Principles of Animal Production

AS208 - V. E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi

Course description


The course Principles of Animal Production (AS208) is offered to BSc Agriculture Honours students of Crop Science (Part III), Agricultural Economics (Part III), Applied Environmental Sciences (Part III) and Agricultural Engineering (Part III). The course covers the basic principles of beef, dairy, pig, poultry, small ruminants and draft animal production. Lecturers will be covered over 36 hours and practicals and field visits will be covered over and additional 10 hours. Tutorial sessions are offered at the end of every two sections. Course is coordinated by V.E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi but different lecturers will be invited to cover the different sections of the course. The coordinator will be available for consultations with the students between 1400 and 1600 hours daily. Individual consultations arrangements will be made by each of the guest lecturers for the different sections.

Mrs. S. Ncube   -  Poultry production (;

Mr. S. Kagande - Pig production and small ruminants (;

Mr. J. Gusha - Beef Production (;

Mr. V.E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi - Dairy production ( - COORDINATOR;

Mr. B. Masunda - Draft animals (;

The knowledge acquired in this course will enable students to understand the problems of and opportunities available in animal production as well coordinate livestock issues with other agricultural disciplines. The course will enable students to have a working knowledge and appreciation of the contribution of livestock to the agricultural industry.

Course content



AS208: Principles of Animal Production

Contact hours: 36 hours

Coordinator: V.E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi



This course is offered to BSc Agriculture Honours students in Crop Science (Part III), Agricultural Economics (Part III), Applied environmental sciences (Part III) and Agricultural Engineering (Part III).

The knowledge acquired in this course will enable students to understand the problems of and opportunities available in animal production as well coordinate livestock issues with other agricultural disciplines. Students will therefore have a working knowledge and appreciation of the contribution of livestock to the agricultural industry.


The course will cover the principles of production of the major ruminant and the non-ruminant livestock species: be beef, dairy, draft animals, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry.  Sections will cover aspects of breed identifications, management and health management in outline. Different lecturers with specific expertise in area taught will be invited to present lectures.



This course is intended to give students an overview and appreciation of animal production. Students should be able to: -

  • Identify the important breeds of the different  ruminant and non-ruminant livestock species;
  • Outline the management practices from birth/hatching to marketing including housing, feeding and herd/flock health management;
  • Describe the marketing of the livestock and their products;
  • Integrate the management of waste from such livestock production processes into wider programmes for good environmental management practices.


Individual lecturers will give tests as they see fit after teaching their section(s).


POULTRY PRODUCTION:   - Mrs Ncube: (6 hours) 

i. Poultry industry in Zimbabwe;

ii.Breeds and systems of breeding;

iii.Incubation, hatchery practices and facilities;

iv.Brooding management;

v. Pullet rearing management systems and facilities;

vi. Broiler production, housing and other facilities;

vii.Management of waste;

iix.Poultry marketing.


PIG PRODUCTION - Mr. S. Kagande (6 hours)

i. Distribution and production: World, Africa, Zimbabwe;

ii.Production systems: intensive, semi-intensive, extensive, commercial, subsistence, integrated production (e.g. pig-fish; poultry-pig-fish);

iii. Breeds and breeding;

iv.Reproduction and growth processes;

v.Management of piglets from birth to mating;

   - Management of sow and boar;

   - Feeding standards- all age groups;

vi. Pig housing and other facilities;

vii. Health management;

iix. Pig products and carcass grading in Zimbabwe;

ix. Slaughter procedure and facilities

x. Management of waste;

xi. Marketing of pigs and their products in Zimbabwe.


