Dr. Michael J. Toscano

Group Leader of ZTHZ

Phone
+41 31 631 57 51
E-Mail
michael.toscano@vetsuisse.unibe.ch
Office
26
Postal Address
Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ)
Animal Welfare Division
Veterinary Public Health Institute
University of Bern
Burgerweg 22
3052 Zollikofen

Current research

• Quantifying forces involved in keel damage using tri-axial accelerometers
• Use of omega-3 fatty acids to improve bone health in laying hens
• Optimizing laying hen feeder design, positioning and bird density to maximize welfare. More Info.

I obtained my Ph.D. from Purdue University in the United States in 2006 where I sought to develop a multidiscipline means to assess hunger in swine. From there I continued to the University of Bristol in the UK where I investigated disease states within swine and poultry and their relationship to physiological and behavioral phenotypes. Most recently, my research focuses on bone fractures in laying hens, a topic I began at the University of Bristol and continue at my current post as Group Leader (Senior Scientist) of the Research Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits (ZTHZ). In general, my research is of an applied nature and seeks to bring the benefits of analysis and understanding gained in the laboratory to on-farm settings in order for improvements in animal welfare to be made in an objective manner.

For the full publication list, please check here.

Jump to: 2021 | 2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013

2021

Gerpe, C.; Stratmann, A.; Bruckmaier, R.; Toscano, M. J. (2021). Examining the catching, carrying, and crating process during depopulation of end-of-lay hens. Journal of applied poultry research, 30(1), p. 100115. Elsevier 10.1016/j.japr.2020.100115

Winter, Jakob; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Stratmann, Ariane (2021). Piling behaviour in Swiss layer flocks: Description and related factors. Applied animal behaviour science, 236, p. 105272. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2021.105272

Sirovnik, Janja; Voelkl, Bernhard; Keeling, Linda Jane; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2021). Breakdown of the ideal free distribution under conditions of severe and low competition. Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 75(2) Springer-Verlag 10.1007/s00265-020-02949-3

2020

Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.; Jordan, Anja; Toscano, Michael J.; Würbel, Hanno (2020). The effect of perches and aviary tiers on the mating behaviour of two hybrids of broiler breeders. Applied animal behaviour science, 233, p. 105145. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2020.105145

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

Fernyhough, Mia; Nicol, Christine J.; van de Braak, Teun; Toscano, Michael J.; Tønnessen, Morten (2020). The Ethics of Laying Hen Genetics. Journal of agricultural and environmental ethics, 33(1), pp. 15-36. Springer Nature 10.1007/s10806-019-09810-2

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

Munari, Chiara; Mugnai, Cecilia; Braconnier, Michèle; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G. (2020). Effect of different management protocols for grouping does on aggression and dominance hierarchies. Applied animal behaviour science, 227, p. 104999. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2020.104999

Baur, Sarah; Rufener, Christina; Toscano, Michael J.; Geissbühler, Urs (2020). Radiographic Evaluation of Keel Bone Damage in Laying Hens—Morphologic and Temporal Observations in a Longitudinal Study. Frontiers in veterinary science, 7(129), p. 129. Frontiers Media 10.3389/fvets.2020.00129

Armstrong, E. A.; Rufener, C.; Toscano, M. J.; Eastham, J. E.; Guy, J. H.; Sandilands, V.; Boswell, T.; Smulders, T. V. (2020). Keel bone fractures induce a depressive-like state in laying hens. Scientific reports, 10(1), p. 3007. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-020-59940-1

Rufener, Christina; Toscano, Michael J. (2020). Bone health and associated problems in layer hens. In: Nicol, Christine (ed.) Understanding the behaviour and improving the welfare of chickens. Burleigh Dodds Series in Agricultural Science (pp. 567-602). Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing 10.19103/AS.2020.0078.16

Armstrong, Elena A.; Voelkl, Bernhard; Voegeli, Sabine Lea; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine G.; Guy, Jonathan H.; Sandilands, Victoria; Boswell, Tim; Toscano, Michael J.; Smulders, Tom V. (2020). Cell Proliferation in the Adult Chicken Hippocampus Correlates With Individual Differences in Time Spent in Outdoor Areas and Tonic Immobility (In Press). Frontiers in veterinary science, 7(587) Frontiers Media 10.3389/fvets.2020.00587

