Veterinary Public Health Institute, Animal Welfare Division

Exploration of sensor-based behavioural observation for individual laying hens and broiler breeders and the relationship with animal welfare

Laura Candelotto

Doctoral Student

Center for proper housing: poultry and rabbits (ZTHZ)

+41 31 684 57 55
Postal Address
Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ)
Animal Welfare Division
Veterinary Public Health Institute
University of Bern
Burgerweg 22
3052 Zollikofen


Comparison of traditional and novel behavioural observation methods in poultry and rabbits

I obtained my Bachelor degree at the University of Bern, where I investigated the incidence of floor eggs in different housing systems of broiler breeders and tested possible measures to reduce their occurrence. After receiving my degree, I worked as a research assistant at the Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits in Zollikofen and participated in a study investigating the role of genetic variation in laying hen susceptibility to keel bone fractures. For my Master degree, I joined the Animal Behaviour group at the University of Zurich where I focused on how domestication has affected animal behavior. In cooperation with the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the Wolf Science Center in Vienna, I compared prosocial behavior in dogs and wolves. In May 2019, I started my Ph.D. project at the University of Bern, where I am investigating and comparing traditional (i.e., direct and video) and novel (i.e., automated individual and group-level) behavioral observation methods in poultry and rabbits. I intend to extend the comparison of methods to determine their association with animal health and welfare.

For the full publication list, please check here.

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Grethen, Klara J; Candelotto, Laura; Gómez, Yamenah; Toscano, Michael J (2024). Research Note: A validation of an image-based method to estimate chicken comb size. Poultry science, 103(3), p. 103434. Elsevier 10.1016/j.psj.2024.103434


Candelotto, Laura; Grethen, Klara J; Montalcini, Camille M; Toscano, Michael J; Gómez, Yamenah (2022). Tracking performance in poultry is affected by data cleaning method and housing system. Applied animal behaviour science, 249, p. 105597. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2022.105597


Candelotto, L.; Stadelmann, M.; Gebhardt-Henrich, S. G.; Stratmann, A.; van de Braak, T.G.H.; Guggisberg, D.; Zysset, Philippe; Toscano, Michael J. (2020). Genetic variation of keel and long bone skeletal properties for 5 lines of laying hens. Journal of applied poultry research, 29(4), pp. 937-946. Elsevier 10.1016/j.japr.2020.09.004

van den Oever, A.C.M.; Candelotto, L.; Kemp, B.; Rodenburg, T.B.; Bolhuis, J.E.; Graat, E.A.M.; van de Ven, L.J.F.; Guggisberg, D.; Toscano, M. J. (2020). Influence of a raised slatted area in front of the nest on leg health, mating behaviour and floor eggs in broiler breeders. Animal, 15(2), p. 100109. Cambridge University Press 10.1016/j.animal.2020.100109


Candelotto, Laura; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Rufener, Christina Barbara; van de Braak, Teun; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2017). Susceptibility to keel bone fractures in laying hens and the role of genetic variation. Poultry Science, 96(10), pp. 3517-3528. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pex146