Stock raising is the principal agricultural activity in most rural areas. In 2001 there were an estimated 4.2 million sheep, 3.9 million head of cattle, 2.5 million hogs, 800,000 goats, and 650,000 horses, mules, llamas, and alpacas. The extreme south of Chile is noted for sheep production, while cattle are raised in the central regions. Meat products must be imported from Argentina to fulfill domestic demand. In 2001, 218,000 tons of beef and veal, 303,000 tons of pork, and 11,000 tons of mutton and lamb were produced. In north-central Chile, the hills afford pasturage during the rainy season, and fodder or irrigated pasture provides feed during the dry months. In the south-central regions, natural pasturage is available throughout the year.
The dairy industry is small; milk production totaled 2,190,000 tons in 2001. Production of raw wool in 2001 was an estimated 17,200 tons.