Dairy Goats Fastest-Growing Category of Livestock

The recently released Census of Agriculture showed that dairy goats have been the fastest-growing group of livestock over the past decade, reports The Washington Post. The number of dairy goats grew 61% between 2007 and 2017, even as cattle, sheep, and chicken numbers held steady and numbers of llamas, emus, and ostriches plummeted. The number of meat and fiber goats also declined by double digits. The feature notes that American appetite for goat milk, cheese, yogurt and kefir is growing. It also points to declines in the number of goat dairies, even as the number of dairy goats has risen, indicating the prevalence of larger operations in today’s market. One industry leader comments that it takes at least 1,000 goats to have a viable business, and that the economics of making a price-competitive value-added product are tricky.