Generally the vast majority of poor households in developing countries live in the rural areas and heavily rely on agriculture and agricultural assets for their livelihoods. Vietnam gives evidence of the same patterns whereby 90 percent of the poor live in rural areas and more than 80 percent of the households are involved in the agricultural sector. The analysis presented in this paper focuses specifically on the link between poverty and livestock in Vietnam with the aim of evaluating how livestock contributes to household income and the role livestock plays for poor households. In this context, better understanding the link between livestock and the poor will allow more specific targeting of this group of the population through policies that promote livestock, with the final aim of improving their living standards and identifying a possible route out of poverty. A household typology approach and some econometric analysis are used to gain a better understanding of income profiles and household's livelihood structures. Results of the analysis illustrate the contribution of livestock ownership to household income and how income levels vary across a spectrum based on market integration and reliance on agriculture. Livestock ownership, production efficiency, market integration and income diversification are found to be important factors in income level differences. Policy propositions are provided.