Between 2011 and 2016, the number of organically reared chickens rose by nearly two-thirds to more than 3 million. This represents 3 percent of the total Dutch chicken population. The number of organic poultry farms grew by 24 percent over the same period. An increase was furthermore seen in organic goat (+43 percent) and pig breeding (+27 percent). Over the same period, however, the organic sheep flock declined (-35 percent).
More organic cattle breeding
Organic cattle farming also grew substantially between 2011 and 2016. In five years’ time, the size of the mature dairy cattle herd increased by over 50 percent. The total organic cattle herd increased to slightly under 70 thousand bovines, equivalent to 2 percent of the total cattle population in the Netherlands. The growth in organic cattle farming is further shown in the expanding acreage of organic pasture (by over 10 percent). The number of bovine animals in the transition phase towards organic farming has increased as well. Over two years’ time between 2014 and 2016, the bovine herd increased tenfold.