Last week’s sheep kill (week ending January 29) saw an increase of 1,271 head on the previous week, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

Looking at the figures in more detail, for the week ending January 29, 50,693 sheep were processed – a increase of 1,271 head from the week before.

Despite the increase in overall throughput for last week the number of lambs/hoggets slaughtered during the week ending January 29, actually decreased, coming to 42,650 head, which is a decrease of 672 head from the week prior.

The increase in throughput for last week was actually driven by ewes. Ewe and ram throughput saw a big lift of 1,837 head, totalling 8,034 head for the week ending January 29.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending January 29):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 42,650 head (-672 or -1.55%);
  • Ewes and rams: 8,034 head (+1,837 or +29.64%);
  • Total: 50,693 head (+1,271 or +2.57%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 196,975 sheep have been processed so far since the turn of the year.

Of that figure, 172,855 have been hoggets/lambs, with the rest being made up of ewes and rams (24,101).

If we compare figures to date this year, against the same period in 2020, we can see that the total number of sheep slaughtered is back by over 3,500 head; 2,282 fewer hoggets/lambs have been processed; and 1,286 fewer ewes and rams slaughtered as well.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending January 29):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 172,855 head (-2,282 or -1%);
  • Ewes and rams: 24,101 head (-1,286 or -5%);
  • Total: 196,975 head (-3,556 or -2%).