ANSC30280 Herd Health & Milk Quality

Academic Year 2022/2023

This undergraduate module targets students specializing in Dairy Management. It consists of nine sections which deal with dairy animal and herd health and milk quality. Sub-optimal animal and herd health and milk quality can seriously impact the production efficiency and sustainability of dairy farms. The specific areas covered will include disease recognition, animal health in Ireland, herd infectious diseases, mastitis, milk quality food safety, lameness, animal welfare, calving and calf health and healthy heifer rearing. On completion of the module, students will be equipped with the necessary tools to monitor and control animal health and milk quality on a dairy farm. The module will include lectures, seminars and practicals on research activities in Teagasc Food Research Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module the students should be able to: Recognise normal and abnormal animal behaviour and clinical signs with a view to recognising conditions that may require veterinary attention; Understand the principles of good stockmanship; Know the animal health status of our national dairy herd; Understand the principles of biosecurity and the influence a well executed biosecurity plan can have on the disease status and profitability of a dairy farm; Understand the basic pathogenesis of economically important infectious diseases that impact Irish dairy herds such as bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD), infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), leptospirosis, salmonellosis, neosporosis, Johnes disease; About modern disease diagnostic techniques; Understand the principles of disease control; Analyse the economic impact of infectious disease on a farm-specific basis; Understand the basic pathogenesis of parasitic diseases of Irish dairy herds namely, ostertagiosis (roundworm), dictyocaulosis (lungworm), fascioliosis (liver fluke) and rumen fluke;Understand parastire control options; Implement correct milking procedures; Understand and explain milking machine operation and maintenance and how this impacts mastitis levels within a herd; Understand the basis of mastitis control programmes and their implementation at both national and herd level; Implement a farm-specific mastitis control programme via CellCheck; Interpret farm records (e.g. milk recording reports) with the aim of continuously monitoring and improving herd performance; Understand the area of milk quality residues and microbiology; Undertake locomotion scoring and hoof scoring with a view to determining the lameness status of a herd; Understand calving problems, abortion and stillbirth; Rearing a health calf through the first year;Rearing a healthy heifer until calving.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
10 hrs practical
26 hrs specified learning activities
64 hrs autonomous student learning 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Examination: Final Exam 2 hour End of Trimester Exam No Graded No


Continuous Assessment: Short questionnaires throughout the Semester Throughout the Trimester n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn Yes - 2 Hour
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Online automated feedback

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Name Role
Dr Sylvie Doné Tutor