Toscano, Michael J.; Dunn, Ian C.; Christensen, Jens-Peter; Petow, Stefanie; Kittelsen, Kathe; Ulrich, Reiner (2020). Explanations for keel bone fractures in laying hens: are there explanations in addition to elevated egg production? Poultry science, 99(9), pp. 4183-4194. Elsevier 10.1016/j.psj.2020.05.035

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

Gent, Thomas C.; Gebhardt-Henrich, Sabine; Schild, Sarah-Lina Aagaard; Abdel Rahman, Abdulsatar; Toscano, Michael J. (2020). Evaluation of Poultry Stunning with Low Atmospheric Pressure, Carbon Dioxide or Nitrogen Using a Single Aversion Testing Paradigm. Animals, 10(8), p. 1308. MDPI 10.3390/ani10081308

Rufener, Christina; Rentsch, Ana K.; Stratmann, Ariane; Toscano, Michael J. (2020). Perch Positioning Affects both Laying Hen Locomotion and Forces Experienced at the Keel. Animals, 10(7), p. 1223. MDPI 10.3390/ani10071223

2019

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

Chargo, Nicholas J; Robison, Cara I; Baker, Sydney L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Makagon, Maja M; Karcher, Darrin M (2019). Keel bone damage assessment: consistency in enriched colony laying hens. Poultry Science, 98(2), pp. 1017-1022. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pey373

Chargo, Nicholas J.; Robison, Cara I.; Akaeze, Hope O.; Baker, Sydney L.; Toscano, Michael J.; Makagon, Maja M.; Karcher, Darrin M. (2019). Keel bone differences in laying hens housed in enriched colony cages. Poultry science, 98(2), pp. 1031-1036. Elsevier 10.3382/ps/pey421

MacLachlan, S S; Ali, A B A; Toscano, M. J.; Siegford, J M (2019). Influence of later exposure to perches and nests on flock level distribution of hens in an aviary system during lay. Poultry Science, 99(1), pp. 30-38. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pez524

Ali, B A; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Siegford, J M (2019). Later exposure to perches and nests reduces individual hens’ occupancy of vertical space in an aviary and increases force of falls at night. Poultry Science, 98(12), pp. 6251-6262. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pez506

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

Ellen, Esther; van der Sluis, Malou; Siegford, Janice; Guzhva, Oleksiy; Toscano, Michael J.; Bennewitz, Jörn; van der Zande, Lisette; van der Eijk, Jerine; de Haas, Elske; Norton, Tomas; Piette, Deborah; Tetens, Jens; de Klerk, Britt; Visser, Bram; Rodenburg, T. (2019). Review of Sensor Technologies in Animal Breeding: Phenotyping Behaviors of Laying Hens to Select Against Feather Pecking. Animals, 9(3), p. 108. MDPI 10.3390/ani9030108

Steiner, Adrian; Axiak Flammer, Shannon; Beausoleil, N; Berg, C; Bettschart-Wolfensberger, R; Pinillos, R; Golledge, H; Marahrens, M; Meyer, R; Schnitzer, T; Toscano, Michael J.; Turner, P; Weary, D; Gent, T (2019). Humanely Ending the Life of Animals: Research Priorities to Identify Alternatives to Carbon Dioxide. Animals, 9(11) MDPI 10.3390/ani9110911

Baker, Sydney L.; Robison, Cara I.; Karcher, Darrin M.; Toscano, Michael J.; Makagon, Maja M. (2019). Keel Impacts and Associated Behaviors in Laying Hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 222, p. 104886. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2019.104886

2018

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Booth, Francesca; Richards, Gemma; Brown, Steven; Karcher, Darrin; Tarlton, John (2018). Modeling collisions in laying hens as a tool to identify causative factors for keel bone fractures and means to reduce their occurrence and severity. PLoS ONE, 13(7), e0200025. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0200025

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

Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno (2018). Use of aerial perches and perches on aviary tiers by broiler breeders. Applied animal behaviour science, 203, pp. 24-33. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2018.02.013

Sirovnik, Janja; Würbel, Hanno; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Feeder space affects access to the feeder, aggression, and feed conversion in laying hens in an aviary system. Applied animal behaviour science, 198, pp. 75-82. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2017.09.017

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

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Skeletal problems in contemporary commercial laying hens. In: Mench, Joy (ed.) Advances in Poultry Welfare Science (pp. 151-174). Cambridge: Woodhead Publishing

