Last week’s sheep kill (week ending May 7) witnessed a decrease on the week prior, as processing at factories moved back to a four-day week due to the May Bank Holiday.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal that 47,423 sheep were processed last week, representing a decrease of 13,729 head from the week before.

The number of hoggets slaughtered last week came to 26,742 head, which is a decrease of 17,162 head from the week prior.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed a decrease also, totalling 5,449 head, a decrease of 939 head on the previous week.

However, spring lamb supplies continue to rise, totalling 15,230 last week, which represents an increase of 4,371 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending May 7):

  • Hoggets: 26,742 head (-17,162 or -39.08%);
  • Ewes and rams: 5,449 head (-939 or -14.69%);
  • Spring lambs: 15,230 head (+4,371 or +40.25%);
  • Total: 47,423 head (-13,729 or -22.45%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 946,340 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 812,205 have been hoggets, 42,103 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (91,988) and a small portion of light lambs (44 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 over 134,873 head; 151,028 more hoggets have been processed, while 5,166 less ewes and rams have been slaughtered.

Spring lamb throughput remains down on this time last year by nearly 11,000 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending May 7):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 812,205 head (+151,028 or +23%);
  • Ewes and rams: 91,988 head (-5,166 or -5%);
  • Spring lambs: 42,103 head (-10,937 or -21%);
  • Total: 946,340 head (+134,873 or +17%).