E.U. Flock Statistics


According to data collated by Professor Dr. Hans-Wilhelm Windhorst, in the August 27th 2017 Report of the Committee for the Common Organization of Agricultural Markets, the 28 nations of the E.U. collectively held 384 million hens in 2016. The top-ten nations represented 86.1 percent of the total with 330.7 million.

Housing systems included enriched cages (55.6 percent); barns (25.7 percent) and free-range and organic (18.7 percent). Hen numbers increased by 6.1 percent between 2012 when conventional cages were phased out, to 384 million in 2016. In the year following the banning of cages, hen numbers decreased by 3.6 percent. Many producing nations delayed conversion despite a 10-year lead time in anticipation of an extension which was not forthcoming. Between 2015 and 2016, hen numbers stabilized with moderate growth in flock sizes. The leading egg producing nations in 2016 posted the following hen populations:-



  • Germany 52.6 million
  • France 48.6 million
  • Spain 43.6 million
  • Poland 43.5 million
  • United Kingdom 42.2 million

Lithuania had the highest proportion of flocks in enriched cages (96 percent). The United Kingdom housed 53 percent of the national flock under free-range management. Austria held 66 percent of hens in barns.

Egg production in the E.U. increased from 7.05 million tons (331.2 million cases) in 2012 to 7.48 million tons (351.6 million cases) in 2016. During this year there was a 5 percent differential between production and consumption requiring trade among nations in the E.U. and exports beyond the E.U. to achieve balance.