Dr. agr. Winfried Otten

Research Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN)
working group Psychophysiology
Wilhelm-Stahl-Allee 2
18196 Dummerstorf

Research interests

  • Determination of glucocorticoids in hair and feathers as a biological indicator for retrospective minimally-invasive monitoring of animal welfare in different livestock species
  • Tryptophan metabolism: relevance for immune function, mood and behaviour
  • Analyses of neurotransmitters, catecholamines, their precursors and metabolites in biological samples using high performance liquid chromatography

Curriculum Vitae

  • 1992-present: Scientist at the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN) Dummerstorf, Institute of Institute of Behavioural Physiology
  • 1993: Ph.D. at the Technical University of Munich
  • 1984-1989: Technical University of Munich, studies of agriculture with focus on animal production


Otten, W.; Heimbürge, S.; Tuchscherer, A.; Kanitz, E. (2023):
Hair cortisol concentration in postpartum dairy cows and its association with parameters of milk production. DOMEST ANIM ENDOCRIN 84-85 (July-October): 106792, 1-6
Czycholl, I.; Büttner, K.; Becker, D.; Schwennen, C.; Baumgärtner, W.; Otten, W.; Wendt, M.; Puff, C.; Krieter, J. (2023):
Are biters sick? Health status of tail biters in comparison to control pigs. PORCINE HEALTH MANAG 9: 19, 1-18
Koch, F.; Otten, W.; Sauerwein, H.; Reyer, H.; Kuhla, B. (2023):
Mild heat stress-induced adaptive immune response in blood mononuclear cells and leukocytes from mesenteric lymph nodes of primiparous lactating Holstein cows. J Dairy Sci 106 (4): 3008-3022
Moscovice, L. R.; Gimsa, U.; Otten, W.; Eggert, A. (2022):
Salivary Cortisol, but Not Oxytocin, Varies With Social Challenges in Domestic Pigs: Implications for Measuring Emotions. Front Behav Neurosci 16: 899397, 1-15
Otten, W.; Heimbürge, S.; Tuchscherer, A.; Kanitz, E. (2022):
The age of hair matters – the incorporation of cortisol by external contamination is enhanced in distal hair segments of pigs and cattle. Animal 16 (4): 100495, 1-6
Sciascia, Q. L.; Prehn, C.; Adamski, J.; Daş, G.; Lang, I. S.; Otten, W.; Görs, S.; Metges, C. C. (2021):
The Effect of Dietary Protein Imbalance during Pregnancy on the Growth, Metabolism and Circulatory Metabolome of Neonatal and Weaned Juvenile Porcine Offspring. Nutrients 13 (9): 3286, 1-16
Bartels, T.; Berk, J.; Cramer, K.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W. (2021):
Research Note: It’s not just stress - fecal contamination of plumage may affect feather corticosterone concentration. Poultry Sci 100 (12): 101494, 1-5
Bartels, T.; Berk, J.; Cramer, K.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W. (2021):
Research Note: A sip of stress. Effects of corticosterone supplementation in drinking water on feather corticosterone concentrations in layer pullets. Poultry Sci 100 (9): 101361, 1-5
Otten, W.; Bartels, T.; Heimbürge, S.; Tuchscherer, A.; Kanitz, E. (2021):
The dark side of white hair? Artificial light irradiation reduces cortisol concentrations in white but not black hairs of cattle and pigs. Animal 15 (6): 100230, 1-6
Martorell Ribera, J.; Venuto, M. T.; Otten, W.; Brunner, R. M.; Goldammer, T.; Rebl, A.; Gimsa, U. (2020):
Time-dependent effects of acute handling on the brain monoamine system of the Salmonid Coregonus maraena. FRONT NEUROSCI-SWITZ 14: 1293, 1-18
Otten, W.; Heimbürge, S.; Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, A. (2020):
It’s getting hairy – External contamination may affect the validity of hair cortisol as an indicator of stress in pigs and cattle. Gen Comp Endocr 295: 113531, 1-5
Heimbürge, S.; Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, A.; Otten, W. (2020):
Is it getting in the hair? – Cortisol concentrations in native, regrown and segmented hairs of cattle and pigs after repeated ACTH administrations. Gen Comp Endocr 295: 113534, 1-9
Otten, W. (2020):
Welfare of gestating sows : Pre-natal stress. In: Pigs: Welfare in practice (Irene Camerlink, Hrsg.) 5m Publishing, Sheffield, UK (9781789181050): 135-137
Heimbürge, S.; Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, A.; Otten, W. (2020):
Untersuchung und Bewertung von Haarcortisol als retrospektiven Bioindikator für Belastungen bei Rind und Schwein. In: LBH: 10. Leipziger Tierärztekongress - Tagungsband 3 (Leipziger Blaue Hefte) (R. Rackwitz, M. Pees, J.R. Aschenbach, G. Gäbel, Hrsg.) Universität Leipzig, Leipzig (urn:nbn:de:bsz:15-qucosa2-350004) (Tagungsband 3): 544-548
Liermann, W.; Schäff, C. T.; Gruse, J.; Derno, M.; Weitzel, J. M.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W.; Höflich, A.; Stefaniak, T.; Sauerwein, H.; Bruckmaier, R. M.; Gross, J.; Hammon, H. M. (2020):
Effects of colostrum instead of formula feeding for the first two days post natum on whole body energy metabolism and its endocrine control in neonatal calves. J Dairy Sci 103 (4): 3577-3598
Heimbürge, S.; Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, A.; Otten, W. (2020):
Within a hair's breadth - Factors influencing hair cortisol levels in pigs and cattle. Gen Comp Endocr 288: 113359, 1-8
Kanitz, E.; Tuchscherer, M.; Otten, W.; Tuchscherer, A.; Zebunke, M.; Puppe, B. (2019):
Coping style of pigs is associated with different behavioral, neurobiological and immune reponses to stressful challenges. Front Behav Neurosci 13: 173, 1-15
Rauh, A.; Hofmann, Katharina; Harlizius, Jürgen; Weiss, Christine; Numberger, J.; Scholz, Tobias; Schulze-Horsel, T.; Otten, W.; Ritzmann, M.; Zöls, S. (2019):
Schmerz- und Stressbestimmung bei der Injektion und Kastration von Saugferkeln unter Lokalanästhesie mit Procain und Lidocain - Teil 2: Abwehrverhalten, Katecholamine, koordinierte Bewegungsabläufe. TIERAERZTL PRAX 47 (3): 160-170
Heimbürge, S.; Kanitz, E.; Otten, W. (2019):
The use of hair cortisol for the assessment of stress in animals. Gen Comp Endocr 270: 10-17
Wirthgen, E.; Otten, W.; Tuchscherer, M.; Tuchscherer, A.; Domanska, G.; Brenmoehl, J.; Günther, J.; Ohde, D.; Weitschies, W.; Seidlitz, A.; Scheuch, E.; Kanitz, E. (2018):
Effects of 1-Methyltryptophan on immune responses and the kynurenine pathway after lipopolysaccharide challenge in pigs. Int J Mol Sci 19 (10): 3009, 1-23