Last week’s sheep kill (week ending March 19) fell once again, slightly, on the previous week, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

This is the fifth week in a row that throughput has fallen, however for last week this is understandable considering the short kill-week due to two the bank holidays.

Looking at last week’s figures in detail, 36,085 sheep were processed, which is a decrease of 15,645 head from the week before.

The number of hoggets slaughtered last week came to 33,222 head, which is a decrease of 14,064 head from the week prior.

Ewe and ram throughput fell from the previous week by 2,187 head, totalling 2,308 head.

Furthermore, 554 spring lambs were processed last week, which was also the first week of 2022 to see official figures for spring lambs.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending March 19):

  • Hoggets: 33,222 head (-14,064 or -29.74%);
  • Ewes and rams: 2,308 head (-2,187 or -48.65%);
  • Spring lambs: 554 head;
  • Total: 36,085 head (-15,645 or -30.24%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 554,077 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 495,670 have been hoggets, 554 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (57,821) and a small portion of light lambs (25 head).

Source: DAFM

If we compare figures to date this year, against the same period in 2021, we can see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is up by over 47,426 head; 48,739 more hoggets and 1,825 less ewes and rams have been slaughtered.

Spring lamb throughput is also up every so slightly on this week last year.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending March 19):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 495,670 head (+48,739 or +11%);
  • Ewes and rams: 57,821 head (-1,825 or -3%);
  • Total: 554,077 head (+47,426 or +9%).