Irish breeding sheep numbers increase again

Thursday, 30 September 2021

Provisional results from the Irish June Livestock Survey show that the total number of sheep in Ireland rose by 1.4% year-on-year to 5.6 million.

This growth was driven by expansion in the breeding flock, specifically ewes aged two years and over. Numbers of younger ewes also increased, but to a lesser extent.

On the other hand, numbers of “other” sheep (for slaughter) fell by 1.4% (37,000 head) to 2.7 million. All other things being equal we would have expected for there to be a rise in the number of lambs, reflecting the increase in ewes. While this may raise some questions over the accuracy of the survey, the England June survey results record a similar trend. Industry reports also suggest competition for store lambs is hot due to demand out stripping supply.

Image of staff member Hannah Clarke

Hannah Clarke

Senior Analyst (Red Meat)

See full bio

Sign up for regular updates

You can subscribe to receive Beef and Lamb market news straight to your inbox. Simply fill in your contact details on our online form.

Visit the Keep in touch page

While AHDB seeks to ensure that the information contained on this webpage is accurate at the time of publication, no warranty is given in respect of the information and data provided. You are responsible for how you use the information. To the maximum extent permitted by law, AHDB accepts no liability for loss, damage or injury howsoever caused or suffered (including that caused by negligence) directly or indirectly in relation to the information or data provided in this publication.

All intellectual property rights in the information and data on this webpage belong to or are licensed by AHDB. You are authorised to use such information for your internal business purposes only and you must not provide this information to any other third parties, including further publication of the information, or for commercial gain in any way whatsoever without the prior written permission of AHDB for each third party disclosure, publication or commercial arrangement. For more information, please see our Terms of Use and Privacy Notice or contact the Director of Corporate Affairs at  © Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board. All rights reserved.