BEEF PRODUCTION: - Mr. Gusha (7 hours) 

i. Beef Industry in Zimbabwe;

ii. Systems of production: Pastoral, Agro-pastoral, ranching, Intensive, Extensive,        

iii. Beef breeds, adaptability and breeding

     - Productivity of Exotic vs Indigenous breeds

     - Comparative adaptive advantages of Bos indicus

iv. Management of breeding cows

    - Factors affecting cow productivity

    - Choice of breeding and calving season

    - Bulling rates, periods and mating management

    - Pregnancy diagnosis, management at calving

v. Management of growing cattle

    - Dehorning, Castration,             Weaning and identification

vi. Nutrition of beef cattle

    - Nutrient requirement and feeding standards

    - Supplementary feeding of cattle on range

    - Cattle fattening: feedlot and grass fattening

vii. Herd Health Management

iix. Transporting live cattle

ix. Slaughter of beef cattle

x. Meat quality and statutory requirements


DAIRY PRODUCTION - Mr. Imbayarwo-Chikosi (6 hours)

i.Breeds and breeding;

ii. Lactation and reproductive cycle;

iii. Calf rearing: principles, housing and structures;

iv. Dairy nutrition;

     - Feeding standards - calves, replacement heifers, cows

iiv. Herd health management

iix. Housing systems;

ix. Clean milk production - statutory requirements;

x. Simple milking parlour designs;

xi. Milking: Manual vs machine milking

xii. Management of waste;

xiii. Marketing and the quality premium scheme;


DRAFT ANIMALS - Mr Masunda (4 hours)

i. Conformation

ii. Initial handling

iii. Control

iv. Breaking to work

v. Yokes

vii. Amount of work and feeding


SHEEP & GOAT PRODUCTION - Mr. S. Kagande (6 hours)

i. Distribution in World, Africa, Zimbabwe;

ii. Production systems

iii. Breeds and breeding

iv. General management: breeding females, young stock, sires

v. Nutrition and feeding standards – all classes of stock

vi. Grazing management

vii. Health management

iix. Housing

ix. Wool and mohair production and technology

x. Slaughter facilities and quality meat  production



Each lecturer will have: -

  1. Lecturers:                        3 hours per week;
  2. Practicals and field visits:  3 hours per week;
  3. Tutorials:                        2 hours per section. 

 Available resources for teaching will include overhead and LCD projectors, DVD presentations and handouts.


Continuous assessment                      30%

Final written examination                  70%


Note:    Students with a continuous assessment mark of below 40 % are not allowed to sit for the final examination. 



Butterword, M.H. (1985) Beef Cattle production from Tropiccal Pastures: International Livestock Centre for Africa, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


Gadd, J ,2005.Pig production,Nottingham ,University press


Hocking P.M (2009) Biology of breeing poultry . Wallingford., UK, Cambridge


Kyriazakis, Whittemore, 2006.Whittemore’s Science and practice of pig production, Blackwell Publishing Ltd


Lancashire smallholder farming areas of Zimbabwe : Characterisation of feeds, assessment of effect of housing on mortality and hen reproduction . Mphil theses, University of Zimbabwe.


Maphosa T (2002). Studies on village poultry production in the Nharira-


Mpofu,Makuza, 2003.Pig production and technology. Upfront publishing, United kingdom


North M. A, (1990). Commercial chicken production manual (1990). West port


Oliver, J. (1987). The Dairy Handbook. National Association of Dairy Farmers of Zimbabwe.


Refer to course content. Additional bibliography can be accessed form academic electronic resources through the e-learning resources of the University of Zimbabwe (Refer to the library for training on accessing e-learning resources).

Methods of evaluation

Students will be evaluated through: -

The final examination   - 70%

Continuous assessment - 30%


The Final examination will comprise of two section: -

Section A: Non-ruminants

This will have two compulsory questions on poultry and pigs.

Section B: Ruminants

students will be expected to answer three out of a possible four questions.


The continous assessment will comprise of: -

i. End of section tests - 50% of continuous assessment marks;

ii. Assignments          - 30 % of continuous assessment marks;

iii. Field visit reports   - 20% of continuous assessment marks.


Course grading will be: -

Marks                                 Grade

75% and above                      1

65 - 74%                               2.1

60 - 64%                               2.2

50 - 59%                               3

Less than 50%                       Fail

Manager(s) for AS208 : V. E. Imbayarwo-Chikosi
Administrator for TSIME Online : Systems Administrator
Phone : 303211 ext 18011
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