Ireland sees increase in livestock population


Higher figures were reported at the end of 2021 for sheep, cattle and pigs.

Posted on Mar 25 ,09:47

Ireland sees increase in livestock population

The Irish livestock sector has started the year on higher figures of its inventory. The number of cattle in Ireland increased by 1.8% to 6.6 million, sheep numbers rose by 2.9% to nearly 4 million, and the number of pigs rose by 2.1% to 1.7 million. (see figures for the last three years in the map below)

Irish livestock survey Dec-21 summary table1

The number of cattle aged two years and over was tighter compared to the same point a year ago, down 4% (-13,800 head). However, the number of cattle aged 1-2 years was 4% (68,000 head) higher, while the number of cattle less than a year old rose by 2.5%.

"This increase in cattle supply is expected to boost Irish beef production in 2022, particularly in the second half of the year," commented Hannah Clarke, AHDB analyst. Dairy cow numbers increased by 3.4% to 1.5 million, while the number of beef cows declined again to 890,000 head.
The number of ewes in Ireland increased by 2.1% year-on-year to 2.7 million head. The increase was driven by more ewes aged two years and over, while the number of ewes aged under two years old fell notably (-18%). For non-breeding sheep, numbers increased by 5.1% year-on-year to 1.2 million.
Non-breeding pig numbers grew by 2.4% year-on-year to 1.6 million, driven by a 13% increase in the number of pigs under 20kg. Every other weight band contracted in size, particularly those weighing 20kg-50kg.
The number of breeding pigs declined by 1.3%, largely due to a fall in the number of in-pig sows. In-pig gilts also experienced some decline.

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