What is a Major in Food Animals?

In this major, you’ll develop an understanding of animal and human disease, animal nutrition, microbiology, physiology, behaviour and production to better understand how food animals (livestock and poultry) and the food industries interact. This major includes courses in immunology and animal health and welfare, with opportunities to gain experience in the faculty's animal research facilities. This program is ideal if you’re interested in a career in the food animal industry.

This program leads to a number of other opportunities: 

  • Complete your Pre-Vet Concentration in this major, including your pre-veterinary medicine requirements for veterinary medicine programs at the University of Calgary or other institutions.
  • Continue your studies to earn both a BSc in Animal Health and a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine in a partnership program with three years of study at the U of A and four years at the University of Edinburgh 


Feature Career

Livestock and Poultry Producers own, manage, and direct farm operations. They raise cattle, swine, sheep, poultry, and alternative livestock. Average salary: $73,729

Source: Government of Alberta, Occupations in Alberta


  • Agrologist
  • Agricultural Commodity Inspector
  • Nutritional Supplement Manufacturer
  • Livestock Producer
  • Poultry Industry Careers
  • Beef Industry Careers

Check out U of A’s Agriculture Career Guide for more options.

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Featured Courses

Fundamentals of Animal Nutrition (AN SC 260)

Function, metabolism, homeostasis, requirements and sources of nutrients and energy for animals. Laboratory will involve principles of diet formulation.

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Food Microbiology (NU FS 361)

Environmental factors affecting the growth, activity and destruction of microorganisms in food and their application to control foodborne illness and spoilage in the food processing and food service industries.

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Food Animal Behaviour (AN SC 377)

Basic behaviour principles for food animal species including their application in livestock production systems. Fundamentals of experimental research and design in applied ethology.

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Applied Beef Cattle Science (AN SC 474)

Examination of current and potential future production and management practices to optimize production efficiency and animal well-being in the Canadian and international beef industry. Laboratories emphasize practical applications, field trips, and discussion. 

Similar courses also available for poultry, dairy and swine. 

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