MSc position, Switzerland

 11th Feb 2021

MSc project "Can straw or compost satisfy the rooting motivation of fattening pigs?"

Centre for Proper Housing of Ruminants and Pigs, Tänikon
Agroscope, Switzerland


Pigs are highly motivated to root, but commercial housing conditions do not provide adequate rooting materials to fulfill the pigs’ behavioral needs. The aim of this master project is to assess whether a rooting area with different substrates (straw, compost) can satisfy the motivation to root in fattening pigs. You will be working with pigs housed under different conditions in our experimental barn and conduct behavioral tests such as conditioned place preference tests to evaluate individual rooting motivation. This project will demonstrate if rooting motivation can be satisfied under commercial housing conditions, and whether compost might be a more adequate rooting substrate than straw.


  • Biology or Agronomy student
  • Passionate about applied ethology and animal behavior
  • Interest in working with pigs (no previous experience required)
  • Good skills in English and/or German

The project will take place at the Agroscope research institute in Tänikon, Switzerland. Starting date is summer 2021 (negotiable).


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