Sheep kill jumps 14% in the space of a week

The total number of sheep slaughtered in Ireland for the week ending November 13 has jumped by almost 14% on the week before.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture show that this rise is the equivalent of about 7,300 head.

The increase in throughput can be attributed mainly to rises in both the number of lamb and cast ewes and rams going to slaughter.

Week-on-week sheep kill changes:
  • Lambs: +5,667 head or +13.4%
  • Ewes and rams: +1,636 head or +19.2%
  • Total: +7,291 head or +14.3%

Official figures show that spring lamb throughput is up by almost 13.4% or 5,667 head on the week before, while the combined ewe and ram slaughter is up by 19.2% or 1,636 head.

Source: DAFM
Source: Department of Agriculture

Much of the weekly increase can be attributed to the fact that the previous week’s data, the week ending November 6, included a bank holiday, which resulted in only four days processing in many factories.

Cumulative sheep kill

The overall sheep kill for the year-to-date remains 1% ahead of the same period in 2015, putting the overall sheep kill for the year-to-date at almost 2.3m head.

This increase is mainly due to a rise in the number of ewe and rams slaughterings this year, which currently stands at 339,895 head – a 25% increase on the same period in 2015.

A 7% increase in hogget throughput has also contributed to the overall increase, but it’s interesting to note that the cumulative lamb kill has reduced 7% year-on-year.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes:

  • Lambs: -88,096 head or -7%
  • Hoggets: +42,469 head or +7%
  • Ewes and rams: +67,020 head or +25%
  • Total: +21,356 or +1%