Welcome to 414 Ruminant Nutrition

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Course Guide Information | Learning Objectives | Teaching Method | Roles | Textbook | Expectations | Deadlines & Grades

Course Guide Information:

Working Title: Ruminant Nutrition
Course Guide listing: AN SCI 414 and DY SCI 414
Prerequisites: Dy. Sci./An. Sci. 311 Comparative Animal Nutrition
Dy. Sci./An. Sci. 313 Animal Feeds and Diet Formulation
Date/Time: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:45 am to 10:45 am 
Location: Room 209 Animal Sciences Building
Instructors: Michel Wattiaux (wattiaux@wisc.edu), Sebastian Arriola Apelo (arriolaapelo@wisc.edu) and Benito Albarran (albarranport@wisc.edu)
Teaching Assistant: TBA
Students: Please see "Class Photo Roster" link on the left


Learning Objectives:

This class covers the principles of ruminant nutrition with dairy cows and replacement heifers as the main focus. At the end of this course, students will be familiar with current scientific concepts of ruminant nutrition. In addition, students will gain practical knowledge and critical thinking skills in evaluating feed ingredients and dairy rations. Learning is not only about acquiring new knowledge, but more importantly it includes the ability to apply, to analyze, to synthesize, to criticize, and to evaluate. The main objectives of this class are:
  • To understand nutritional concepts and their implications in balancing rations for dairy cattle;
  • To gain analytical and critical thinking skills related to practical aspects of feeding ruminants;
  • To gain "hands-on" experience in evaluating feed ingredients and rations in the "real-world".
Prior to this class, students should have taken both An. Sci/Dy. Sci. 311 (Comparative Animal Nutrition) and An. Sci./Dy. Sci. 313 (Animal Feeds and Formulation) or equivalent courses. Prerequisite knowledge includes a basic understanding of the nutrients in animal feeds, nutrients required by the animal, and some experience in balancing rations.


Teaching Methods:

The teaching method used in this class emphasizes ACTIVE participation of students before, during and after class. Thus the course will be based primarily on pre-class reading assignments followed by in-class discussion of papers. The in-class time will include a variety of learning activities (quiz, worksheet, small and large group discussion, case-studies, etc.). "Keys" to these learning activities will be available on the schedule and material page of this course website. However, please try to resist the temptation to think that the keys include "just" what you have to "remember" to do well on the exam. The keys and the corresponding class activities are intended to help you "understand" the connections among different parts of the material. PowerPoint presentations will be used sparingly only to clarify key concepts as needed. The work you are expected to do before and after class including reading the articles, using the on-line quiz, and doing the "homework", is essential for you to do well in this class.


Roles of Students and Instructor:

Your role as a student: As a student, your are expected to take an active role in developing a basic understanding of ruminant nutrition and developing skills in feed evaluation and ration formulation. Think of the reading assignments, the class discussions and the class projects as ways to gain new knowledge and to gain skills in critically evaluating nutrition-related knowledge. Please review the lecture material or complete the reading assignment BEFORE class. The ways you can be “proactive” and gain credit in this class include:
  • Be prepared for class and team work: Allocate enough time to read the paper carefully. Think of the reading and homework assignments as a way of helping yourself find out what you know and what you don’t know or don't fully understand. For making sense of the course material, you have to continually question yourself, your teammates, your classmates and your instructor.
  • Be an active participant in class: Active participation in class means listening, thinking, taking notes and asking questions. There are (almost) no “stupid questions” in this class. As long as you have a genuine interest in learning the subject matter, all questions will be valid questions! Be honest with yourself and you’ll find out what your current level of knowledge really is, and what your misunderstandings might be.
Although it may vary, here is what you are typically expected to do for this class:
    Before class:
    • Read the paper(s) posted on the Schedule & Materials page of this website,
    • Test your knowledge / understanding of the articles with the on-line quizzes, after using your NetID to log on the "restricted" (internal) pages of the site.
    During class, we may engage in any of the following class activities:
    • Introduction of the topic with a mini-lecture (if needed),
    • Summarize the article,
    • Discuss the article, using the "Mini Essays" questions of the practice quizzes,
    • Discuss a case study,
    • Complete problem sets or worksheets,
    After class you are expected to:
    • Complete a minute paper (look of the "MP" link on the Schedule & Materials page),
    • Review the material in a way that make sense to you,
    • If necessary, make an appointment with the class instructor for help.
My role as an instructor: As your instructor, my goal is to help you learn (and as a result help you get good grades).  The variety of instruction strategies used for the course will help you acquire knowledge THAT MAKES SENSE TO YOU. I am happy to accommodate for the variety of interests that each student brings to class, but to do so, I need to hear from you! Don’t be afraid to set a time to visit with me if you have any concerns. In other words, I want this course to be of interest to each one of you. I hope this class will motivate you to expand your interest in ruminant nutrition. My role is:
  • To define the course topics and relative importance of various subject matters,
  • To provide you with the information and resources you need to learn,
  • To communicate with you in a way that facilitates your learning,
  • To set the level of expectation and evaluate your progress and your work.

