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Animal Science 4332

Ruminant Nutrition


Dr. Jim Williams (115A ASRC, 882-7354)

Dr. Ron Belyea (115B ASRC, 882-6354)

Lecture: Tuesday and Thursday 8:00-8:50 a.m.

Laboratory: Tuesday and Thursday 1:00-2:50 p.m.

Laboratory Assistants: Andy Mueller, Kevin Spurlin and Marisa Huck

The intent of this course is to provide students with the current understanding and recent concepts in utilization of forages and concentrates by beef and dairy cattle. This will include the understanding of forage quality and how it impacts the utilization of forages for beef and dairy cattle. The course will also cover the utilization of traditional concentrate feeds as well as by products feeds and how they influence forage utilization by beef and dairy cattle. Another important aspect will be the understanding of protein fractions in feedstuffs and how they are utilized by ruminants. A large portion of the course will be devoted to formulating diets for beef and dairy cattle. This part of the course will address various scenarios associated with ration formulation and trouble shooting with regard to feed ingredient selection in order to satisfy the animal's nutrient requirement.


The lectures will be presented by the instructors as listed in the syllabus. The lectures will cover a topic and be presented in outline form. The students will be expected to read assigned research papers as well as review articles and other designated reading assignments. These assignments will supplement the lectures and provide students with a thorough understanding of the topic. There will be occasions that students will have to go to the library and read certain papers relevant to a current topic. These reading assignments will enhance the student's understanding of the lecture topic.


Students should have completed a course in principles of animal nutrition prior to enrolling in this course.


The laboratory will be presented to provide the student a further understanding of techniques used by the nutritionist to learn about the composition of feed ingredients fed to beef and dairy cattle. The intent of the laboratory experience is to provide students the opportunity to learn about chemical procedures used in feed analysis. Also, the laboratory will provide students the opportunity to evaluate the impact of nutrient composition on animal performance of beef and dairy cattle. Students will develop skills in ration formulation for beef and dairy cattle.


Students will be given 4 exams during the course of the semester. These exams will be spaced out during the semester as presented in the course syllabus. Laboratory exercises and computer exercises will also be given to the students in order to evaluate their understanding of analytical procedures for feed analysis as well as formulation for beef and dairy cattle.

Points distributed for exams and other assignments:

4 Hour Exams 400 points

Lab Assignments/Final Report 100 points

Computer Assignments 100 points


Assignments for Ruminant Nutrition




January 18



January 23

CHO fractions

Feeds; DM, TN

January 25

and degradation

January 30

N fractions and

NDF detn

February 1

N degradation

February 6

Fermentation - balancing


February 8

February 13


February 15

Exam 1

February 19

Forages - characteristics

In Situ digestions (DM/N)

February 21

Forages - types

February 26

Forages - digestion

In Situ/Vitro digestions

February 28

and utilization

March 5

Concentrates and

In vitro digestion

March 7

By products

March 12


March 14

Exam 2

March 19

Diet Formulation


March 21

Diet Formulation

March 23

Spring Break


March 31

April 2

Dairy diets

Rumen measurements

April 4

Dairy diets

April 9

Dairy diets/ computer evaluation

Computer evaluation

April 11

Dairy diets/ computer evaluation

April 16

Dairy diets

Computer evaluation

April 18

Exam 3

April 23

Beef diets

Computer evaluation

April 25

Beef diets

April 30

Beef diets

Computer evaluation

May 2

Beef diets

May 7

Beef diets

Computer evaluation

May 9

Exam 4