Goats are highly adaptable, versatile animals that can provide a wide range of agricultural products. In addition to adjusting well to various environments and landscapes, they can also be farmed for meat, dairy, and skins.
When you consider how hardy and practical goats are, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they are popular livestock in Canada. While goats aren’t as popular as cattle and pigs, many Canadians enjoy goat cheese and meat or just keeping the animals around as pets. They are certainly quirky enough!
Here are a few fascinating goat statistics so you can better understand how Canadians view these animals.
The 10 Interesting Goat Statistics in Canada
- There were approximately 253,278 goats in Canada as of 2021.
- 52% of the goats in Canada are in Ontario.
- Goat’s meat (called chevon) is the most commonly eaten meat around the world.
- Ontario slaughtered 70,875 goats in 2021, which is the highest in Canada.
- As of 2021, Ontario had 230 goat milk producers.
- Canada produced 61.9 million litres of goat milk in 2021.
- The goat milk industry is one of Canada’s fastest-growing livestock industries.
- Like goat’s meat, goat milk is the most common milk consumed around the world.
- The Nigerian Dwarf was the most registered breed in Canada in 2021.
- About 50,000 mountain goats are found in B.C.
Goat Industry Statistics
1. There were approximately 253,278 goats in Canada as of 2021.
These 253,278 goats were on an estimated 4,801 Canadian goat farms.
2. 52% of the goats in Canada are in Ontario.
The province of Ontario has the largest goat population in Canada, which is followed by Quebec, with 15.5% of the national total of goats.
3. Goat’s meat (called chevon) is the most commonly eaten meat around the world.
While many Canadians might not be the most notable clients for eating chevon, in many parts of the world, goat meat is the primary source of meat protein. It’s most commonly eaten during Easter and Christmas. There’s a large Canadian export market for goat breeding stock to parts of Europe and the Caribbean.
4. Ontario slaughtered 70,875 goats in 2021, which is the highest in Canada.
Following Ontario is Alberta/Saskatchewan/Manitoba with 6,455 and Quebec with 5,757 goats. These numbers demonstrate how robust the Ontario goat farming industry is. When broken down into months, April and December have the highest numbers, which coincides with Easter and Christmas.
5. As of 2021, Ontario had 230 goat milk producers.
The second largest province is Quebec, with 44 goat milk producers, and then B.C., with 10. Ontario’s largest dairy goat farm has 1,200 goats. Canadian dairy goat farms typically range from 150 to 400 goats.
6. Canada produced 61.9 million litres of goat milk in 2021.
Ontario produced the most goat’s milk with 55 million litres, followed by Quebec with 6.9 million.
7. The goat milk industry is one of Canada’s fastest-growing livestock industries.
This is all primarily from Ontario. The milk is made into a variety of dairy products, such as yogurt, cheese, ice cream, powdered milk, and butter fat.
8. Like goat’s meat, goat milk is the most common milk consumed around the world.
Also like goat meat, the drinking of goat milk is higher than the goat milk produced locally.
9. The Nigerian Dwarf was the most registered breed in Canada in 2021.
The Nigerian Dwarf is a miniature goat typically used for milk production and sometimes as a pet. The Boer is the second most registered breed, with 1,154 registered, and the Nubian is at 764.
10. About 50,000 mountain goats are found in B.C.
(British Columbia Mountain Goat Society)
Over half of the world’s mountain goats are found in B.C. It’s estimated that there are approximately 80,000 and 110,000 mountain goats in the world.
Frequently Asked Questions About Goats in Canada
What kind of goats are used in the goat industry in Canada?
For dairy, the most common breeds used in Canada are Nigerian Dwarf, Oberhasli, Nubian, Toggenburg, LaMancha, Saanen, and Alpine. For meat, the most common breeds are the Boer, Spanish, Kiko, Pygmy, and Savannah. The breeds Angora and Cashmere are commonly used for mohair. (Vancouver Island Goat Association)
How much space do you need for a goat in Canada?
For every six to eight goats, you’ll need about 1 acre of land that has enough vegetation and grass for them to eat. Goats are browsers instead of grazers, which means they eat a wider variety of vegetation than grazers do. (Agrifarming)
Do goats make good pets?
Goats can make wonderful pets as long as you have the space and means to support them. Miniature breeds such as the Pygmy and the Nigerian Dwarf are popular as companion animals. They require less feed and space than their larger cousins.
Goats also make excellent companions for other livestock, especially horses. (Vancouver Island Goat Association)
What kind of fibre do goats produce?
The Angora goat has a thick and curly coat and is the only breed that produces mohair, which is most commonly used to make sweaters. One Angora goat can produce between 4 and 5 kilograms of mohair every year!
The Cashmere goat provides cashmere with their soft and downy undercoat that is combed out when they start shedding naturally in the spring and fall. All goats are capable of producing cashmere except the Angora. (Vancouver Island Goat Association)
Are goats good options for hobby farmers?
Goats can be quite versatile. They can be farmed for meat, dairy, and fibre and make great companion animals. Most goats are hardy and can live in a variety of environments.
Ensure that the breed that you’re considering will deliver the products that you want by researching them thoroughly. Check that you have the suitable space and setup to sustain a small goat herd. Goats are not solitary animals, so you will need to be prepared to bring home more than one. (Agrifarming)
The estimate for the number of goats in Canada stands at about 253,278. Bear in mind that this number is from a census in 2021 and doesn’t account for small hobby farms, so it’s likely that this number is bigger!
Goats are popular as livestock and owning goats can be quite lucrative. Goat’s milk and meat are in demand worldwide, and apparently, Canada isn’t producing enough to keep up!
If you plan to take care of goats, you should talk to another goat farmer whose business is on the same scale as yours. To ensure that your goats have happy lives, you’ll need to provide them with proper care and housing.
Featured Image Credit: Piqsels