The weekly sheep kill increased last week to reach nearly 60,000 head, after two consecutive weeks of supplies falling.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 59,680 sheep were processed last week (week ending December 3), which is an increase of over 6,000 head from the week prior.

Spring lamb supplies totalled 52,560 head, an increase of over 6,000 head on the previous week, while ewe and ram throughput tallied 6,682 head, remaining relatively steady on the week prior.

The number of hoggets processed decreased to 438 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending December 3):

  • Hoggets: 438 head (-51 or -10.42%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,682 head (-67 or -0.99%);
  • Spring lambs: 52,560 head (+6,261 or +13.52%);
  • Total: 59,680 head (+6,137 or +11.46%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,696,531 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 905,173 have been hoggets, 1,429,956 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (361,255) and a small portion of light lambs (147 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 177,000 head; over 207,000 more hoggets have been processed, while ewe and ram throughput is up on last year’s levels in excess of 27,000 head.

Spring lamb throughput remains behind on this time last year by just over 57,000 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending December 3):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 905,173 head (+207,161 or +30%);
  • Ewes and rams: 361,255 head (+27,139 or +8%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,429,956 head (-57,133 or -4%);
  • Total: 2,696,531 head (+177,185 or +7%).