Previous knowledge expected

Previous knowledge is expected in the fields of Organic Farming, Animal Breeding, Animal Husbandry and Feeding which shall be equivalent to the knowledge achieved during studies in a Bachelor Programme of Agricultural Sciences! Students are strongly requested to self-critically assess their previous knowledge in these fields in order to avoid frustration during the course.

Objective (expected results of study and acquired competences)

To reach a holistic understanding of the role of livestock in agro-ecological systems. Ability to discuss the interactions between breeding - husbandry - nutrition - animal health - economical aspects and the necessity of limitations of organic animal husbandry based on biological, ecological and ethical considerations.
You can find more details like the schedule or information about exams on the course-page in BOKUonline.