The weekly sheep kill increased once again last week to reach over 62,000 head, the second week in a row it has risen.

Figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) show that 62,393 sheep were processed last week (week ending December 10), which is an increase of over 2,700 head from the week prior.

Spring lamb supplies totalled 53,840 head, an increase of over 1,200 head on the previous week, while ewe and ram throughput tallied 7,734 head, increasing by over 1,000 head.

The number of hoggets processed increased to 819 head.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending December 10):

  • Hoggets: 819 head (+381 or +86.99%);
  • Ewes and rams: 7,734 head (+7,734 or +15.74%);
  • Spring lambs: 53,840 head (+53,840 or +2.43%);
  • Total: 62,393 head (+2,713 or +4.54%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,758,924 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 905,992 have been hoggets, 1,483,796 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (368,989) 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 180,000 head; nearly 208,000 more hoggets have been processed, while ewe and ram throughput is up on last year’s levels in excess of 29,000 head.

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

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending December 10):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 905,992 head (+207,944 or +30%);
  • Ewes and rams: 368,989 head (+29,111 or +9%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,483,796 head (-56,924 or -4%);
  • Total: 2,758,924 head (+180,146 or +7%).