The discipline of Animal and Poultry Science has been an integral part of the agricultural disciplines of the University since the consolidation of the Faculty of Agriculture in the late 1940's, when it was chaired by the fourth professor appointed to the Faculty, Prof G.B. Laurence. The Faculty began with a focus on Poultry Husbandry and Anatomy, Physiology and Animal Diseases and saw many great scientists pass through its halls, men like Peter Barrowman, Neil Ferguson, Jannes van Ryssen and Rob Gous. In its 65 years of existence, the discipline has pioneered new endeavours and trained students for excellence. One of its most notable projects was Dallas Shaw and Chloe Bowles' first test-tube calf in South Africa and induced twinning, a first for South African reproductive physiology.
Steer Competition at the 2016 Royal Agricultural Show
The discipline occupies part of the first floor of the Rabie Saunders
building on campus and also works extensively at the University's
Ukulinga Research Farm, a state of the art facility for research that
enables much of the discipline's research to happen.
The discipline has always had a strong poultry reputation, which
continues today, and has also become stronger in other areas, such as
companion animal nutrition, which is unique to UKZN. The staff are
committed to excellence in agricultural education and are constantly
striving to ensure the preparedness of their students and are dedicated
to their niches in the discipline. All the staff are actively involved
in supervision and co-supervision of students and frequently publish
They have hosted field trips for school children to Ukulinga Research Farm and demonstrate their strength in nutrition research. The staff are aware of the strong demand for their graduates in industry and so feel a responsibility and compulsion to keep them up to industry standards.
Dr Tyler with learners from Scottsville Primary
The staff complement of the discipline includes both academic and support staff, and with the teaching, research and laboratory work required and the use of Ukulinga’s facilities to enable quality research, both academic and support staff are vital to the discipline. The discipline is one of the larger ones in the School, however it is one of the smaller Animal Science disciplines at universities around the country, and still manages to be renowned for its specialities.