In last week’s sheep kill (week ending Sunday, October 8) over 62,000 sheep were processed, according to the latest figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).

Figures show that 62,538 sheep were processed last week, which is an increase of 3,022 head from the week prior.

Spring lamb supplies increased by 3,188 on the previous week, while supplies of ewes, rams and hoggets all decreased.

The table below gives an overview of the sheep kill for the week ending Sunday, October 8, (week 40) and the cumulative kill to date this year compared to the same time period in 2022:

week 40
2023 cumulative2022 weekly2022 cumulativeWeekly
Cumulative difference23 vs. 22 % weekly difference23 vs. 22 % cumulative difference
Spring Lambs52,391 956,59152,784 1,031,081-393-74,490-1%-7%
Ewes and Rams9,943 248,36011,447 287,422-1,504-39,062-13%-14%
Light Lambs3137211811950%16%
Source: DAFM

If we compare figures to date this year against the same period in 2022, we see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is behind by 33,326 head; 80,207 more hoggets have been processed, while ewe and ram throughput is behind on last year’s levels by nearly 40,000 head.

The cumulative spring lamb throughput remains behind on this time last year by nearly 75,000 head, while the difference in slaughter figures from week 40 in 2023 shows that there were 393 fewer spring lambs slaughtered than the corresponding week in 2022.

Source: DAFM

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,186,050 have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 980,962 have been hoggets, 956,591 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (248,360) and a small portion of light lambs (137 head).