In absolute terms, the greatest number of farm animals kept under organic conditions in the European Union are poultry, where the number totaled just under 28.5 million in 2014, 3.9 percent fewer than in the previous year, according to the EU statistics agency, Eurostat. Excluding incomplete datasets, however, there was a positive trend in organic poultry numbers in the EU of almost 6 percent.

Leading the league table for organic poultry in 2014 was France with more than 12.75 million birds, an increase of 8.9 percent from the previous year. Next came Germany with 4.93 million (unchanged) and then the U.K. and The Netherlands, each with more than 2.35 million organic poultry; while the latter registered an increase of 8.5 percent from 2013, the U.K. figure was 3.6 percent lower than the previous year.

Other countries registering increases in organic poultry numbers were:

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  • Belgium: 2.098 million; +10.5 percent
  • Sweden: 929,601; +3.8 percent
  • Spain: 391,217; +15.6 percent
  • Poland: 257,515; +5.6 percent
  • Finland: 188,203; +15.3 percent
  • Hungary: 122,536; 27.1 percent
  • Slovenia: 71,537; +30.6 percent
  • Czech Republic: 39,330; +7.4 percent
  • Croatia: 2,540; +24.8 percent

The largest percentage drop in organic poultry numbers was registered in Romania, where there was a fall of 22.1 percent between 2013 and 2014 to 57,797 birds. Latvia’s count declined 10.3 percent to 24,706; that of Cyprus by 9.8 percent to 8,616; Estonia’s by 6.0 percent to 21,020; the Slovakian figure was down 5.3 percent to 8,250; and the Lithuanian by 1.2 percent to 6,170. Bulgaria recorded an unchanged figure from the previous year of 500 birds.

Eurostat has only collected this data since 2013 and covers 27 of the 28 EU member states (excluding Luxemburg). Six countries have not yet reported data for both years. In 2013, there were more than 3.063 million organic poultry in Italy and 1.403 million in Austria. For 2014, Denmark registered 1.630 million birds and Greece 203,154.