Rufener, Christina Barbara; Berezowski, John Andrew; Maximiano Alves de Sousa, Filipe Miguel; Abreu, Y.; Asher, L.; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2018). Finding hens in a haystack: Consistency of movement patterns within and across individual laying hens maintained in large groups. Scientific Reports, 8(1), p. 12303. Nature Publishing Group 10.1038/s41598-018-29962-x

2017

Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno (2017). Perch use by broiler breeders and its implication on health and production. Poultry Science, 96(10), pp. 3539-3549. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps/pex189

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

2016

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

Siegford, Janice M.; Berezowski, John Andrew; Biswas, Subir K.; Daigle, Courtney L.; Gebhardt, Sabine; Hernandez, Carlos E.; Thurner, Stefan; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2016). Assessing Activity and Location of Individual Laying Hens in Large Groups Using Modern Technology. Animals, 6(2) MDPI 10.3390/ani6020010

2015

Ringgenberg, Nadine; Fröhlich, E K F; Harlander-Matauschek, Alexandra; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Roth, B A (2015). Nest choice in laying hens: Effects of nest partitions and social status. Applied animal behaviour science, 169, pp. 43-50. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.04.013

Nasr, M A F; El-Tarabany, M S; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Effects of divergent selection for growth on egg quality traits in Japanese quail. Animal Production Science, 56(11), p. 1797. 10.1071/AN14911

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

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Booth, F; Wilkins, L J; Avery, N C; Brown, S B; Richards, G; Tarlton, J F (2015). The effects of long (C20/22) and short (C18) chain omega-3 fatty acids on keel bone fractures, bone biomechanics, behavior, and egg production in free-range laying hens. Poultry Science, 94(5), pp. 823-835. Poultry Science Association 10.3382/ps/pev048

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

Casey-Trott, T; Heerkens, J L T; Petrik, M; Regmi, P; Schrader, L; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Widowski, T (2015). Methods for assessment of keel bone damage in poultry. Poultry Science, 94(10), pp. 2339-2350. Poultry Science Association, Inc. 10.3382/ps/pev223

Harlander, Alexandra; Rodenburg, TB; SANDILANDS, V; TOBALSKE, BW; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2015). Causes of keel bone damage and their solutions in laying hens. World's poultry science journal, 71(3), pp. 461-472. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/S0043933915002135

Ringgenberg, Nadine; Fröhlich, E K F; Harlander, Alexandra; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Würbel, Hanno; Roth, B A (2015). Effects of variation in nest curtain design on pre-laying behaviour of domestic hens. Applied animal behaviour science, 170, pp. 34-43. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.06.008

2014

Gebhardt, Sabine; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Fröhlich, Ernst K F (2014). Use of outdoor ranges by laying hens in different sized flocks. Applied animal behaviour science, 155, pp. 74-81. Elsevier 10.1016/j.applanim.2014.03.010

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey (2014). Governing Animals : Animal Welfare and the Liberal State. Animal welfare Journal, 23(1), pp. 127-128. Universities Federation for Animal Welfare

2013

Melotti, Luca; Thomsen, Liat Romme; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Mendl, Michael; Held, Suzanne (2013). Delay discounting task in pigs reveals response strategies related to dopamine metabolite. Physiology & behavior, 120, pp. 182-192. Elsevier 10.1016/j.physbeh.2013.08.009

Tarlton, John F.; Wilkins, Lindsay J.; Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Avery, Nick C.; Knott, Lynda (2013). Reduced bone breakage and increased bone strength in free range laying hens fed omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid supplemented diets. Bone, 52(2), pp. 578-586. Elsevier 10.1016/j.bone.2012.11.003

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Wilkins, Lindsay J; Millburn, Georgina; Thorpe, Katherine; Tarlton, John F (2013). Development of an ex vivo protocol to model bone fracture in laying hens resulting from collisions. PLoS ONE, 8(6), e66215. Public Library of Science 10.1371/journal.pone.0066215

Toscano, Michael Jeffrey; Nasr, M. A. F.; Hothersall, B. (2013). Correlation between broiler lameness and anatomical measurements of bone using radiographical projections with assessments of consistency across and within radiographs. Poultry Science, 92(9), pp. 2251-2258. Oxford University Press 10.3382/ps.2012-02904