Chickens continue to rule roost numberwise
Switzerland continues to have more chickens than people, according to the latest census of farm animals in the country.
The number of chickens rose to almost 10 million in 2012, up five percent from the previous year, the federal statistics office said in a report released on Thursday.
Switzerland’s population, by comparison, is around eight million.
A quarter of the 9.88 million chickens kept in Switzerland were used for egg-laying and breeding, the statistics report said.
But despite a steady increase in the number of chickens in the country over the past few years, they supply only half the domestic market for eggs and poultry with the rest coming from imports.
The cattle population remained unchanged at 1.57 million, although the number of cows increased slightly to 707,700 (up one percent).
Farmers had reduced cow herds in previous years due to volatility in the dairy market.
Among other livestock animals, the number of pigs dropped by two percent to 1.55 million, while the sheep population fell by the same amount to 414,000.
The total for goats rose one percent to 87,300, while the number of horses declined by one percent to 56,700.