Current research

  • Effect of keel bone fracture on the welfare of laying hens. More Info.

I studied Agricultural Science with a major in Animal Science at ETH Zürich and decided to deepen my interest in animal welfare and its assessment during a semester at the Swedish University of Agricultural Science (SLU) in Uppsala. I graduated with a thesis on the lying behaviour of group-housed horses.
While the priority during my studies was always focused on animal production, I was particularly interested in animal welfare in the context of livestock husbandry. Moving in the area of conflict between the needs of productivity and animal welfare encouraged me to proceed in this scope of research and to face the challenge of a consensus-finding process between theory and practice.
Accordingly, my PhD project at the Centre for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits deals with the highly topical problem of keel bone fractures in laying hens. The aim of the project is to investigate the effect of keel bone damage on the welfare of the hens, aiming to provide solutions to reduce the occurrence and severity of fractures. 

Recent publications

5. Rufener, C., Baur, S., Stratmann, A., Toscano, M. J. (2018) A Reliable Method to Assess Keel Bone Fractures in Laying Hens From Radiographs Using a Tagged Visual Analogue Scale. Frontiers in Veterinary Science 5(124). 10.3389/fvets.2018.00124

4. Rufener, C., Berezowski, J., Maximiano Sousa, F., Abreu, Y., Asher, L., Toscano, M. J. (2018). Finding hens in a haystack: Consistency of movement patterns within and across individual laying hens maintained in large groups. Scientific Reports 8(12303). 10.1038/s41598-018-29962-x

3. Candelotto, L., Stratmann, A., Gebhardt-Henrich, S.G., Rufener, C., van de Braak, T., Toscano, M.J. 2017. Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation, Poultry Science. pex146,

2. Burla, J.B., Rufener, C., Bachmann, I., Gygax, L., Patt, A., Hillmann, E. 2017. Space Allowance of the Littered Area Affects Lying Behavior in Group-Housed Horses. Front. Vet. Sci. 4:23.

1. Annaheim, K.E., Rufener, C.B., Frossard, E., Bünemann, E.K., 2013. Hydrolysis of organic phosphorus in soil water suspensions after addition of phosphatase enzymes. Biology and Fertility of Soils 49, 1203-1213.