Course description

Description

Environmental Physiology of Farm Animals is a course  designed for part IV students of the BSC Animal Science degree. It aims at providing students with an understanding of the biological responses of animals to changing environmental elements as well as the  requirements of farm animals. The course covers issues of water regulation, water stress, thermal biology and adaptation as well as air quality effects on animal production

Course content

Unit

Description of Content

No of Hours

Methods & Strategies

 

 

 

 

SECTION I: INTRODUCTION. 

 1

Definition of Environment, different types of environments and habitats

1

Lectures and practical

2

Adaptation, mechanisms of adaptation- molecular and genomic, gene expression, physiological responses and different scales

1

lectures

3

Size and scale in farm animals- isometric and allometric scaling. Effects on metabolism and locomotion, right size?

2

 

Lectures

SECTION II: ANIMAL WATER BALANCE & OSMOREGULATION.

 

Importance of water in animal metabolism, sources of water, water stress

2

 

5

Water exchange and osmoregulation at outer surfaces

1

Lecture

Practical

 

6

Osmoregulatory organs and their excretory products

1

Lecture

7

Water regulation in the gut,

2

Lectures

8

Respiratory water exchange, water loss in the reproductive system

2

Lectures

Class Paper

Practical on milk ejection

9

Water gain, costs and energetic of water regulation

1

Class Seminars

 

Roles of the nervous system and endocrine systems in water regulation

2

 

 

Water regulation in aquatic and terrestrial habitats

1

 

SECTION III: ENVIRONMENTAL PHYSIOLOGY.

10

 

2

Class discussion

11

Thermal Requirements of Animals: regulation: hypothermia, summit metabolism, lower critical temperature, thermoneutral zone, comfort zone, upper critical temperature, hyperthermia, and physical and chemical regulation.

2

Lectures

12

Control of Body Temperature in Cold Environments: Reduction of heat loss: behavioural responses, piloerection, vasoconstriction, and heat exchange mechanisms: counter-current, conduction, convection and radiation; thermogenesis: shivering, and non-shivering thermogenesis

2

Lectures

13

Control of Body Temperature in Hot Environments: Regulation of heat loss: behavioural responses, vasodilation, and heat exchange mechanisms: counter-current, conduction, convection, radiation and thermal gradients; evaporative cooling: insensible and sensible heat loss, sweating, and respiratory cooling (panting); endocrine and nervous control, water intake and elevation of body temperature.

 

2

Lectures

Practical : Thermoregulation in cattle

14

Special Adaptations for Survival in Cold and Hot Climates: Dormancy: sleep, torpor, hibernation, winter sleep and aestivation, acclimation and acclimatization; posture, pelage, colour and shin, skin secretions, colour and thickness, fat type, thickness and distribution, size of appendages, ratio of body surface area to body mass, heat tolerance, size of animal, and physiological efficiency of temperature regulation.

 

2

Lectures

 

Heat stress, its effects on animal performance

3

 

SECTION IV: AIR QUALITY & POLLUTION.

15

Air composition, Air pollution, sources of air pollution

1

 

 

 

Pollutants in indoor animal housing, Pollutants in ambient environment

1

 

16

Effects of poor air quality on livestock production

3

 

Methods of evaluation

There will be an assignment and a test for each of the sections of the course. In addition there may be impromptu quizzes. Students are therefore strongly encouraged to be present for all lectures and course activities. It is expected that unless by prior arrangement with the relevant lecturer, all assignments should be submitted typed maximum 5 pages, font size 12 and line spacing 1.5. Note that plagiarism is not accepted. It is an academic offence and work that shows some evidence of plagiarism will be penalized.

 

Continuous Assessment  will contribute 30% on the final grade

-          Continuous assessment will include in class tests, quizzes, assignments, field visit reports and group presentations

Final Exam will contribute the remaining 70 %

-          Students with a continuous assessment mark of less than 40% will not be allowed to sit for the final examination. In the event that they do sit for the exam, the maximum mark they can score is 48%.

 

University grading system

0 – 49%:     Fail

50 – 59%:   3rd class                (Pass)

60 – 64%:   2.2                        (Lower 2nd; Pass)

65 -74:        2.1                        (Upper Second; Merit)

75 – 100%:  Ist Class               (Distinction)


Manager(s) for AS401 : Blessed Masunda
Administrator for TSIME Online : Administrator
Phone : 18008
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