Course code LauZ4271

Credit points 4

Animal Husbandry Technologies I

Total Hours in Course160

Number of hours for lectures32

Number of hours for seminars and practical classes32

Independent study hours96

Date of course confirmation17.09.2019

Responsible UnitInstitute of Animal Science

Course developers

author prof.

Daina Kairiša

Dr. agr.

author lect.

Lāsma Cielava

Mg. agr.

Prior knowledge

Ķīmi3015, The Basics of Biochemistry

LauZ3183, Animal Nutrition I

Vete2023, Animal Anatomy and Physiology

Course abstract

Learning of the Study course gives an idea and provides insight into the economic importance of the cattle farming, describing general situation and perspectives of the development of that specific economical field in Latvian and other countries. In the study process insight about the most popular cow breeds will be given, characteristic features and influencing factors of the productivity will be analyzed, problems and solutions of the herd reproduction will be discussed, different uses of animal evaluation methods will be reviewed.

Learning outcomes and their assessment

Students will gain theoretical knowledge about suitability of different cow breeds for milk and / or meat production, breeding and feeding technologies, production and its quality assessment principles. Knowledge is assessed by the results of 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th tests.
Will acquire skills in organization of milk and/or meat production process, assessment of suitability of housing technologies for different breed, age group and different using direction cows. Students will acquire skills necessary for filling herd documentation, registration of quantity of obtained production and in assessment of the traits characterizing productivity. Skills are assessed according to the explanations and conclusions given during the practical work.
As a result of the study course students will be competent to assess the suitability of the animals of the particular cow breed to the chosen production direction, to evaluate the compliance of the applied holding technology with the welfare requirements and to independently analyze the productivity and reproduction indicators of the animals. Students will be competent to recommend for the farmers the most appropriate solution for the sustainable development of the farm. The acquired competencies are evaluated by the quality of conclusions and explanations in seminars and practical works, as well as by the answers on test and exam questions.

Course Content(Calendar)

1. The situation in cattle husbandry, the economic role of beef and dairy cattle husbandry. Most common dairy breeds, their characteristics. 1 h lectures and 1 h practical.
2. Dairy cattle growth and development. Body conformation and its evaluation methods. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
3. The growth and development control for different age cows. Changes of live weight, evaluation results of cattle body conformation traits. Analysis of obtained data. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
1. Test. Characteristics of dairy cow breeds. Body conformation and its role in milk production. 1 h.
4. Growth and development of mammary glands. Milk synthesis and elimination mechanisms. 2 h lectures and 1 h practical.
5. Milk productivity data registration and use of accumulated data base. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
6. Analysis of lactation. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
7. Milk composition and quality, their changes and factors affecting them. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
8. Analysis of milk composition and quality data.2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
2. Test. The structure of mammary glands, milk quality and composition, factors affecting them. 1h.
8. Manufacturing of beef. Specialized beef cattle breeds and their characteristics. 2 h lectures and 1 h practical.
9. Body conformation of beef cattle. The evaluation methods of body conformation. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
10. Body conformation evaluation of suckler cows and breeding bulls. Analysis of obtained data. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
11. Characteristics of beef productivity, their evaluation. 2 h lectures and 1 h practical.
12. Carcass quality traits and their analysis. 2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
13. Beef carcass quality characteristics, their analysis. 1 h lectures and 2 h practical.
3. Test. Beef productivity and factors influencing it. 1h.
14. Structure and circulation of dairy and beef cattle herd. Planning herd structure and circulation.2 h lectures and 2 h practical.
15. Reproduction problems in dairy and beef herd. Calf acquirement and conservation. Analysis of reproduction traits. 2 h lectures and 1 h practical.
16. Calf feeding and housing principles in different stages of growth. Basic principles of calf grouping. 2 h lectures and 1 h practical. 4. Test. Herd structure, factors affecting it. Problems and their solution sin calf rearing process. (1h)

Requirements for awarding credit points

Successfully written 4 tests, completed and graded practical works, and passed written exam.

Description of the organization and tasks of students’ independent work

The student independently studies literature, collects the obtained information, publicly presents the results of practical work.

Criteria for Evaluating Learning Outcomes

Independent work is evaluated with the grade, depending on the presentation of prepared material. Tests are evaluated by the answers to questions. As passed are considered those knowledge and skill evidence that in 10 point scale scored at least 4.
Each individual practical work after its development is marked with “passed’ or “failed”. At the end of practical works is planned test that is evaluated with the grade in 10 point scale. The rights to write a test have those students that has passed all practical works in recent topics.
Students who have successfully passed tests and practical tests are admitted to the examination.
At the end of the course students take a written exam, the ticket consists of 4 questions, of which 3 are questions from topics in lectures and 1 question is from practical work topics. Each question represents 25% of the final grade.

Compulsory reading

1. Dairy cattle husbandry [Online]. Wageningen: Agromisa Foundation, 2004. 84 p. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:
2. House J. A guide to dairy herd management. [Online]. North Sydney: Meat and Livestock Australia Limited, 2011. 73 p. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:
3. Kemsley P., Jennings N. Beef cattle health and husbandry for the NSW North coast. [Online]. North Coast Local Land Services. 2016. 221 p. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:

Further reading

1. Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and International Dairy Federation. Guide to good farming practice. [Online]. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, International Dairy Federation. Revised. ed. FAO animal production and health guidelines; 8. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2011. 36 p. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:
2. Hiemstra, S. J., de Haas, Y., Mki-tanila, A., & Gandini, G. (Eds.). Local cattle breeds in Europe: Development of policies and strategies for self-sustaining breeds. [Online]. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2010. 154 p. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:
3. European Comission regulations concerning milk and milk products. [Online]. [Viewed 14.02.2019.]. Available:

Periodicals and other sources

1. Journal of Dairy Science. Published by American Dairy Science Association. ISSN (print): 0022-0302. ISSN (online): 1525-3198. [Online] [viewed 18.03.2019.]. Available:
Pieejams datubāzē arī Science Direct:
2. Proceedings of the Baltic animal breeding conference.
3. Agronomy research. [Online]. Estonian University of Life Sciences.2003-. ISSN 140 6-894X [viewed 10.02.2019.]. Available:
4. ScienceDirect database. Online available:


Bachelor study program „Sustainable agriculture” specialization „Sustainable animal production”