Denmark is generally regarded as the world's outstanding example of intensive animal husbandry. It maintains a uniformly high standard of operations, combining highly skilled labor, scientific experimentation and research, modern installations and machinery, and versatility in farm management and marketing. The excellent cooperative system guarantees the quality of every product of its members. Meat, dairy products, and eggs contribute a most important share of Danish exports. There is a close relationship between cost of feed and export prices.
The livestock population in 2001 included 1,906,000 head of cattle, 12,607,000 hogs, 152,000 sheep, 43,000 horses, and 20,347,000 chickens. Mink, fox, polecat, finnraccoon, and chinchilla are raised for their pelts.
The value of exported meat and animal products in 2001 amounted to $10.4 billion, consisting primarily of live pigs and pork, cheese, and canned meat. Production in 2001 included 4,552,000 tons of milk, 46,600 tons of butter, and 317,700 tons of cheese. In addition, egg production was 80,700 tons in 1999. Some 50% of all eggs consumed domestically are produced by alternative methods, a phrase that generally refers to layers raised organically or in free-range. The government's goal is for all eggs to ultimately be produced by non-caged layers. Organic milk is also a growing market. Organically produced feed's share of the domestic market is also increasing.