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Fifty years ago, layer breeding in the Netherlands was spread over more than 200 small and medium- sized breeding farms, usually family-owned. Nowadays this number has been drastically reduced and only a few layer and broiler breeding companies are left (grand grandparents and grandparents respectively). The poultry farming sector includes farms which are producing parents for broiler and layer strains both as farms producing consumption eggs and poultry meat. Dutch poultry production is internationally orientated. About 70 per cent of the production is as yet exported, mostly to EU countries. Geographically, the Netherlands is very well located in an area with about 150 million prosperous consumers. Paris, London, Berlin are all within 500 km.

Significant Changes
Poultry farming throughout the world is going through significant changes. Public concern about negative environmental effects of poultry farming, as well as ethical issues such as animal welfare and medicine use, are gaining importance. In order to cope with these developments, changes in farm set-up and management have to be considered, as they may affect the income of the poultry farmer.A day-old-chicken, pullet and adult hen act the same everywhere. What is different are housing (open or closed), accommodation (from cages through deep litter to free-range), feeding and drinking systems, feed supply (on-farm produced or from external sources) and the climate. Poultry constantly show signals about their health, wellbeing, and performance.

PUM poultry experts
Amongs PUM’s senior experts are retired poultry farmers, veterinarians, researchers, nutritionists, animal husbandry advisors and teachers, housing specialists and others who have been working in the Netherlands poultry farming sector and some of them with considerable international working experience.