HFE205 Forages and ruminant nutrition

Credits (ECTS):10

Course responsible:Ingjerd Dønnem

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Norsk

Limits of class size:No

Course frequency:Anually

Nominal workload:250 hours

Teaching and exam period:Autumn

About this course

Main subjects:

  • Forage production in Norway today, and how it has developed over time.
  • Characteristics of the most important gras and clover species, as well as annual forage crops.
  • Principles for forage production (included aspects with the soil, tillage, and adaptions to climate).
  • The most important factors affecting chemical content, nutrient value, and feed intake of forage.
  • Principles and methods for harvesting of forage.
  • Principles and methods for conservation of forage.
  • Adaptions to gain high yields and good forage quality for sustainable food production based on ruminants.
  • Digestion and metabolism of nutrients for ruminants.
  • Feed evaluation for ruminants: energy- and protein evaluation.
  • Chemical analyses to determine nutrient content and energy in feed.

It will be an equal distribution between forage-related topics and ruminant nutrition.

Learning outcome


  • Be able to describe the characteristics of different gras and pasture species, principles for growing forage crops, and understand how managing practice can influence chemical content and nutrient value.
  • Know the extent and importance of Norwegian forage grass production.
  • Be able to explain key factors important for nutrient value and feed intake of forage grasses and silage.
  • Be able to describe principles and methods for harvesting and conservation of forage.
  • Be able to describe the most applied methods for feed and nutrient analyses in ruminant production.
  • Understand feed declarations and be able to interpret feed analyses reports from a laboratory.
  • Be able to understand the principles for feed evaluation and determination of nutrient requirements of ruminants.


The student can evaluate whether forage feeds are suitable for ruminants based on the type of forage, the chemical content of the forage, forage digestibility and animal metabolism.


At the end of the course, the student will have an overview of the role of forage in Norwegian ruminant production and know and be able to discuss societal and political aspects (environmental issues etc.) of forage production and forage-based animal production.

  • Class lectures, exercises with hand-in reports, group work with presentations, lab work, excursions
  • Canvas
  • HFX132 and HFE200
  • Written exam, A-F
  • External examiner shall approve the questions for the written exam and shall evaluate the answers from all the candidates.
  • Exercises with reports, group work, excursions and guest presentations. Participate on the lab.
  • There are some overlap with the course PJH212, but no credit reduction will be given.
  • Letter grades