Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Department of Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences entails the scientific study of the feeding, breeding, physiology and production of animals. This includes not only aspects of farming with cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, but also a wide range of species, such as milk and meat cattle, wool and meat sheep, game, poultry and ostrich. The field also includes the study of aquaculture, or fish and shellfish species. Fresh-water aquaculture focuses on species such as trout, tilapia, crocodiles, fresh-water crayfish and prawns, while marine aquaculture focuses on species such as oysters, mussels, abalone and salmon. As the livestock industry is the largest agricultural sector in South Africa, it is imperative to sustain it for the sake of the South African economy. ​

Department of Animal Sciences​​

The Department of Animal Sciences commemorated its 75th anniversary in 1996, which makes it one of the oldest established departments of Animal Sciences in the country.  It is top department using discipline-based expertise for interdisciplinary study of issues relevant to animal agriculture and animal biology.  The mission of the Department is to train animal scientists of excellence to meet the research, extension and development needs of South Africa in order to improve the quality of life of all its inhabitants. Some of the most important focus areas are: animal breeding – specialising in animal science relating to the breeding of livestock and other species with the aim of improving and conserving the genetics of an animal population; animal physiology – specialising in animal sciences related to the reproduction, growth and development of tame, water and wild animals; and animal feeding – the study of the intake, digestion, absorption and utilisation of feed and food ingredients. ​


The Department offers various undergraduate and postgraduate training programmes  in the disciplines of monogastric and ruminant nutrition, development physiology and meat science, animal breeding, livestock management, reproduction physiology and aquaculture. The respective programmes focus on production systems and management of a variety of domesticated animal species, including sheep and goats, dairy cattle, beef cattle, poultry, pigs, ostriches and various aquaculture species.

Undergraduate Programme​

4-year course

The undergraduate programme in Animal Production Systems is subdivided in the following fields of study:

  • Animal Science
  • Animal Science with Agronomy
  • Animal Science with Conservation Ecology
  • Agricultural Economics with Animal Science
  • Animal Science with Aquaculture

Postgraduate Studies​

The Department offers various postgraduate training programmes in:

  • Monogastric and ruminant nutrition
  • Developmental physiology and meat science
  • Animal breeding
  • Management practices of domesticated animals
  • Reproduction physiology


The research undertaken by the Department of Animal Sciences focuses on the nutrition, breeding and physiology of animals, as well as on animal products such as meat. With regard to ruminant nutrition, the research is aimed primarily at the optimal utilisation of available raw materials to increase the production efficiency of cattle, sheep and goats. There is a strong focus on rumen metabolism and roughage fermentation rates. The use of exogenous fibrolytic enzymes to increase the digestibility of roughage has been a focus of research over the past five years. Research on monogastric animals has focused on different aspects of poultry nutrition and management. From a nutritional point of view, new raw materials are evaluated and attempts are made to increase the efficiency of the use of conventional raw materials with a view to improving both profit margins and animal welfare. With regard to management aspects, the focus is on the manipulation of the environment to improve the health and production of poultry. Research on meat quality focuses on, amongst other things, the effect of nutrition on the quality of meat of farm animals. A further strong focus area of meat research is the factors that influence the quality of indigenous meats, with the emphasis on ostrich and venison.  A new field of research is the development of low-cost meat products – this programme is part of Stellenbosch University's Food Security Research Initiative. Research in animal physiology currently focuses on industry-related physiological and reproductive problems.

Contact Details​

Department of Animal Sciences

Faculty of AgriSciences Sciences

Stellenbosch University​

Private Bag X1, Matieland, 7602, South Africa

Tel: +27 21 8084916         Fax: +27 21 8084750

E-mail:    Web:


​​​Academic Staff

PersoneellidTelefoonnommerE-pos adresRigting
Dr C Cruywagen021 808 Nutrition
Ms A Davids021 808, Animal Breeding
Prof K Dzama021 808 Breeding, Chairperson
Prof LC Hoffman021 808 Science
Dr H Lambrechts021 808 Physiology
Dr E Pieterse021 808 Nutrition
Mr K Salie021 808

Technical & Support Staff ​

PersoneellidTelefoonnommerE-pos adres 
D Bekker021 808 
J Booyse021 808 
A Botha021 808 secretary
B Ellis021 808 
G Jordaan021 808 
M Mlambo021 808 
C Muller021 808 
L Uys021 808 ​