Last week’s sheep kill (week ending May 28) witnessed a marginal decrease on the week prior, once again, but saw spring lamb throughput continue to march forward.

Supplies of hoggets continue to get smaller with last week being no different.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 48,669 sheep were processed last week, representing a very small decrease of 132 head from the week before.

The number of hoggets, as mentioned, continue to decline quite quickly, with 13,354 head slaughtered last week; this is a decrease of 3,209 head from the week prior.

Ewe and ram throughput edged back again, witnessing a decrease last week of 301 head and totalling 6,088 head.

However, spring lamb supplies continue to rise, totalling 29,217 last week, which represents an increase of 3,293 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending May 28):

  • Hoggets: 13,354 head (-3,209 or -19.37%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,088 head (-221 or -3.5%);
  • Spring lambs: 29,217 head (+3,293 or +12.7%);
  • Total: 48,669 head (-132 or -0.27%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 1,092,853 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 865,457 have been hoggets, 116,338 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (110,995) and a small portion of light lambs (63 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 144,000 head; 179,390 more hoggets have been processed, while 5,592 fewer ewes and rams have been slaughtered.

Spring lamb throughput remains down on this time last year by nearly 30,000 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending May 28):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 865,457 head (+179,390 or +26%);
  • Ewes and rams: 116,338 head (-5,592 or -5%);
  • Spring lambs: 110,995 head (-29,677 or -20%);
  • Total: 1,092,853 head (+144,082 or +15%).