Document Actions

Oberer Hardthof

The teaching and research institute Oberer Hardthof serves the research and teaching of the Institute for Animal Breeding and Livestock Genetics of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen with the animal population and the experimental facilities. The animal population is partly involved in long-term experimental programmes to fulfill research tasks.

Location and equipment

Farm type

Livestock breeding with integrated fodder cultivation on 280 ha, 160 ha of which are permanent grassland.

Animal population (rounded):

  • 100 cattle
  • 120 pigs
  • 700 sheep
  • 100 chickens
  • 200 rabbits


(according to DWD climate maps, 1x1km long term average 1981-2010)

  • Precipitation: 700 mm/a
  • Average annual temperature: 9.7°C
  • Climatic water balance: 90 mm/a


  • Luvisols in loess

Show larger map


Selected publications

  • Lühken, G., Krebs, S., Rothammer, S., Küpper, J., Mioč, B., Russ, I., & Medugorac, I. (2016). The 1.78-kb insertion in the 3′-untranslated region of RXFP2 does not segregate with horn status in sheep breeds with variable horn status. Genetics Selection Evolution, 48(1). doi:10.1186/s12711-016-0256-3
  • Reith, S., H. Brandt, and S. Hoy. "Simultaneous analysis of activity and rumination time, based on collar-mounted sensor technology, of dairy cows over the peri-estrus period." Livestock Science 170 (2014): 219-227.
  • Fels, Michaela, Jörg Hartung, and Steffen Hoy. "Social hierarchy formation in piglets mixed in different group compositions after weaning." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 152 (2014): 17-22.
  • Siebert, F., Lühken, G., Pallauf, J., & Erhardt, G. (2012). Mutation in porcine Zip4-like zinc transporter is associated with pancreatic zinc concentration and apparent zinc absorption. British Journal of Nutrition, 109(06), 969–976. doi:10.1017/s0007114512002772
  • Pauciullo, A., Fleck, K., Lühken, G., Di Berardino, D., & Erhardt, G. (2013). Dual-Color High-Resolution Fiber-FISH Analysis on Lethal White Syndrome Carriers in Sheep. Cytogenetic and Genome Research, 140(1), 46–54. doi:10.1159/000350786
  • Lühken, G., Fleck, K., Pauciullo, A., Huisinga, M., & Erhardt, G. (2012). Familiar Hypopigmentation Syndrome in Sheep Associated with Homozygous Deletion of the Entire Endothelin Type-B Receptor Gene. PLoS ONE, 7(12), e53020. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053020
  • Hoy, Steffen, Sonja Schamun, and Carmen Weirich. "Investigations on feed intake and social behaviour of fattening pigs fed at an electronic feeding station." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 139.1 (2012): 58-64.
  • Brendle, Julia, and Steffen Hoy. "Investigation of distances covered by fattening pigs measured with VideoMotionTracker®." Applied Animal Behaviour Science 132.1 (2011): 27-32.
  • Hoy, Steffen and D. Selzer. "Frequency and time of nursing in wild and domestic rabbits housed outdoors in free range." World Rabbit Science 10.2 (2010): 77-84.


Selected external funded projects

  • BMBF, Development and assessment of alternative animal-friendly housing systems for rabbit does and growing rabbits (RABHO) - Transnationales anihwa Projekt (Animal health and welfare). Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, 2014 – 2017 (AG Hoy)
  • BMELF, Abferkelbuchten 2020 - Entwicklung und Prüfung von innovativen Freilaufabferkelbuchten unter den Aspekten von Verhalten, Gesundheit, Leistungen der Tiere sowie Arbeits- und Betriebswirtschaft, (Farrowing pens 2020 – Development and test of innovative free access farrowing pens under the aspects of behaviour, health, growth of the animals as well as work and economic issues, 2015 – 2018 (AG Hoy)
  • Landwirtschaftliche Rentenbank,  Entwicklung eines Gentests zum Nachweis des genetischen Hornstatus beim Schaf (Development of a diagnostic test to determine the genetic horn status in sheep), 2017 - 2019 , ca. 30 Schafe (AG Lühken)
  • WZF Heimkaninchen - Zur Beurteilung der Einzel- bzw. Paarhaltung von (Heim-)Kaninchen unter Tierschutzaspekten - Entwicklung einer Emergency-Box. Wirtschaftsgemeinschaft Zoologischer Fachbetriebe GmbH (WZF), 2016 – 2019 (AG Hoy)
  • QS-Wissenschaftsfonds, Untersuchungen zum Einsatz von Heu- bzw. Strohpellets zur Vorbeuge vor Schwanzbeißen bei Absetzferkeln (Studies on the application of hay and straw pellets to prevent tail biting of market piglets), 2016 – 2018 (AG Hoy)