Animal science courses are available at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels, and they combine classwork, labs and lecture. These courses teach students how to feed, breed and care for animals and can have a focus on domesticated, farm or lab animals. Common concepts covered in these classes include:
- Animal nutrition
- Animal anatomy and physiology
- Veterinary parasitology
- Beef cattle management
- Companion animal care
- Equine health
- Slaughterhouse inspections
List of Animal Science Courses
General Animal Science
General animal science courses often focus on animals used in agriculture. Lectures focus on the selection, nutrition, reproduction and management of horses, beef cattle, goats, swine and sheep. Other topics taught in a general animal science course include animal anatomy and physiology, animal diseases and animal research. General animal science courses typically require laboratory hours.
Animal nutrition courses cover digestion, metabolism and the absorption of food nutrients. Typical topics include the nutritional needs of animals, ration formulation and feeding methods. Students may create nutritional plans for animals or study the composition of animal feed. Students might need to have completed a basic chemistry course before signing up for a course in animal nutrition.
Equine Care and Management
Since horses are large animals not often used for meat, they are examined in a different context than companion animals or cattle. Students examine equine anatomy and physiology, as well as common disorders and diseases that affect horses. In order to learn about normal horse behavior, students spend time with horses, watching how healthy horses act and respond to people; they also learn basic grooming and shoe-care.
Animal breeding courses provide an overview on the selection and mating of farm and ranch animals. Topics covered in an animal breeding course include gene frequency, direct and correlated responses to selection, crossbreeding, inbreeding, fertility and heritability. Professors discuss animal reproductive systems. Students may also learn about surgical methods of embryo transfer.
Laboratory Animal Science
Students taking a laboratory animal science course learn about the basics of providing care to lab animals. In the lecture portion of this class, professors discuss animal rights and regulations for using animals in research. Students learn how to provide safe housing, care and food for animals. They also learn how to ensure the safety of scientists and lab technicians who work with lab animals.