Credit points: 15

Subject outline

This subject provides a thorough understanding of digestive physiology and the biochemical principles that are required for optimal, progressive, nutritional management of horses. The science of individual feeds is investigated and applied. The subject content includes: anatomy and function of the digestive tract and the role of microbes in equine digestion, equine nutritional requirements and dietary deficiency or excess, factors affecting the absorption or availability of key nutrients, and feed composition and analysis.  Students develop their skills in assessing a range of feed and recommending diets for optimal permformance and health.

SchoolSchool of Life Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Available to Study Abroad StudentsNo

Subject year levelYear Level 2 - UG

Exchange StudentsNo

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Must be admitted into SBATE


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsFeeding horses in Australia: a guide for horse owners and managers,RecommendedKohnke, J, Kelleher, F & Trevor-Jones, P 1999Rural Industries Research Development Corporation, Barton, ACT.
ReadingsEquine nutrition and feeding, 4th edn (revised)RecommendedFrape, D 2010Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester, UK.
ReadingsRecent advances in animal nutritionRecommendedGarnsworthy, P & Wiseman, J (eds.) 2014Context Products, Packingham, UK.
ReadingsNutrient requirements of horses, 6th edn (revised)RecommendedNational Research Council (U.S.) Committee on Nutrient Requirements of Horses 2007National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
ReadingsAdvances in equine nutrition I-IVRecommendedPagan, J (ed.) 2009Nottingham University Press, Nottingham, UK.

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

01. Describe equine digestive anatomy and physiology, and determine indicators of normal and abnormal gut function


02. Differentiate the major food constituents in terms of structure, digestive outcome and metabolic fate

Lectures and practicals

03. Assess nutrient requirements of horses and critically evaluate a range of diets

Lectures and practicals

04. Recognise and evaluate the quality of common natural and feedstocks and evaluate their contribution to a diet.

Lectures, tutorials and practicals

05. Demonstrate knowledge of common supplements and the variations between their proposed and actual efficacy

Lectures and practicals

Subject options

Select to view your study options…

Start date between: and    Key dates

Epping, 2018, Semester 1, Blended


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Enrolment information

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorPenelope Smith

Class requirements

Lecture Week: 10 - 22
Eight 2.0 hours lecture per study period on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.
"8 x 2 hour lecture Classes per study period. (Semester)"

Practical Week: 10 - 22
Four 3.0 hours practical per study period on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.
"4 x 3 hour practical Classes per study period. (Semester) Held at Northern Lodge (Melbourne Polytechnic, Eden Park)"

Tutorial Week: 10 - 22
One 1.0 hours tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via blended.


Assessment elementComments% ILO*
On line quizzes (1000 words)25 01, 02, 03, 04, 05
Individual Oral Presentation on Diet Report (10 minutes, 500 words)10 02, 03
Diet Project Report (1000 words)25 02, 03
Written exam (2 hours, 2000 words)40 01, 02, 03, 04, 05