The 2022 goat population showed an increase to the tune of 1,166 head on the figures recorded in December 2021, data from the DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine) shows.
2022 goat census returns recorded a total of 9,243 goats kept across 1,011 registered herds at the end of December 2022.
Of those respondent active herds, goats were kept on 734 on census night.
In December 2022, the DAFM issued goat census forms to 1,468 registered herd keepers, which included 124 newly activated numbers.
It received 1,011 registered goat keepers, which represents a response rate of 69%.
The DAFM recorded 9,243 goats in 2022, with 734 respondent keepers declaring that they kept goats in December, which represented a decrease of one since 2021.
Meanwhile, a further 277 keepers declared that they had no goats at the time of the census.
Of those 277, 78 declared that they would not be re-entering goat farming.
Goat farming in Ireland
With 106 herds, County Cork had the greatest number of goat herds in 2022, while Tipperary is home to the greatest number of goats, with records of 1,004, followed by Cork with 809.
According to the DAFM, the average goat herd size is 13 and of the herds that returned the census form, 627 (85%) keep fewer than this figure.
Meanwhile, Offaly is home to the smallest number of herds, at 8, with 19 goats per herd.
So how have goat numbers fared out over the years?
- 2022 – 9,243;
- 2021 – 8,077;
- 2020 – 9,403;
- 2019 – 8,774;
- 2018 – 8,661;
- 2017 – 9,349;
- 2016 – 2,874;
- 2015 – 9,862;
- 2014 – 10,796;
- 2013 – 8,571;
- 2012 – 8,480.
Sheep farming in Ireland
Previous farming news article on www.thatsfarming.com: 2022 sheep numbers down 14,000 – DAFM census returns
The 2022 census returns show a total of 4.01 million sheep were kept across 42,215 active registered flocks in the country at the end of December 2022, according to a report from the DAFM (Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine).
Of those respondent active herds, sheep were kept on 35,555 at the time of the census.
According to the DAFM, the 2022 sheep population shows a decrease of approximately 14,000 – 0.35% – on total numbers recorded in the previous December 2021.
2022 was the first year since 2018 to record a decrease in the national sheep flock.