Research


The Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology researches the functional biodiversity of farm animals in the context of the specific environments in which they are kept and derives sustainable solutions for farm animal husbandry.

Farm animal husbandry is a central element of the bioeconomy, agricultural production and for the design of rural spaces.

It accounts for half of value creation from agriculture. Furthermore, farm animal husbandry is not only indispensable to supply humans with foodstuffs of high quality, but also as an integral/essential element of agricultural cycles. 

The sustainable and future-proof design of animal husbandry in an increasingly globalised world is a complex task. Here the focus is just as much on resource efficiency and conservation under consideration of local and global environmental and climate effects as on animal wellbeing and health as well as the safety of foods produced from them. 

At the Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology (FBN), more than 60 scientists research the animal-side aspects of sustainable farm animal husbandry in six disciplinary institutes (Genetics and Biometry, Genome Biology, Reproductive Biology, Behavioural Biology, Muscle Biology and Growth, Nutritional Physiology).

A total of 300 employees work together in three interdisciplinary program areas

On the one hand we look at the individual animal as a system that we analyse in detail using modern research methods, from the molecular to the cellular to the physiological level, to the external appearance and behaviour.

To understand animals, one has to analyse the complex interactions with their environment in order to scientifically examine biological fundamentals as well as conflicting goals that exist between issues of performance and efficiency, animal welfare and animal health, and between the economic demands of producers and expectations of consumers. 

Our goal is to derive scientifically founded recommendations for diversified farm animal husbandry in accordance with the respective location and requirements and for the production of healthy, high-quality foodstuffs of animal origins, and to develop innovative solutions and strategies to harmonise husbandry and management systems with the physiological and ethological needs of the animals.