Etablierung und Validierung einer Methodik zur Bestimmung von Glucocorticoiden in Haaren und Federn als Bioindikator zum retrospektiven nicht-invasiven Monitoring für Tierwohl in verschiedenen Nutztierspezies - Teilprojekt 1

Contact: Dr. Winfried Otten

Duration: 2016-2019

Funding: Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung

It is the aim of this joint project to develop and validate a biological indicator for retrospective evaluation of stress using glucocorticoid levels in hair and feather samples from different farm animal species. The joint project combines the expertise of the partners in the fields of animal husbandry, animal physiology and animal welfare (FBN Dummerstorf: pig, cattle; FLI Celle: laying hens, turkeys). The validation of the biological indicator under practical conditions will be performed in collaboration with commercial farms. Specific methodological protocols will be developed for sampling and glucocorticoid analysis in hairs of pigs and cattle and feathers of laying hens and turkeys. Individual variation factors will be determined and basal reference values will be defined. The applicability of the biological indicator as a retrospective measure for the severity and length of previous stress experiences of the animals will be validated under experimental and practical housing conditions. Finally, the suitability of this innovative methodology as an animal welfare indicator will be evaluated.