Canada traditionally exports livestock products, producing more than the domestic market can use. Animal production (livestock, dairy products, and eggs) now brings in about half of total farm cash income. Stock raising is the foundation of agricultural economy in the foothills of the Rockies, across northern Alberta and Saskatchewan and southern Manitoba, on the interior plateaus of British Columbia, in the Georgian Bay district of Ontario, in Prince Edward Island, and in western Nova Scotia. One of the great ranching sections is located in the Palliser Triangle of southern Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Livestock on farms in 2001 numbered 13,608,000 head of cattle; 13,546,000 pigs and hogs; 948,000 sheep; and 15.8 million chickens. In 1999, livestock slaughtered included 3,825,000 head of cattle, and calves, 19,500,000 hogs, and 492,000 sheep. Poultry production totaled 1,722,000 tons. Milk production in 2001 was 8.1 million tons; butter production amounted to about 85,000 tons, and cheese production to 344,000 tons. Most dairy products are consumed within Canada. In 1999, 381,000 tons of eggs were produced. Cash receipts in 2001 for cattle amounted to C $7,833 million; for dairy products, C $4,142 million; for hogs, C $3,851 million; and for poultry, C $1,508 million.
The wild fur catch, which was important in Canada's early history, is now limited to the northern parts of the provinces, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and the Yukon. In 1998, the value of fur production totaled C $47.5 million, with ranch-raised pelts accounting for 64% and wildlife pelts for 36%.