Last week’s sheep kill (week ending December 18) saw an increase of 1,071 head on the previous week, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

Once again, albeit not as big of an increase as the week before, throughput is on the rise again – which saw last week’s kill breach the 60,000 head mark.

Looking at the figures in more detail for the week ending December 18, 60,503 sheep were processed – an increase of 1,071 head from the week before.

The number of lambs slaughtered during the week ending December 18, came to 53,760 head, which is a slight increase of 129 head from the week previous.

Ewe and ram throughput witnessed an increase of 944 head, totalling 6,706 head for the week ending December 18.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending December 18):

  • Hoggets: 36 head (0 or 0%);
  • Ewes and rams: 6,706 head (-432 or -6.97%);
  • Spring lambs: 53,760 head (+129 or +0.24%);
  • Total: 60,503 head (+1,071 or +1.80%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 2,639,281 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 698,084 have been hoggets; lambs comprised 1,594,480; with the rest being made up of ewes and rams (346,584).

Source: DAFM

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 109,568 head; 94,062 fewer hoggets have been processed; and 26,531 fewer ewes and rams were slaughtered as well.

Spring lamb throughput is up on the same period in 2020 by 10,957 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending December 18):

  • Hoggets: 698,084 head (-94,062 or -12%);
  • Spring lambs: 1,594,480 head (+10,957 or 1%);
  • Ewes and rams: 346,584 head (-26,531 or -7%);
  • Total: 2,639,281 head (-109,568 or -4%).