Textbook:

No textbook is required for this course. Pre-class reading assignments will be made available on the courses website (course participants only).  However, to help yourself with your class projects and your final exam, you are expected to familiarize themselves with the database of conference proceedings from the American Dairy Science Association (ADSA) called the Searchable Proceedings of Animal Conferences (S-PAC). You don't have to subscribe (unless you want to in which case your $5 subscription will last for one year). The S-PAC database is also available free of charge at the Steenbock Library (click here).

Materials including readings, homework assignments, and study aids (quiz and discussion sheets) are posted on the course website. The website includes also a “dropbox” to submit (upload) assignments as needed. The UW NetID is required to access the dropbox.


Expectations: What am I expected to do to get good grades?

Academic Integrity: The act of copying/pasting answers or partially editing answers from others is an instance of academic misconduct, the definition of which includes "any act aimed at making false representation of one's academic performance." The University has strict rules and provides for disciplinary action on this issue. Please see the Dean of Students Office page on Academic Integrity for more details. In short, the work submitted to your instructors must be yours and yours only. Unless directed by your instructors, ignore any materials you may have access to from previous offerings of the course. Below is the list of items that will be part of your final grade:
  1. Class Participation - Pre-class Quizzes:
    Links directly to on-line quizzes or find the list of weekly quizzes on the Schedule and Materials page.  Deadline to complete the quiz is 9:00 AM the day of class. The quizzes should be viewed as a way to demonstrate to your instructor that you have read the pre-assigned material and prepared for class activities. Note that you will have the choice to take a quiz twice (see "Max Attempts" on quiz page), but some of the questions in your repeated attempt will be different from the questions of the first attempt as each question is drawn randomly from a database every time a quiz is generated.

  2. Mid term exam is a 1-hr in-class exam that will include mini-essay questions and multiple choice questions drawn from the on-line practice quizzes, discussion sheets, class discussions and other class-related activities. The main sections of the mid term are as follows:
    1. Ruminants vs. Non-Ruminants and Strategies of Digestion;
    2. Feed Composition and Analysis, Variation in Composition and Energy Value;
    3. Dry Matter Intake
    4. Energy Supply and Requirements
    5. Protein Supply and Requirements
    6. Key Concepts
    7. Calf Nutrition
    8. Heifer Nutrition.

  3. Project 1: To submit a written report and an oral presentation describing your in-depth analysis of a commercial product.

  4. Project 2: Project 2 is a two-part project designed to help you gain skills in balancing and evaluating "real-world" dairy rations.
    • Part I: Part I is to complete a partial written report that describes your first attempt at collecting on-farm data and analyzing the ration for a group of dairy cows with ration formulation and analysis software.
    • Part II: Part II is to complete a final written report and make a team presentation of your findings describing your in-depth and complete analysis of the ration that your team had started to work on in part I.

  5. Final exam. The final will be a two part exam.
    • Part I: Part I includes a traditional final exam on the material discussed during the second half of the semester. The main sections of the final are as follows:
      1. Troubleshooting: TMR sampling and Principles of Biological Tests;
      2. Troubleshooting: Ketosis and Fatty Liver;
      3. Troubleshooting: Rumen Acidosis, milk fat depression, laminitis;
      4. Feeding to Reduce N excretion and Milk Urea Nitrogen;
      5. Transition Diet: DCAD;
      6. Transition Diets: Short Dry Period and Goldilocks Diet.
    • Part II (OPTIONAL): Part II is a take-home project, which is an extension of project 1 of this class.  If you choose to not do this take-home project, no problem; Your in-class final exam will count for 25% of your class grade. If you choose to complete the take-home (a) your in-class exam will count for 15% and the take-home for 10% of the class grade and (b) your grade will be calculated both ways and the highest score will be kept.   

Deadlines and Grades: The Table below provides deadlines and percentage of each item (described in the "Expectations" section above) in your grade for this class.
Item Deadline Percentage Comments (see details above)
Minute Paper After each class 5% Class participation (see schedule & Materials page)
Pre-Class Quizzes 9:00 a.m. Tu. and Th.  15% Class participation (see schedule & Materials page)
Mid-term Exam Th. Oct. 19 (9:45 a.m.) 25% One-hour in-class exam
Project 1 Written report Fr. Oct. 13 (11:00 p.m.) 7% Word document in the website drop box 
Project 1 Oral presentation In-class Oct. 24, 26 and 31 5% Power point is optional. 
Project 2 Partial written report Th. Nov. 16 (11:00 p.m.) 10%* Word doc. in drop box
Project 2 Oral presentation In-class Dec. 5, 7 and 12 8%* Word & power point in drop box 24 hr before scheduled presentation
Final Exam Th. Dec. 21 (2:45 p.m.) 25% or 15% Two-hr exam
Optional Take-home Exam Th. Dec. 21 (2:45 p.m.)
0% or 10% See details above; Early submission is strongly encouraged
*: Grades will be adjusted based on self-evaluation and team members evaluation.

How will Letter grade be assigned? A criterion-referenced grading will be used in this class and therefore you do not need to worry about your standing relative to others in this course. In fact, working together with others may be to everyone's advantage. Letter grades will be assigned according to the following scale (which may vary slightly from year to year depending on specific circumstances): A = 86-100 | AB = 80-85 | B= 75-79 | BC = 70-74 | C = 65-69 | D = 55-64 | F = 54 or less.