Course code LauZ6136

Credit points 5

Small Ruminants Breeding

Total Hours in Course200

Number of hours for lectures24

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes56

Independent study hours120

Date of course confirmation18.02.2016

Responsible UnitInstitute of Animal Science

Course developers

author Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts

Daina Kairiša

Dr. agr.

author Dzīvnieku zinātņu institūts

Elita Aplociņa

Mg. agr.

Prior knowledge

LauZ5037, Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Animal Nutrition

LauZ5143, Biological Basis of Animal Husbandry

LauZ5144, Immunogenetics and Biotechnologics

LauZ5164, Research Methodology in Animal Husbandry

Course abstract

The Master students acquire fundamental knowledge of small ruminants (sheep and goats) biological properties and ruminants importance in growing economic of Latvia and Europe Union. Course focuses on sheep and goat production and quality assessment. Students evaluate the impact of the genetic, physiological and environmental factors on growth and development of different age and sex sheep and goats, their suitability for diverse production. Students analyzes the information in monitoring records, evaluate their compliance with the requirements of breeding programs. Students visit sheep and goat breeders' organizations, get acquainted with various sheep and goat breeding programs, their implementation and problems.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Master's students acquire fundamental knowledge of the economic importance of sheep and goat breeding, organization of breeding work, productivity characteristics, suitability of different breeds of sheep and goats for obtaining diverse production. Knowledge is evaluated by the quality of presentations given in seminars and participation in discussions.
Based on the acquired knowledge, they are able to choose the most appropriate breeds of sheep and goats, as well as the breeding technologies. Students are able to apply methods for recording and assessing productive traits of sheep and goats, to plan breeding work in sheep and goats herds. The acquired skills are evaluated after the independent work prepared by the master student, which analyzes the results obtained in the sheep and goat performance test.
As a result of the course master’s students are competent to provide consultations on sheep and goat breeding, to choose appropriate technologies, to participate in scientific research, to study and analyze scientific and other literature in sheep and goat breeding. The competence of the Master's students is evaluated after the seminars, paying particular attention to the seminar „Maintenance costs of the herd and the evaluation of the possibility to reduce them”.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. Importance and prospects of sheep and goat breeding in Latvia.
2. Sheep and goat breeds and their commercial characteristics
3. Seminar: Sheep and goat breeds, their suitability for different types of production.
4. Wool. Skin and wool formation during embryonic development. Morphological structure of wool hair. Factors influencing the quality of wool.
5. Milk. Chemical composition of milk, its nutritional value and use. Factors affecting the quantity and composition of milk.
6. Characteristics of meat productivity, factors affecting it. Chemical composition and nutritional value of meat.
7. Seminar: Quality sheep and goat milk and meat production.
8. Theoretical basis of breeding. Principles of selection and selection of pairs. Evaluation of ovine and caprine animals of different ages and sex.
9. Breeding methods. Examination of the sires for the quality of their offspring at the breeding station and on the farm.
10. Organizations involved in breeding. Registration of ovine and caprine animals in herd - book.
11. Recording of individual productivity and pedigree of animals and preparation of pedigree documents.
12. Seminar: Breeding work of small ruminants in Latvia.
13. Herd formation and structure.
14. Sheep and goat herd reproduction indicators, factors affecting them.
15. Seminar: Maintenance costs of the herd and the evaluation of the possibility to reduce them.

Requirements for awarding credit points

Regular attendance of classes. Successful assessment in seminars and exam.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

There are 4 seminars planned for the course. Each master student chooses a specific topic for the seminar and prepares a presentation.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

During the study course, individually prepared presentations are defended. The final grade consisted of the average grade in the seminars (50%) and the exam grade (50%).

Compulsory reading

1. Norvele G., Kairiša D. Rokasgrāmata aitu audzētājiem. 2006., 96 lpp. Elektroniski pieejama:
2. Kazkopības rokasgrāmata. Autoru kolektīvs Siliņa A., Arbidāns D., Jonkus D., Keidāne D., Piliena K. 2015. Elektroniski pieejama:
3. Lengerken G., Ellendorf F., Lengerken J. Tierzucht. Eugen Ulmer GMBH&Co 2006. 582 s.
4. Molecular and Quantitative Animal Genetics. Edited by Hasan Khatib. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Blackwell, 2015. 336 p. ISBN 978-1-118-67740-7

Further reading

1. Norvele G., Neilands J., Matisāns E. Aitkopība. LLU Ulbrokas zinātnes centrs, 2000,. 303 lpp.
2. Piliena K., Sprūžs J. Kazkopība. Talsi, 2007. 99 lpp.
3. Ernst E., Kalm E. Grundlagen der Tierhaltuhg und Tierzucht. Hamburg: 1994. Verlag Paul Paurey, 266 s.

Periodicals and other sources

1. Audzēšanas programmas šķirnes aitām. Elektroniski pieejamas:
2. Audzēšanas programmas šķirnes kazām. Elektroniski pieejamas
3. Žurnāls Животноводство. Elektroniski pieejams:
4. Schafzucht. Das Magazin fur Schafe-und Ziegehalter. Elektroniski pieejams:
5. Žurnāls Small Ruminant Research. Elektroniski pieejams


Optional study course for the Master's Degree Program „Agriculture” of the Faculty of Agriculture, specialization Animal Husbandry.