Chickens, table ducks and turkeys

In June 2005 there were 92 million chickens, 1 million table ducks and just over 1 million turkeys on around 3,000 poultry farms in the Netherlands. For nearly half of these farms, poultry is their main economic activity.  

Poultry on Dutch farms
Poultry on Dutch farms

Most chickens in Western Peel and Veluwe regions

Most of the 92 million chickens – of which 44 million table and 42 million laying chickens – are located in the Western Peel area, (in the west of the province North Brabant). One in eight chickens in the Netherlands are reared here. In second place is the Veluwe region in the centre of the country, where 10 percent of Dutch chickens are to be found. 
The municipality of Barneveld housed the most chickens (2.9 million) in 2004, followed by Venray (just over 2.6 million) and Ede, Nederweert and Hardenberg each with just under 2.5 million chickens.

Chicken sheds with outdoor runs

In 2002 a survey was conducted among breeders of laying hens about how they housed their birds. This showed that around 40 percent of farmers with laying hens kept their birds in a chicken shed with access to an outdoor run. No more recent figures are available on this.

Imports and exports of live poultry
Imports and exports of live poultry

Over half a billion chickens cross the border

No fewer than 333 million live birds were exported in 2004.  Three-quarters of these birds were transported to Germany. Conversely, 211 million birds were imported into the Netherlands, again many of which ((85 percent) came from Germany.

Cor Pierik