2023-2024 / ANIM0018-1

Bromatology and grazing management


37h Th, 13h Pr, 7h FT

Number of credits

 Master in agroecology (120 ECTS)6 crédits 
 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)6 crédits 


Yves Beckers, Jérôme Bindelle


Yves Beckers

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Why is this course important for bio-engineers?
Domestic animal feeding practices make up for a significant part of the profitability and sustainability of animal rearing operations. Whether breeding in temperate or hot areas, in intensive or extensive systems, all the feeding management practices use a wide range of resources such as agricultural products and by-products, forage crops and natural and artificial rangelends and pastures. This course will teach you how to use those resources best as animal feeds and the ecological basis of grazing that determine how grasslands can be managed using agroécological drivers. The knowledge and competencies in this field are of utmost importance to the bio-engineers intending to work in fields related to animal production and game management.

Aims of the course
This course aims at (1) introduce the diversity of feed ingredients useful for animal production, their nutritive characteristics, including their pros and cons according to the considered animal species, technological treatments available to change those characteristics; (2) to introduce the basics of feed evaluation as well as diet formulation and (3) to introduce the basics of natural and artificial pastures management as main roughage source for ruminants.

This course is divided in different parts presented hereafter:

  • The different classes of feeds
  • The technology for producing compound feeds
  • Assessing the feeding value (energy and protein) of feed ingredients
  • Theory and practical exercises
  • Feed formulation
  • Visit of feed companies
  • Grazing resistance mechanisms
  • Physiology of the growth of grasses
  • Grazing from the perspective of plants and animals
  • Practical basic knowledge for rangeland assessment and management
  • Practical exercise on range carrying capacity, on forage and pasture assessment

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course you will:

  • know the positive and negative characteristics of the main classes of feed ingredients;
  • recognise the main feed ingredients used around the world;
  • know the most important technologies used in the feed industry;
  • be able to determine the feeding value of ingredients;
  • formulate diets for farm animals;
  • understand to biotic and abiotic elements influencing the composition of forage plants, their growth, and their nutritive value;
  • understand how to use the tools required for range management in order to secure the long-term production potential of a range;
  • be able to identify the most important grasses and know their interests for ruminants;
  • master tools allowing you to to measure the quality of forage plants and grasslands, measure the production potential and determine their carrying capacity.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

The biological rules of digestive physiology and nutrient metabolism are supposed to be known by the students following this course, as well as the technical itinerary for ruminants and monogatsrics production. We also recommend you to be familiar with botany, plant physiology, and soil science.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The theory sections are based on lectures and podcasts using many pictures and clips from scientific papers, herbariums and collections feed ingredients, as well as short videos. Practical exercises are based on exercises in the classroom, computer-based exercise, pasture assessment and visits. After an introduction to the formulation software, the students will have to formulate a diet for a given class of animals. How and when the report will have to be prepared will be specified in due time. We wish for interactive lectures are. Please don't be afraid to speak when we try to interact with the audience during the lectures. You are also free to interrupt us at any time for questions.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Lectures and practical exercises requiring the presence of the student. Field exercises Personnal work

Recommended or required readings

There are no compulsory readings. You will have access to the slides presented during the lectures as well as the exercises and their solutions via e-campus. You are likely to have a question on all the topics covered by these slides. You have access to the herbarium and plant collections. A reference list regarding the topics covered by the lectures will be issued so you'll be able to go further if you like with the topics of the course as well as getting familiar with the vocabulary of the discipline. Moreover, as the course doesn't cover everything, if you need deeper knowledge, now or during your professional life, on specific topics, we advise you to start with the following references: For botany and physiology of forage plants:
Barnes RF, Nelson CJ, Moore KJ, Collins M. 2007. Forages. The science of grassland agriculture. Volume II. 6th Ed. Blackwell publishing. Ames.
For extensive range management:
Holechek JL, Pieper RD, Herbel CH. 2011. Range management. Principles and practices. 6th Ed. Prentice Hall. Boston.
For the description of tropical forage plants we recommend the following website: www.tropicalforages.info Ta access tables with the nutritive value of feed ingredients : Sauvant D, Perez JM, Tran G. 2004. Tables de composition et de valeur nutritive des matières premières destinées aux animaux d'élevage. 2nd Ed. INRA. Paris (English version available) The website Feedipedia : www.trc.zootechnie.fr

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

The final mark will be the weighted average of the marks obtained for the different parts of the course.

Oral examination (1h)

  • The diet formulated by the student will have to be reported in a written report. The mark regarding this report will consider the following aspects: respect of the instructions, ability to use the software, meaning of the result, quality of the explanations, pertinence of the cited litterature and quality of the presentation. During the oral examination (see above) (30 min), the written report will be discussed.
  • Each students will be asked to produce reports on the different exercices. These reports will yield the mark entering in the global mark for the course and will be discussed during the final exam.  In addition, the students will prepare and presetn during the examination an mind map of grazing management (30 min).  Reports must be delivered in due time.  Late reports will receive a grade of 0.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The slides will be made available at the beginning of the classes. Participation at the practical exercises and visits are compulsory. Any student not able to attend those activities must warn the teachers. The condition to participate to the examination is to fulfill the obligation regarding the written reports a.o. to give in the report in due time.


You can always ask us questions during the classes or by making an appointment by phone or via email (yves.beckers@ulg.ac.be, +32 81 62 21 19, jérôme.bindelle@uliege.be, +3281622606).

Association of one or more MOOCs