Our aim is to support the development of goat farming in Ireland as a viable option for farmers.
Goats are not the most visible of farm animals in this country. Most of the bigger dairy herds are housed indoors. They are a very widespread animal, being present in some number in every county. The bulk of these animals are kept in very small numbers, with more than three-quarters of goats in herds of 10 or less. There are currently approximately 30 large commercial units present in Ireland. Most of these farms supply their milk to Glenisk or to one of the major cheese makers located around the country.
On an official level, the goat industry in this farming is largely overlooked. Despite a handful of informed individuals, there is virtually no knowledge of practices and very little policy pertaining to goats. There is absolutely no promotion of goats’ milk or other products by major processors or national agricultural or food organisations. It is my opinion that with a little help, goats’ milk and all related produce would become much more widely consumed in this country as they are across Europe. Furthermore, such products would also be extremely marketable outside of this country and would have knock on benefits for both the farming and processing sectors.
The goat sector is going through somewhat of a tough time at the moment but there are positive signs for the future. Though goat farming will never be the largest agricultural enterprise in Ireland, hopefully some investment and promotion will be forthcoming leading to a successful and profitable sector.
Visit The Teagasc Goat Blog
Advice & Training
Further information on goat farming can be obtained by contacting:
Tel: +353 87 9196515
Teagasc, Kells Road, Navan, Co. Meath
Teagasc, Drumboy, Mohill, Co. Leitrim