Livestock production in Delaware is extremely diverse, with each enterprise facing its own unique sets of benefits and challenges. While Delaware is clearly known for its poultry, beef, pork, sheep, goats, and dairy all play a role in Delaware’s agricultural output.
The beef industry in Delaware is very prevalent, especially in the lower two counties. Beef steers are raised for feedlot, cow/calf, stocker, show/genetics, and market purposes. There is similar stratification in the production of hogs, however hogs are a much smaller industry in our state. Similarly, sheep production has also declined, as the demand for wool has fallen. There are only 69 farmers in the state raising sheep. For goats, however, there are over 150 growers, doing either meat or milk production.
Beyond direct markets, livestock production in Delaware is used to fulfill many niche markets. Dairy products often go towards ice cream. Goat and sheep meat is used to supply the ethnic markets in the many urban centers surrounding Delaware. Furthermore as any native Delawarean would know, many livestock are raised for showing purposes at the one and only Delaware State Fair!