Cattle numbers increased by 5.5pc in 2012
There are enough cattle in the country to provide every household with a herd of six, the latest CSO statistics on livestock numbers have revealed.
The results of the December 2012 livestock survey show that the national herd had hit 6,253,200, and this figure is expected to grow in 2013 due to the surge in calf births this spring.
The results of the livestock survey show that cattle numbers increased by 327,900 in 2012, a rise of 5.5pc on 2011.
The increase was mainly due to a 17pc rise in the number of male cattle aged one-to-two-years old, a 9.5pc rise in male cattle under the age of one and an 8.4pc lift in the number of female cattle aged one-to-two-years old.
The number of sheep in Ireland is also growing, with 3.43m sheep recorded in the December 2012 livestock survey. This is up 109,000 or 3.3pc on the 2011 livestock survey.
However, pig numbers dropped by 3.9pc last year to 1.493m.
The survey found that the number of non-breeding pigs fell by 57,400 and the number of breeding pigs fell by 2,600hd when compared to 2011.