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An overview of Australian and global livestock production systems in wool, meat sheep, beef cattle, dairy cattle, pig and poultry industries is provided. The unit will cover genetics, breeding, nutritional management, lactational physiology, wool, milk and meat quality, feedlotting, pasture-based beef production, poultry management and pig production with emphasis on Australian production systems.

An important component of this Unit is the opportunity to enhance individual student seminar presentation skills on topics related to sheep, dairy, beef and pig production. Students are also given the opportunity to learn animal growth and body conformation measurements, data recording and analysis using the University Farm Sheep Flock at Cambridge in field practicals. In the laboratory, students acquire skills in determining the intramuscular fat content of beef cuts from lot-fed versus grass-fed cattle and the fat melting point as indices of meat quality. During the course of this unit, at least one excursion to a commercial sheep, beef, dairy or mixed farm would be featured to enable students to interact with well-established livestock farmers in Tasmania. Students will be expected to develop advanced skills in reporting their field and laboratory experiences in the form of a scientific journal paper, incorporating published literature in their discussion and inferences.

Summary 2020

Unit name Animal Production Systems
Unit code KLA220
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture
Discipline Agriculture and Food Systems

Sarah Andrewartha

Teaching staff

Peter Ball

Level Intermediate
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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Teaching Pattern

2x1-hr lectures, weekly 3-hr field and lab practicals, seminars, excursions (13 wks)


3-hr theory exam (60%), sheep experimental growth and body conformation practical journal paper (15%), seminar presentation (15%), intramuscular fat and melting point laboratory practical report (5%), mid-semester test (5%).

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