Poultry and pig farming represent by far the major proportion of the livestock industry in terms of output value. The 2015 ex-farm production value of chicken and duck eggs was estimated to be RM4,641.24 million and poultry meat output are estimated to be in the region of RM9,421.27 million while the pig industry contributes about RM2,459.41 million during that year. These sub-sectors are operated largely in a commercially oriented manner and are increasingly managed as private or public limited companies.
The ruminant sector lags far behind with the majority of cattle, goat and sheep still owned by individual farmers who rear these animals as part of their overall rural agricultural activities. The total ex-farm output value of beef and milk is estimated to be about RM1,411.72 million and RM152.08 million respectively and mutton at about RM143.18 million in 2015. The main potential for cattle rearing appears to be in oil palm plantations where there is ample edible herbage available for grazing but the interest to participate by plantation companies are very low due to the continually profitable palm oil prices and the need to make modifications to the plantation management systems.
Apart from the above there is also niche farming activities to produce duck meat and eggs and “kampung” (village) chickens to fill small but profitable market demands. There are also a few entrepreneurs raising deer and ostriches and are often linked to tourism activities to supplement their income.
The country is a net exporter of chicken meat and eggs and is barely self sufficient in pork requirements. On the other hand the estimated level of self-sufficiency in 2015 for beef, mutton and dairy products are low at 23.50, 11.46 and 6.99 percent respectively. The main consumption requirements are filled by imports.