The overall number of cattle, sheep and pigs in the country increased in December 2021, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
According to the CSO livestock survey, the total number of cattle stood at 6,649,300. This is an increase of 1.8% or 119,900 animals when compared with December 2020.
The provisional estimate for the total number of sheep was almost four million – an increase of nearly 3% on December 2020.
Total pig numbers in December increased by just over 2% or 35,000 to over 1.7 million.
The CSO survey shows that dairy cow numbers in December 2021 stood at 1,505,300, which is an increase of 49,200 or 3.4% compared to the same month in 2020.
However, the number of “other cows” was down by 3.6% or 33,000 head to 889,700.
The total number of cattle aged from one to two years increased by 67,900 (4%) while cattle two years and over, excluding cows and bulls, decreased by 13,900 (-4%).
Overall, total sheep numbers increased by 2.9% when December 2021 is compared to the same month in the previous year.
The CSO has given a provisional estimate of 3,991,200 sheep, which is an increase of 114,000 on December 2020.
The number of breeding sheep increased by 2% or 55,300 to 2,784,900 and other sheep increased by over 5% to 1,206,300.
However, there was a 1% decrease in the number of rams.
According to the livestock survey, the number of pigs in the country stood at 1,713,600 in December 2021, which is up 2.1% on December 2020.
The CSO said that breeding pig numbers fell by 1.3% and non-breeding pigs increased by 2.4% to over 1,567,700.