Veterinary Public Health Institute, Animal Welfare Division

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Dr. Ariane Stratmann

Postdoctoral Researcher

+41 31 631 57 53
Postal Address
Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ)
Animal Welfare Division
Veterinary Public Health Institute
University of Bern
Burgerweg 22
3052 Zollikofen


  • Influence of a prolonged dusk duration on falls and keel bone damage in laying hens
  • Piling behaviour and smothering in laying hens
  • Improving design of rearing and laying aviaries 

I studied Biology at the University of Göttingen, Germany and obtained my MSc in Behavioural Ecology at the University of Bern, Switzerland including an experimental thesis on the influences of maternal effects and early experiences on anti-predator strategies in a mouthbrooding African cichlid.
For my PhD I decided to focus on applied animal welfare related topics and moved to the Division of Animal Welfare at the University of Bern.  During my PhD I worked with laying hens investigating causes of keel bone damage in aviary systems including the assessment of preventive measures such as soft perch material, alternative aviary design and genetic selection of bone strength.

 I am currently working as a research associate at the Centre for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ) in Zollikofen assessing different types of commercial housing systems and equipment for poultry (laying hens, broilers, turkeys) as part of the authorization procedure of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO).

In addition, I have a postdoctoral position at the Division of Animal Welfare, University Bern where I am working on several research projects including co-supervision of MSc and PhD students on piling behaviour and smothering in laying hens as well as improvement of aviary systems during rear and lay.

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Guerrero-Bosagna, Carlos; Pértille, Fábio; Gómez, Yamenah; Rezaei, Shiva; Gebhardt, Sabine; Vögeli, Sabine; Stratmann, Ariane; Völkl, Bernhard; Toscano, Michael J. (2020). DNA methylation variation in the brain of laying hens in relation to differential behavioral patterns. Comparative biochemistry and physiology Part D: Genomics and proteomics, 35, p. 100700. Elsevier 10.1016/j.cbd.2020.100700


Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.; Rufener, Christina; Stratmann, Ariane (2019). Improving intra- and inter-observer repeatability and accuracy of keel bone assessment by training with radiographs. Poultry science, 98(11), pp. 5234-5240. Elsevier 10.3382/ps/pez410

Rufener, Christina Barbara; Baur, Sarah Dorothea; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2019). Keel bone fractures affect egg laying performance but not egg quality in laying hens housed in a commercial aviary system. Poultry Science, 98(4), pp. 1589-1600. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pey544

Rufener, Christina; Abreu, Yandy; Asher, Lucy; Berezowski, John A.; Maximiano Sousa, Filipe; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael J. (2019). Keel bone fractures are associated with individual mobility of laying hens in an aviary system. Applied animal behaviour science, 217, pp. 48-56. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2019.05.007

Rentsch, Ana Katinka; Rufener, Christina Barbara; Spadavecchia, Claudia; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2019). Laying hen’s mobility is impaired by keel bone fractures and does not improve with paracetamol treatment. Applied animal behaviour science, 216, pp. 19-25. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2019.04.015


Rufener, Christina Barbara; Baur, Sarah Dorothea; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (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), p. 124. Frontiers Media 10.3389/fvets.2018.00124

Sirovnik, Janja; Stratmann, Ariane; Gebhardt, Sabine; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Feeding from perches in an aviary system reduces aggression and mortality in laying hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 202, pp. 53-62. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.01.005


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


Stratmann, Ariane; Frohlich, E K F; Gebhardt, Sabine; Harlander-Matauschek, A.; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2016). Genetic selection to increase bone strength affects prevalence of keel bone damage and egg parameters in commercially housed laying hens. Poultry Science, 95(5), pp. 975-984. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pew026

Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine; Stratmann, Ariane (2016). What is causing smothering in laying hens? Veterinary record, 179(10), pp. 250-251. British Veterinary Association 10.1136/vr.i4618


Stratmann, Ariane; Fröhlich, E K; Gebhardt, Sabine; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Schrader, L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine (2015). Soft perches in an aviary system reduce incidence of keel bone damage in laying hens. PLoS ONE, 10(3), e0122568. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0122568

Stratmann, Ariane; Fröhlich, E K F; Gebhardt-Henrich, S G; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Modification of aviary design reduces incidence of falls, collisions and keel bone damage in laying hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 165, pp. 112-123. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.01.012


Stratmann, Ariane; Taborsky, Barbara (2014). Antipredator defences of young are independently determined by genetic inheritance, maternal effects and own early experience in mouthbrooding cichlids. Functional Ecology, 28(4), pp. 944-953. Blackwell Scientific Publications 10.1111/1365-2435.12224