Animal Nutrition Online Distance Learning
from Department of Animal Sciences,
Purdue University
Distance Education, Distance Learning, Independent Study
Accepting registrations now on a continuing basis. If interested contact Dr. Forsyth at or call 765-494-4841.

Follow this link for more information

Course Syllabus follows (general - see specific syllabus for your term in Blackboard) :

ANSC 221P: Principles of Animal Nutrition


Course Information
Course Number ANSC 221P   
Course Description Principles of Animal Nutrition deals with classification and function of nutrients, deficiency symptoms, digestive processes, characterization of feedstuffs, and formulation of diets for domestic animals. 

Offered for independent study via the WWW and other media as ANSC221P. 

In this single course, we will consider all aspects of nutrition for domestic animals, from fundamentals of nutrition through feeds and feeding. The principles apply to all mammalian and avian species, but will be applied especially to swine, beef cattle, dairy cattle, poultry and horses. Feeds most commonly used in this country will be emphasized, but we will also consider feeds and principles of their use important to animals throughout the world. There will be an exposure to computerized ration balancing techniques, in addition to the principles of ration formulation by hand methods. This course is the appropriate "stand-alone" course for those interested in one course in animal nutrition, and the prerequisite for further nutrition courses in the Department of Animal Sciences. 

Prerequisite(s) Expected sophmore standing, exposure to freshman chemistry.

Instructor Information
Name Dr. Dale M. Forsyth
Office Location 3-226 Lilly Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette
Phone (765) 494-4841

Dr. Dale M. Forsyth is an Associate Professor in Animal Sciences, with a specialty in swine nutrition. He has taught Introductory Animal Science and Nutrition courses that cover all the livestock species for many years. Dr. Forsyth's experience growing up on an Iowa livestock farm helped generate his interest in a career in animal nutrition. He began his career at Purdue University after completing his Ph. D. degree in Nutriton at Cornell University, working on problems in mineral metabolism in swine. His research program at Purdue has included feedstuff utilization and interactions of iron supplementation with susceptibility to disease. He has had an active interest in computer use in education and applied nutrition. His WWW experience stems from developing a web-presence for the Purdue Department of Animal Sciences in 1995.

Recommended reading Basic Animal Nutrition and Feeding, W.G. Pond, D.C. Church, K.R. Pond and P.A. Schoknecht, Wiley, Fifth Edition, 2005 (previous version acceptable) 

Introduction This course is being offered for independent, self-paced study. It is primarily WWW-based, using a variety of materials, including programmed learning-tutorials, on-line reading material, text book recommended readings, homework exercises, computer ration balancing programs, email and discussion group contact with the instructor, and traditional off-line written exams. Much of the textual material is also available on CD or as printed material, to aid those who wish to spend less time on-line on a computer.

Since the course when taught in lecture format on-campus meets 3 times each week for 15 weeks, one should expect to spend significantly more than 50 hours to complete the course successfully. Spending 100 to 200 hours study to complete the course would be reasonable, so adjust your expectations accordingly.

The course grade will be based on 3 exams and completed homework.

Additional information There will be 3 exams, 2 hourly 100 point exams and a 2 hour 200 point comprehensive final. They will be taken "conventionally", on paper, and sent to the instructor. They must be arranged for individually, to be presented and monitored by a suitable proctor. 

The first part of this course contains a body of information which you must learn. As you progress, you should become more independent and broad-minded in your approach to learning. You will be explicitly told what you must know at the beginning, and as you progress that will be less the case, and you should think, instead of just memorize, and learn to use information you have learned with logic, practical experience and common sense to be able to apply the principles to practical animal feeding. The last section of the course includes readings about animal feeding and management to help you be able to do that. The final exam will cover everything, from explicit knowledge of the nutrients, digestion, energy systems, etc., through feeds and ration balancing, to practical feeding of animals. 

Email and discussion group contact with the instructor is expected, and should serve as an avenue for information as well as a monitor on your progress. You should begin the course by reading the section entitled "Course Information", which gives some specific instructions and hints about taking this course on-line using WebCT.

Grading Grades will be determined on a % of total points from scored items (exams, quizzes, homework, final exam). Grading Scale:  (More up to date version includes +'s and -'s)  
A 90 - 100  D 60 - 69.9
B 80 - 99.9  F Below 60
C 70 - 79.9


Course Outline

Introductions, Introduction to course, Expectations

History of Nutrition; Composition of Plants (animal food) vs. Animals

Nutrient Classes


Carbohydrates, (definitions, classifications, functions, deficiencies, etc.)

Fat, (definitions, classifications, functions, deficiencies, etc.)

Proteins, (definitions, classifications, functions, deficiencies, etc.)

Vitamins, GENERAL; Vitamins A, D, E, K (definitions, classifications, functions, deficiencies, etc.)

B-Vitamins, (definitions, classifications, functions, deficiencies, etc.)

Minerals, Introduction; Required; Toxic

Macro Minerals

Trace Minerals

Ultra Trace Minerals

Non-nutritive feed additives, growth promotants


Digestive anatomy and secretions, physiology; pigs, birds

Ruminant and Herbivore anatomy and function. Fermentation.

Feedstuff analysis and evaluation.

Energetics. TDN, GE, DE, ME, Net E. Value of Protein (BV, NPU, N Dig., N Reten.)

Feed classification

Concentrates: cereal grains, by-product feeds.

Concentrates: protein feeds, miscellaneous.

Balancing rations, Principles, Non-ruminant applications. Method applied to some ruminant rations.

Feeding Swine and Poultry

Forages: Grasses, Legumes, Residue feeds

Forage Intake and Factors affecting Dry Matter Intake (i.e., Feed Consumption)

Forages: harvest forms; pasture, hay, silage.


Ration balancing with Forages

Balancing rations with the aid of Computers

Feeding Beef Cattle

Feeding Dairy Cattle

Feeding Sheep

Special things about the nutrition of pets.