2023-2024 / ANIM0030-1

Animal recording, breeding and reproduction in modern sustainable animal production system


22h Th, 10h Pr, 4h FT

Number of credits

 Master in agricultural bioengineering (120 ECTS)4 crédits 


Nicolas Gengler, Martine Schroyen


Nicolas Gengler

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Part 1: Animal Reproduction Physiology:

General information about sex determination and differentiation, male and female reproduction, fertilization, embryogenesis, placentation and parturation will be discussed in great detail. The importance of these subjects in livestock breeding will be studied with emphasis on cattle, swine and poultry.  In addition, we will talk about important themes such as artificial insemination and other assisted reproductive techniques as well as some of the main livestock reproductive diseases.

Part 2: Animal Recording and Genetic Improvement (Breeding) of animals:

Sustainable livestock production needs quantified information gathering and fine phenotyping. Different aspects of zootechnical data collection, including new smart farming technologies such as sensors, will be presented and illustrated. The principles of animal breeding will be put in the context of sustainable animal production systems, associated breeding objectives, genetic evaluation and animal selection, and the latest developments in innovative breeding technology such as genomics. Teaching will be partially done using computer supported directed work.


Excursion on a farm or visit to breeding structures


Learning outcomes of the learning unit

At the end of the course, the student will be able to:
- describe male and female reproduction, e.g. the reproductive anatomy and the function of reproductive hormones
- master the knowledge related to the most important reproduction tools in livestock
- know zootechnical performance recording, including novel uses of sensors, and the use of the generated data
- master basic knowledge related to animal improvement, including the analysis and modeling of data related to breeding


Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

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

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

Face to face lectures

Work on exemplifying examples (graded) on computational server


Recommended or required readings

The slides of the last year stay available on eCampus from the beginning of the teaching period. However the content will be adapted during the progress of teaching.

Written work / report

Continuous assessment

Other : Presentation of the "Concept Sheet"

Additional information:

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

written exam ( open-ended questions )

Continuous assessment

Additional information:

Part 1: Animal Reproduction Physiology:

Closed book exam

Open questions

Written exam (can be in French)


Part 2: Animal Recording and Genetic Improvement (Breeding) of animals:

Continuous assessment, e.g.,  based on reports after directed work session

Presentation of the "Concept Sheet"

Closed book exam

Open questions

Written exam (can be in French)

Final result will be based on the average of both parts independently from their number of hours. The continous assessment contribue up to a maximum of 1/4 of the final result. The presentation of the "Concept Sheet" contributes up to a maximum of 1/10 of the final result


Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

Groups of students will have to develop "Concept sheets" on concepts seen by teachers during the course and present them in English to the whole class.


You can always ask us questions during class or by making an appointment:
nicolas.gengler@uliege.be, +32 81 62 22 06
martine.schroyen@uliege.be, +32 81 62 23 27

Association of one or more MOOCs