Veterinary Public Health Institute, Animal Welfare Division


Amina Gioia Niederberger

Master 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

Investigate the origins of toe pecking by combining traditional (video analysis) and innovative (automated tracking) behavioural observation methods in poultry.


I completed an apprenticeship as a health professional and at the same time obtained my university entrance qualification. I worked as a nurse while completing my bachelor's degree at the University of Bern with a focus on ecology and evolution. In the content of my bachelor's thesis, I studied the behaviour of female Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) with a focus on reciprocity and enforcement. After my degree, I participated as a project assistant in a behavioural study at the Center for Proper Housing: Poultry and Rabbits in Zollikofen (ZTHZ), which addressed the effects of on-farm hatching on behavioural development and stress response in laying hens. In September 2022, I started my Master's degree at the University of Bern, at the Vetsuisse Institute in the Division of Animal Welfare in the ZTHZ. 
I am currently investigating the behaviour of hens by using video analysis and automated tracking to analyse the individual movement and social behaviour of chickens to identify how toe pecking originates and establishes. I intend to improve the connection between these two methods to fundamentally enable better analysis opportunities related to animal health and welfare.