University of Liege | Version française
Study programmes 2013-2014Last update : 1/10/2013
Version 2012-2013
ANIM0013-1  Livestock production systems in tropical regions

Duration :  42h Th, 6h Pr
Number of credits :  
Required preliminary complements to Advanced Master in Plant and Animal Resource Management in tropical environment4
Lecturer :  N...
Language(s) of instruction :  
French language
Course contents :  
The course of Animal production systems in hot climates ANIM0013 will introduce you to the diversity of rearing systems in the hot parts of the world and especially in the tropics. With an annual rainfall ranging from less than mm up to more than 6 m, vegetation types as diferent as rainforests, woodlands, savannas and subdesert steppes, cropping plands more or less saturated and historical and socio-economical contexts extremely varible, the global environment in those areas led to a huge variety fo production systems. In this course, we will start from the specific constraints animals face in tropical areas (heat, feed availability) to understand the systems that have developed. We will review the tropical environment, the influence of heat, of feed availability on the animals under the tropics. We will also briefly overview the specificities of cattle, buffaloes, sheep and goats in these areas and see in which kind of systems these ruminants are kept. The course will go on with a description of the rearing systems for pigs and poultry. Finally, we will have a brief overview of the animals health constraints (zoonosis and trypanosomiasis) in the tropics and the means available to fight them. The topic of this course is really broad, so I don't pretend to be exhaustive. Hence, I will give you the opportunity to go unto further details on a specific species that will not be seen during the lectures (e.g. camels) during a group seminar that you will give to the class. One week after your presentation to the class, you will have to send me a written paper (max. 20 pages) on the topic you will have chosen. I will give you my comments on your work during the exam.
Learning outcomes of the course :  
At the end of the course, you will:
  • understand the origin of the diversity of the production systems in hot climates and their connection to the specific environmental constraints
  • be able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of some systems and you will be able to suggest means to improve the main animal productions in the big ecological areas of the tropics, preseving the environment and, possibly, optimizing synergies with agriculture
  • will have improved your skills in written and oral scientific communication
Prerequisites and co-requisites/ Recommended optional programme components :  
If you wish to follow this course, I recommend you to have some knowledge in animal nutrition and feeding. For the seminar, I am very sensitive to the quality of the references you use and the way you quote them. I recommend you to attend a class of scientific literature and information literacy (e.g. DOCU0449-2 Scientific literature and information literacy) and to read to following document (in French) to avoir any kind of plagiarism:
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :  
The course is based (1) on lectures using many pictures and tables from photographs and scientific papers as well as videos (in English); (2) conferences given by invited speakers; and (3) 20 min seminars given by the students (in groups). These seminars are followed by a 10 min discussion with the audience. The presence of all the student during these seminars is compulsory. I will free some class time so you can prepare your seminar. I'll be present in the classroom and available to answer your questions, help you with the search of interesting references and the structuration of your work. I wish the course was interactive so I invite you to speak when I try to interact with the audience during the lectures. Please, feel also free to interrupt me at any time if you have any question.
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :  
Lectures : 36h Seminars: 12h
Recommended or required readings :  
You have acess to the slides that are shown during the classes. You are likely to be assessed on any topic covered in these slides, except the conferences given by invited speakers.
The presence of all the students is compulsory during the seminars and conferences by invited speakers. It is the only way for me to make sure everybody has seen the same subjects. It is also extremely important to have a positive dynamic during the discussion sessions after the seminars. Nonetheless, students who attend the seminars are not assessed on the subjects covered by the seminars during the examination.
The course is of course not exhaustive. If wish to go into further details now or during your future professional life, I recommend you as first reading the following references:
  • Payne WJA, Wilson RT. 1999. An introduction to animal husbandry in the tropics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science.
  • Coulon JB, Lecomte P, Boval M, Perez JM (coord.). 2011. Elevage en régions chaudes. Numéro Spécial. INRA Productions animales. 24(1).
Assessment methods and criteria :  
You will be assessed during an written and oral exam for 50 % of the final mark.
Your seminar will count for 50 % fo the final mark. Evaluation criteria for the seminar cover the quality of your written paper (including the references) and your oral presentation (including the management of time and the discussion session). The written document must be sent by email no later than one week after the day scheduled for your presentation (the date will be chosen during the first classes) to the following direction: Late works will be disregarded and the final mark will be negatively influenced.
Work placement(s) :  
Organizational remarks :  
The teacher's notes are available as the course starts. Nevertheless, we try to improve them constantly, so you might notice some modifications during the year.
Contacts :  
Feel free to contact me for any question regarding the course. I am available during the class. If you want to see me at all other times, please make an appointment by calling +32 81 62 26 09 or by sending me an email (

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