ANU-30806 Animal Nutrition and Physiology


Credits 6.00

Teaching methodContact hours
Group work1
Independent study0
Course coordinator(s)dr. ir. S de Vries
prof. dr. ir. WJJ Gerrits
Lecturer(s)prof. dr. ir. WJJ Gerrits
dr. ir. G Bosch
dr. ir. S de Vries
dr. ir. J Dijkstra
dr. ir. WF Pellikaan
dr. LH de Jonge
Examiner(s)prof. dr. ir. WJJ Gerrits
dr. ir. S de Vries

Language of instruction:


Mandatory knowledge:

ZSS06100 Laboratory Safety

Assumed knowledge on:

ANU-20306 Principles of Animal Nutrition (BSc).

Continuation courses:

ANU-30306 Nutrient Dynamics, ANU-31306 Feed Technology.


Note: This course can not be combined in an individual programme with HAP-30306 Nutrition Physiology.

Animal Nutrition and Physiology consists of two parts: Lectures digestive physiology and intermediary metabolism (3 credits) and Practicals Nutritional Physiology (3 credits). Digestive physiology and intermediary metabolism will be presented as lectures covering general principles of anatomy and function of the digestive tract in various species, metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, fatty acids, proteins and amino acids. In addition, lectures are given about the digestive systems of ruminants, poultry and companion animals. The practicals nutritional physiology will consist of three modules, each about 1 credit. (1) Practical Rumen Fermentation. This practical focuses on measurement of rumen fermentation and passage processes. It includes 3 experiments; (i) an in sacco incubation experiment using rumen fistulated dairy cows; (ii) an in vivo experiment determining passage rate of fluid out of the rumen of a rumen fistulated dairy cow; (iii) an in vitro digestibility experiment using straw, maize silage and concentrates as substrates. Results of the experiments will be integrated and interpreted by using mathematical modelling. (2) Practical Energy Metabolism. This practical focuses on measurement of carbohydrate and fat metabolism in young pigs using indirect calorimetry. Students will collect data from piglets, housed in two climate controlled respiration chambers, to calculate heat production, protein and fat deposition rates. Results of this experiment will be integrated and interpreted by using mathematical modelling. (3) Practical Nutrient Analyses. During these practicals, students will perform computer simulations of the nitrogen and starch analysis. Students will also get acquainted with principles of the laboratory measurement of dry matter, ash, nitrogen, amino acids, crude fat, starch and cell wall analyses.

Learning outcomes:

After successful completion of this course students are expected to be able to:
- summarize and compare the anatomy and function of digestive systems in farm and companion animal species and to explain the consequences for the digestion process of macronutrients;
- explain the intermediary metabolism of macronutrients, i.e. carbohydrates, fats and proteins;
- demonstrate the role of the different steps laboratory analysis of nitrogen and starch, and explain the principles of the determination of macronutrients in feedstuffs and animal (waste) products;
- explain and compare techniques to measure digestion, fermentation, nutrient passage through the intestinal tract and energy and protein metabolism;
- use mathematical modelling techniques to quantify nutrient fluxes, providing insight into the physiology of nutrient digestion, absorption and utilization;
- integrate knowledge on diet composition, digestion of macronutrients, comparative anatomy and intermediary metabolism to predict the effects of changes in nutritional strategies.


See contents.


The course will be graded as follows:
- digestive physiology and intermediairy metabolism (3 credits): 50%: multiple choice exam (questionmark perception);
- practicals (3 credits): 50%. This consists of a digital exam in questionmark perception (70%) and judgement of active participation and motivation (30%).
For every part of the examination, a minimal grade of 5.00 is required.


Tutorial, containing lecture handouts and manuals for practicals.
D.A. Bender. (2008). Introduction tot nutrition and metabolism. 4th ed. Boca Raton, 416 p. ISBN 1-4200-4312-9.

Restricted Optional for: MASAnimal SciencesMScD: Spec. D - Adaptation, Health and Behaviour4WD
MASAnimal SciencesMScB: Spec. B - Nutrition and Metabolism4WD