Animal Science

Comparative Anatomy

Compare structural similarities and differences between organisms to establish a classification model.


The scientific study of the life-supporting properties, functions and processes of animals or their parts.

Animal Housing

Determine the proper type of housing for the animal and ecosystem.

Products & By-Products

An animal product is any material derived from an animal used for food and the by-products (leftovers) that can be used after slaughter.

Examine Developmental Stages

Prenatal development of animals includes several stages. The stages in development take on distinctive, unique features as the embryo develops.

Gestational Length

The length of time that an animal is pregnant.

Cell Structure

All animal cell organelles (e.g., vacuoles, cell membrane, lysosomes, etc.).

Cell Processes

Understanding animal cell processes (e.g., mitosis/meiosis, respiration, homeostasis) and how they affect the life of the animal.

Body Systems

Understanding animal body systems and how they participate both individually and collectively to help the animal in daily functions.

Animal Evaluation

Once you understand the basics of animal systems, anatomy and physiology, now take time to relate them to the purpose of the animal, both to fit the industry standards for production, companionship and breeding.

Purebred vs. Mixed Breed

Heterozygosity is the mixing of genetics to make a better animal than their individual parents. Topics include survival of the fittest and adaptation.

Selective vs. Natural

Selective breeding is when humans choose what animals should breed and when. Natural breeding is when nature chooses what animals breed. 

Artificial Insemination & Embryo Transfer/Flushing

Industry standards for using reproductive technologies such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer, flushing and genetic sexing.


How to properly remove reproductive organs in a variety of species.

Reproductive Systems

To understand the layout of the reproductive systems and the different functions in each organism.

Animal Selection & Evaluation for breeding purposes

After you have evaluated the production/companion animal for it’s anatomy, physiology etc., use those skills to help determine if the animal is ready for breeding purposes, and if so, how well it will do with the breeding process.


Genetic tool used to show the lineage of an animal family.

Animal Breeding and Color Genetics

Includes identification of breed, specific characteristics of each breed, how a breed is formed, and breed registration.

Designer Breeds

A designer crossbreed or designer breed is a crossbred animal that has purebred parents, usually registered with a breed registry, but from two different breeds.

Animal/Product Distribution

Animals are treated differently and are raised for diverse purposes around the world.  Because of this, the view of a species changes based on the region.

Agricultural Use

Breeds have different functions throughout the agriculture industry. For example, utilizing draft horses versus pleasure horses.

Animal Identification and Record Keeping

Different types of animal identification systems, such as tattooing and tagging, and how they are used for each unique species.


Introduce poultry systems on a local, national and global scale.


This is the industry of raising animals in water ecosystems.


Animals are raised for food, fiber production or work.

Companion Animals

Animals are raised for the purpose of human companionship.

Zoo Animals

Wild animals are brought into captivity for education and entertainment purposes. This also includes the conservation of endangered and threatened species.

Exotic Animals

This includes any unique (including common domestic animals such as the ferret and the fancy rat) animal that is considered an exotic pet.

Breed Identification

Learn to identify the major breeds of livestock and companion animals, along with their identifying characteristics.

Animal Welfare vs. Rights

Differentiate between animal welfare versus animal rights.

Current and Potential Biotechnology Applications

Biotechnology is a rapidly growing field in agriculture.

Disease and Parasitology

Diagnose illnesses and disorders of animals based on symptoms and problems caused by diseases, parasites and physiological disorders.

Veterinary Office Procedures

Prepare animals, facilities and equipment for surgical and nonsurgical veterinary treatments and procedures.

Complete Animal Health Checks

Perform simple animal health checks and treatment of animals when needed. 


Biosecurity processes reduce or prevent disease and parasite transmission.

Feed Rations

Develop feed rations for proper growth during different life stages using tools like pearson squares and ration calculators.


Learn what items are used to make rations and what are considered to be the nutrients needed for life (i.e., proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, minerals and water).

Feed Additives

Any substance added to the feed to promote a characteristic that is beneficial to production (e.g., muscle development, wool production, egg quality, and coat quality) is considered a feed additive.

Feed Trials

Animal feeding trial experiments are performed to investigate the comparative effects on growth of different diets.

Calculate Nutrient Requirements

Formulas and techniques are used to insure that all animals receive an adequate ration.

Create a Balanced Ration for a Given Animal

Learn the specific dietary requirements for an animal and create a balanced ration to meet their specific requirements. Adjust the ration as needed while the animal grows.

Confinement vs. Pasture

Concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFOs) versus traditional farming methods for raising livestock.

Basic Needs

Understand the basic needs of every animal in terms of food, water, shelter and space.

Life Cycle

The life cycle is defined as the developmental stages that occur during an organism’s lifetime. Animals have three basic stages during a fertilized egg , immature, juvenile, and adult.

Evolution of Organisms

The change in a species’ characteristics and habits over several generations and relies on the process of natural selection.

Punnett Squares

Genetic tool used to predict possible offspring of two parents.

Animal Domestication

Global origin of livestock and companion animal species and how, and why, they became domesticated.


Study of how to classify living things using dichotomous keys and scientific naming.

Government Regulation

Identify the current regulations for the production and handling of livestock and companion animals and why they are in place.

Current Consumption Trends

Recognize the impact of current consumption trends on the animal industry.

Zoonotic Diseases

Explain the health risk of zoonotic diseases to both animals and humans, and understand the importance of establishing a barrier to prevent spread.

Record Keeping

Collect proper production records including application dates and rates, crop yields, planting and harvest dates by yield and field, emergency field response, maintenance and equipment calibration activity records.

Evaluate a Proposed Plan for Effectiveness and Economical Feasibility

Develop a least cost ration that would be consumed by an animal.

Manure Management

Manure is managed in a variety of ways throughout the United States, based on agricultural resources and the emergence of new technologies.

Grazing Practices

Overgrazing is not sustainable.

Animal Populations

Identify animal populations that are impacted by environmental conditions.

Animal Performance

Evaluate how environmental conditions can impact the reproduction rates and health of domesticated livestock and farm animals.

Urban Agriculture

Urban agriculture is a way to grow, process and distribute food in urban areas.

Animal Handling Safety

Handle animals in such a way that is safe for both the human and the animal (e.g., squeeze chutes, halters, leashes, cages).

Organic Certification

Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods.

GMO Regulations

GM, or genetically modified, products are regulated by three different agencies in the United States: the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Genetically Modified Organisms

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic makeup has been modified in a laboratory.

History of Biotechnology

Using biotechnology in the AFNR field has improved production over the years.

Biotechnology in Food

Biotechnology is utilized to develop new tools for improving productivity both in and out of the food system.

Biotechnology in Agriculture

Agricultural biotechnology is a collection of techniques used to improve the agricultural industry.

Organization of Ecosystems

Ecosystems are organized to better understand the frame of reference in which they are being studied.

Energy Pyramid

An energy pyramid, also known as a trophic or ecological pyramid, is a graphical representation of the energy found within the trophic levels of an ecosystem.


Biotic and abiotic factors are what make up ecosystems.

Habitat vs. Niche

A habitat is the place where an organism lives while a niche is that organism’s role within that environment.

Invasive Species

An invasive species is one that is not native to its current environment and causes damage to the overall ecosystem.

Environmental Considerations

Major impacts of agriculture on the environment include pollution, deforestation, soil degradation and water use.

Water Cycle

The Water Cycle is the movement of water within the atmosphere.


Ecology is defined as the study of interactions between living and nonliving components in a given area.

Ecological Balance

In order for an ecosystem to survive there must be some sort of ecological balance.