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Ruminant Nutrition

Ruminant Nutrition

Release Date: October 2020

Lead Organisation: IBERS, Aberystwyth University

This module will outline the fundamental physiological and microbiological principles underpinning ruminant nutrition. You will look at the design of animal nutrition experiments; ruminant ration formulation and evaluation; nutrient digestion and metabolism; microbial populations and their ecology; and metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids in order to modify the characteristics of meat and milk. The module will also look at research into reducing environmental impacts from ruminants through their nutrition.

The module’s units consist of:

  • Fundamentals of Ruminant Nutrition - the anatomy and function of the ruminant gut and the metabolic pathways in ruminants of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.
  •  Research methods used in ruminant nutrition – starts by looking at the basics of rationing before introducing the different research methods used to understand ruminant nutrition.
  • Ecology of the Rumen - describes and explains what is known about the microbial ecology of the rumen.
  • Managing the Rumen - how to manage the rumen to increase productivity.
  • Altering product composition through nutrition - research into altering meat product composition and dairy product composition through the animal’s nutrition.
  • Feed sourcing and alternative feeds - feed sourcing, feeds from by-products, and feed markets.
  • Home grown feeds - home grown feeds and alternative home grown feeds currently being researched.
  • Nutrition and meeting product quality - how biological research can help the industry meet market demands. How industry and government influence the market.
  • Nutrition and the Environment - environmental issues surrounding ruminant production: how ruminant nutrition can be used to mitigate them.
  • Ruminant Genetics - past and present breeding strategies linked to ruminant nutrition; the potential of genomics to influence animal breeding and nutrition improvement.

Qualifiactions within which this module may be used as an option:



Tutors Name
Dr Cate Williams


Helen Warren

“This module will be used to inform decisions regarding trials using Alltech solutions, as well as to answer technical and scientific queries from sales force and customers.”

Helen Warren Technical Manager - Alltech
Kimberley Glover

“I have learned that there are huge steps forward being identified in the way we can develop ruminant products that are more efficient and environmentally beneficial.”

Downloadable Resources