Broiler farm size in relation tot sustainability aspects

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper


In the Netherlands the number of broiler farms has been reduced by 50%, while farm size doubled between 1990 and 2008. A debate on the positive and negative aspects of large farms emerge. Many entrepreneurs in the broiler sector use increase in scale as strategy to reduce production cost. However, a critical reflection on the process of scaling up is needed. We investigated various aspects of broiler farm size with three farm sizes: small (fewer than 60,000 birds), medium (60,000 to 120,000 birds) and large (more than 120,000 birds). . The study shows that: - profitability (revenues as % of total cost) is higher on larger farms - gross margin (revenues over feed and chick cost) is higher on larger farms - larger broiler farms have a higher labour productivity (kg broiler live weight / hour) - larger farms more often have certified low ammonia emission poultry houses - there is no clear relationship between mortality and broiler farm size - there is no significant relation between the level of medication (antibiotics) and farm size The size of a broiler house and the equipment used is not related to the farm size. As a result there is no influence of farm size on the physical and social environment of the broilers. Our conclusion is, that larger broiler farms have some clear economic advantages. There is no evidence that there is a negative relation between farm size and animal health and animal welfare.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventXIIIth European Poultry Conference - Tours, France
Duration: 23 Aug 201027 Aug 2010


ConferenceXIIIth European Poultry Conference

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