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Production Biology

Welcome to the Production Biology (HV0170) course in 2021!

Due to the continued Covid-19 restrictions all teaching in the Production Biology course will be given on-line. If restrictions change before the course finishes students will be offered a voluntary visit to the Lövsta research herd to look at some of the on-going work

This will be the fifth time the course is given and it has for several years been designed as a "flipped classroom" course, which fits perfectly with the current Covid-19 situation. If flipped classroom is new for you, please read about it before the course starts. The main principle is that students read literature and listen to recorded lectures before each meeting with a teacher. This means that the teacher-student contact time can be used for answering questions on literature and discussing complicated aspects and for this to happen it is crucial that students come prepared. A preliminary version of the schedule (timetable) is available here and you will see that there is very little scheduled time. This does not reflect the time you will need to put into the course, the time between seminars and discussions will be spent on literature and recorded material.

Both Canvas and Zoom are important tools in this course. If you are not familiar with them please take some time before the course starts to make sure you know how they work. You need to be able to log into Canvas on the first day of the course in order to find the Zoom link to the course start. This is why the course start is after lunch, it gives you time to sort out practicalities like course registration and passwords in the morning.

The course literature is mainly scientific papers and you will access the PDF-files of papers in Canvas, they when the course starts. We also use a few chapters from a text book in animal physiology, please check the information about literature by clicking on "Literature" here.

The course leaders will be on Christmas holiday from today and until the 12th of January. You can send us e-mails and we will check e-mail during the holiday but please do not expect us to respond quickly.

We look forward to seeing you in Zoom on the 18th of January!

Best regards from Sigrid and Anna

The course evaluation is now closed

HV0170-30082 - Course evaluation report

Once the evaluation is closed, the course coordinator and student representative have 1 month to draft their comments. The comments will be published in the evaluation report.

Additional course evaluations for HV0170

Academic year 2019/2020

Production Biology (HV0170-30231) 2020-01-20 - 2020-03-24

Academic year 2018/2019

Production Biology (HV0170-30241) 2019-01-21 - 2019-03-25

HV0170 Production Biology, 15.0 Credits


Syllabus approved



Biology Animal science

Education cycle

Second cycle


Title Credits Code
Anatomy, eggs and milk 5.00 1002
Meat, fish, insects, wool and work 5.00 1003
Synthesis 5.00 1004

Advanced study in the main field

Second cycle, only first-cycle courses as entry requirements(A1N)

Grading scale

5:Pass with Distinction, 4:Pass with Credit, 3:Pass, U:Fail The requirements for attaining different grades are described in the course assessment criteria which are contained in a supplement to the course syllabus. Current information on assessment criteria shall be made available at the start of the course.



Prior knowledge

Knowledge equivalent to
- 180 credits at first cycle level, of which
- 60 credits biology, animal science, equine science, veterinary nursing or veterinary medicine
or 60 credits agricultural sciences (of which at least 30 credits animal science/zoology)
- English 6


The aim of the course is to provide advanced knowledge of physiological-, genetic-, ethological and maintenance factors that regulate production of eggs, meat, milk, fur and work in animals. The course will also develop the students’ ability to integrate new information within these subjects in their previous knowledge by improving their ability to evaluate research publications critically in these subject areas.

On completion of the course, the student should be able to:
- Explain the anatomy and physiology of bone, muscle and adipose tissue of chicken and mammals, the reproductive tract of the hen bird and the mammary gland of mammals,
- Explain the physiology and behaviour of milk production in mammals and egg production in hen birds,growth of body and fur in chicken, mammals, fish and insects and of work in mammals,
- Explain the importance of genotype for production of meat, milk, eggs, fur and work,
- Explain how quality, processability and shelf life of eggs, meat, fur and milk and the ability to work is affected by feeding and management routines,
- Describe the interaction between human, animal and technology regarding egg production, growth, milk production and work,
- Describe the most common pathogens and health problems that affect the egg producing hen, growing chicken, pigs, sheep, bulls, heifers and horses, fish and insects, lactating animals and working animals,
- Describe and suggest different methods used to determine quality and shelf life of eggs, meat, fur and milk and factors that affect the ability to work and how this can be assessed,
- Discuss and critically analyse scientific publications in areas relating to the course under supervision and extract new knowledge from scientific publications in this field,
- On the basis of knowledge in production biology and understanding of the effects of production on animal health and welfare, productivity, the environment and climate and of ergonomics assess, evaluate and suggest production systems for eggs, meat, milk, fur and work.


