Last week’s sheep kill was back over 4,000 head on the week before, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine (DAFM) are showing.

Last week’s kill (for the week ending April 11) came to 37,957 head, which was a drop of 4,397 head on the week before.

The number of hoggets processed amounted to 31,435 head – back 4,991 head on the previous week.

The number of spring lambs slaughtered at meat processing plants, however, saw an increase of 1,107 head to 2,497 head.

Ewe and ram throughput, similar to the hoggets, saw a decline of 510 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill supplies (week ending April 11):
  • Hoggets: 31,435 head (-4,991 or -13.7%);
  • Ewes and rams: 4,022 head (-371 or -11.25%);
  • Spring lambs: 2,497 head (+1,107 or +79.6%);
  • Total: 37,957 head (-4,397 or -10.4%).

Looking at throughput figures to date, 636,808 sheep have been processed thus far.

Of that figure, 559,733 head have been hoggets, while 3,887 have consisted of spring lambs.

Data source: DAFM

Ewe and ram throughput makes up the rest – at 73,103 head.

If we compare figures to date this year, against the same period in 2020, we can see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is back 56,054 head.

46,952 less hoggets have been processed to date in comparsion to the same period last year.

Nearly 11,000 fewer ewes and rams have been slaughtered as well, with only spring lamb throughput seeing an increase on this time last year – up 1,534 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending April 11):
  • Lambs/hoggets: 559,733 head (-46,952 or -8%);
  • Spring lambs: 3,887 head (+1,534 or +65%);
  • Ewes and rams: 73,103 head (-10,703 or -13%);
  • Total: 636,808 head (-56,054 or -8%).