Last week’s sheep kill (week ending April 16) witnessed an increase on the week prior, figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) reveal.

Weekly throughput had been rising up to the week before Easter and although a strong kill was seen, it fell on the week previous to under 60,000 head.

Looking at last week’s figures in detail, 58,300 sheep were processed – a decrease of 3,678 head from the week before.

The number of hoggets slaughtered last week came to 48,683 head, which is a decrease of 6,404 head from the week prior.

Ewe and ram throughput however, witnessed an increase of 564 from the previous week, totalling 4,195 head.

Furthermore, 4,844 spring lambs were processed last week, an increase of 2,148 head on the previous week.

Week-on-week sheep kill (week ending April 16):

  • Hoggets: 48,683 head (-6,404 or -11.64%);
  • Ewes and rams: 4,759 head (+564 or +13.44%);
  • Spring lambs: 2,696 head (+2,148 or +79.67%)
  • Total: 58,300 head (-3,678 or -5.93%).

Sheep kill to date

Taking a look at this year’s throughput figures to date, 788,041 sheep have been processed so far.

Of that figure, 702,902 have been hoggets, 9,904 were spring lambs, with the rest made up of ewes and rams (75,195) and a small portion of light lambs (40 head).

Data 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 over 103,411 head; 105,596 more hoggets and 2,907 less ewes and rams have been slaughtered.

Spring lamb throughput is also up on this week last year by 772 head.

Year-on-year sheep kill changes (week ending April 16):

  • Hoggets/lambs: 702,902 head (+105,596 or +18%);
  • Ewes and rams: 75,195 head (-2,907 or -8%);
  • Spring lambs: 9,904 head (+772 or +8%);
  • Total: 788,041 head (+103,411 or +15%).