The course covers anatomy of bone, muscle, adipose tissue, udder and the reproductive tract of the hen bird, physiology of bone, muscle, adipose tissue, tissue growth, hen bird reproduction, fur formation, milk synthesis and lactation, exercise, fluid and temperature regulation and partitioning of nutrients in producing animals and incorporation of nutrients into meat, milk, fur and eggs. This involves in depth understanding of endocrine regulation of growth, milk- and egg synthesis, fur and work. Furthermore, the course covers behaviors specific to production and the importance of genotype for the ability to produce meat, milk, eggs, fur and work. Amount and quality of eggs, meat, milk and fur and the ability to work is described as effects of breeding, housing and management routines like light, temperature, handling and feeding. The course is comparative across different species like chicken, turkey, cows, buffalo, goat, sheep, camel, horse, dog, salmon, tilapia and also insects that are kept for food production.

The course includes dissections, lectures and group discussions on aspects of production biology. Teaching is carried out on location in Uppsala. Study visits are also included in the course.

Compulsory components occur within e g presentations, group discussions, dissections, group work and study visits.

Formats and requirements for examination

Passed written and oral examination. Passed participation in compulsory course modules.
  • If the student fails a test, the examiner may give the student a supplementary assignment, provided this is possible and there is reason to do so.
  • If the student has been granted special educational support because of a disability, the examiner has the right to offer the student an adapted test, or provide an alternative assessment.
  • If changes are made to this course syllabus, or if the course is closed, SLU shall decide on transitional rules for examination of students admitted under this syllabus but who have not yet passed the course.
  • For the examination of a degree project (independent project), the examiner may also allow the student to add supplemental information after the deadline. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Other information

  • The right to take part in teaching and/or supervision only applies to the course date to which the student has been admitted and registered on.
  • If there are special reasons, the student may take part in course components that require compulsory attendance at a later date. For more information on this, please refer to the regulations for education at Bachelor's and Master's level.

Additional information

It is recommended that course participants have prior knowledge equivalent to at least 15 credits in physiology (animals or man). The course uses a text book in physiology as introductory literature and scientific papers as the main course literature. Students are offered to buy printed copies of the included papers at the cost of printing them. All course participants need printed copied of the papers for the written open-book exam.

Costs for study visits can be added.

Responsible department

Department of Animal Nutrition and Management

Further information

Determined by: Programnämnden för utbildning inom veterinärmedicin och husdjur (PN - VH)
Biology field: Zoologi (djurbiologi)
Replaces: HV0099, HV0116, HV0137
1) Physiology of domestic animals
Author: Sjaastad et al
ISBN: ISBN 978-82-91743-41-7
Comments: Chapters 4, 6, 15, 19 should be read/repeated before the start of the course since they provide important background knowledge for this course.
2) Physiology of domestic animals
Author: Sjaastad et al
ISBN: ISBN 978-82-91743-41-7
Comments: Course literature (will be examined in the course) includes chapters 7, 8, 16, 18, 20, 21 and pages 757-762, 846-849
3) Scientific papers
Comments: Scientific papers and book chapters will be provided in digital format in Canvas during the course. This will be the main part of the course literature.

Course facts

The course is offered as an independent course: Yes The course is offered as a programme course: Agricultural Science Programme - Animal Science (270 hec) Animal Science - Master´s Programme Animal Science - Master´s Programme Tuition fee: Tuition fee only for non-EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens: 38054 SEK Cycle: Second cycle
Subject: Biology Animal science
Course code: HV0170 Application code: SLU-30082 Location: Uppsala Distance course: No Language: English Responsible department: Department of Animal Nutrition and Management Pace: 100%