ADP-30306 Health, Welfare and Management


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Individual Paper
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. NM Soede
Lecturer(s)drs. RJ van Hoeij
dr. ir. NM Soede
dr. ir. K Frankena
C Lima Alvares da Silva
dr. ir. B Beerda
dr. ir. H van den Brand
dr. ir. ATM van Knegsel
prof. dr. ir. B Kemp
dr. A Lammers
prof. dr. HGJ Gremmen
dr. ir. HK Parmentier
dr. ir. TB Rodenburg
dr. I Reimert
Examiner(s)dr. ir. NM Soede

Language of instruction:


Assumed knowledge on:

Immunology and Thermoregulation, Behavior/Endocrinology, Reproduction and Fertility.

Continuation courses:

Adaptation Physiology, Behavior and Welfare Assessment, Behavioral Ecology.


The environment of animals is continuously changing and many processes in animals need to respond to these external changes, e.g. adapting their behaviour, their energy metabolism or immunological processes. Do animals differ in their capacity to adapt to their environment, and if so, can animals 'learn' to adapt? Do you need to 'acquire' adaptive capacity in early life for later functioning? If adaptive capacity is limiting, what goes wrong? The course deals with these aspects of the functioning of animals, focusing on a selected number of themes. These themes may vary from year to year, but will mostly focus on: the vitality of young animals (since they experience many environmental changes in a vulnerable period of their life); effects of lactation on the lactating animal (since lactation and its -metabolic- consequences influences many aspects of the functioning of animals); and socially adapted animals (since animals need to interact with other animals (e.g. group housing of cattle, pigs), and also with man (dogs, cats), how do animals learn to behave).

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- explain the concept and relevance of adaptive capacity for the functioning of an animal;
- explain the physiological mechanisms that determine the functioning of animals, specifically in young animals and lactating animals;
- explain the processes and factors that affect the social behaviour of animals;
- evaluate the influence of management conditions (e.g. nutritional, thermal, social, etc) on the physiological functioning of animals;
- interpret scientific research;
- form and express an opinion on a topic related to the themes discussed.


A few introductory lectures on adaptive capacity, vitality and immune competence of animals are followed by a series of lectures on a number of selected themes. Besides the information presented in the lectures, students must study scientific papers related to the lecture topics. In the last week of the course, individual students are required to write an opinion paper on a specific appointed subject.


A minimum grade of 5.5 is required to pass the course. The grade consists of a grade for the opinion paper(20%) and the written exam (80%) that consists of open questions on the content of the lectures and studied papers and will take 3 hours. For both parts a minimum grade of 5.0 is required.


Handouts and scientific papers will be available during the course.

Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Nutrition and Metabolism1MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Adaptation, Health and Welfare1MO
MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Adaptation, Health and Welfare1MO