Fifty per cent of all goats in Ireland are spread across just five counties. Figures from the recently published national goat census show there were 9,349 goats kept by 614 herds in Ireland in 2017.
This was a 20% increase on 2016 which reversed the decline of 20% in 2015. It is believed the fluctuation in numbers is due to lower census response rates rather than an actual change in goat numbers.
Top five goat counties:
The vast majority of domestic goats in Ireland are kept in small numbers on a non-commercial basis. Goat herds of one to five goats made up 66% of herds. Just 5% of herds had 50 goats or more.
However, those herds over 50 goats contain 64% of all goats. Just six goat farms have 300 goats or more and between them they farm 2,664 goats.
Offaly is the least goat-populated county in Ireland with just 23 goats spread across 10 herds. Slightly ahead with 39 goats is county Louth.