Methods and definitions

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These numbers include only animals that are located on agricultural holdings. The definition of an agricultural holding has varied since 1981.  In 1981 and 1986, the definition included a farm, ranch or holding that had sold $250 or more of agricultural product in the previous 12 months or that the operator intended to sell $250 of agricultural product in that calendar year. Beginning with the 1991 census, the $250 threshold was dropped and it was only necessary that the operation had sold or intended to sell agricultural product. As well, starting with the 1996 census, Christmas tree only operations were included in the definition of agricultural product, expanding the Census coverage. These definitional changes could have resulted in more animals being accounted for than in previous censuses.

Users of this data should be aware that there is potential for greater numbers of alternative livestock in Canada than what the census data reports. For example, animals kept on operations that are not agricultural holdings are not included in this data. Horses are the most notable in this regard. Other examples would be animals in petting zoos or kept as pets.

Horses and ponies -  includes all horses and ponies on agricultural operations, including operations involved in the collection of pregnant mare's urine (PMU) for the pharmaceutical industry and being raised for slaughter. The Census also attempts to collect the number of horses on operations involved in boarding horses, riding stables and stables for housing and/or training horses even if no agricultural products are sold.

Ranched deer - includes a variety of species; fallow, red, sika, white-tailed, reindeer and those just reported as deer. It does not include wapiti (elk), nor does it include wild deer that range on a farm, ranch or holding.

Ducks and geese - please note that when respondents reported ducks and geese together, the combined number is reported in ducks.