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What’s the Difference Between a Lamb and a Goat?

What’s the Difference Between a Lamb and a Goat?

Both goat and lamb belong to the animal family known as Bovidae and are members of the same subfamily called Caprinae. The difference between them is that a goat’s genus is Capra and the genus of a lamb is Ovis.

Goats and lambs are both reared for many purposes, to fulfill the need for food, clothes, and also shelter. Goat hides were used to make leather goods to use as a shelter in ancient times.

One animal has many types and for every type, there is a different name. The different breeds of one animal change everything about it, even though they come from the same family. A fun fact about animals is that animals from different countries cannot understand each other, the sound that they make might seem the same to us but they don’t understand what the other animal is saying. For example, a goat that was born and grown in Spain, wouldn’t understand the goat that was born and grown in America.

Animals are also eaten, well not all of them, most eaten animals all over the world are, goats, lambs, and cows.

Goats and lambs might seem the same at first, they both do carry a few of the same characteristics, like both have hooves and consumes the same diet. Despite these similarities, goat and lamb have very different aspects that set them apart from each other.

A video that explains the differences between a goat and a lamb perfectly, have a look at it.

To know more, keep reading.

Is a lamb and goat the same thing?

A hoard of sheeps

Lamb and goat come from the same family but are completely different species. The genus of the goat is Capra and the lamb genus is called Ovis which makes them different. In appearance, they do seem somewhat same at the first glance, because they both have some similar characteristics appearance-wise.

  • Meat.

If we talk about the meat of goat and lamb, meat from both of them is called red meat. This meat is enjoyed by people all over the world.

The meat from goats is much more expensive than lamb’s, it also contains more nutrients and has a lower rate of cholesterol. The goat meat is thick as it has less fat and because of that, most people don’t prefer it. Lamb meat is tender and juicy which makes it easy to eat, as there won’t be much chewing involved.

  • Skin.

The skin of lamb and goat might seem similar but are different, goatskin is heavier than lambskin and provides better insulation. Although lambskin is lighter, supple, and thin, it is perfect for comfortable garments.

  • Leather.

Leather can also be made from goat and lambskin. Goat hide is thick and durable; therefore it is said to be a better choice economically. Goat and lamb leather can be distinguished easily because goat leather has a fine grain texture and because it is thick, it is water-resistant, whereas lamb is thin and delicate and can absorb water.

Is a lamb a sheep or goat?

Two white sheeps

Lamb and goat are completely different species, but a sheep is similar to one of them. Sheep is a lamb, before the age of one year, a sheep is called a lamb and when it passes the age of one year, it becomes a sheep. A lamb is basically a young sheep, it comes from the same family and genus.

Nonetheless, a lamb or a sheep is not a goat, a goat is a whole different species, its skin and meat are also different than a lamb’s or sheep.

The names of sheep meat vary with its age, a year-old sheep is called a lamb and its meat is also called a lamb, sheep meat from its second year is called hogget, and older sheep meat is known as mutton.

How can you tell a lamb from a goat?

You can tell a goat from a lamb just by looking at its tails and horns. Goats usually have horns and short tails whereas a lamb has no horns and a slightly longer tail.

All animals have different characteristics if we talk about appearance, even if they are from the same family. There are things about every animal which can help in distinguishing them from another animal of the same family but different species. In the case of goats and lambs, there are small details that can differentiate them from one another.

Two goats

Goats and lambs do look similar when seen from a particular distance, but they have a lot of different aspects in appearance.

  • Horns

Sheep mostly don’t have horns, but those that do, their horns are curled round to the sides of their heads. Most of the goats have horns, their horns are directed upwards and slightly backward.

  • Tail

Goats have short tails which point upwards, but when the goat is scared or ill, its tail points downwards. Most sheep are born with a long tail that is upwards but is cut short because of sanitary reasons. Blowflies lay eggs at the back of the sheep which hatch into maggots and then they feed on the sheep it can be fatal. Although, some sheep are born with short tails which are also pointed downwards.

  • Fur

Fur is the biggest and most visible difference between a goat and a sheep. If you pay attention to their fur, a goat’s fur is finely thin which is why a goat looks thinner, whereas a sheep’s fur is thick and quite a lot which makes the sheep look fat, even though it is the same size as a goat underneath that fur.

  • Height

A goat and a sheep look the same but as they can be differentiated from their tails, fur, or horns, there is another aspect that can help you distinguish them. A goat is quite tall if compared to sheep, they both will stop growing in height at a specific age but a sheep will be somewhat shorter than a goat.

Which meat is better: lamb or goat?

Meat with leaves around it

Goat meat has a higher quantity of iron and potassium as compared to lamb meat. Moreover, goat meat contains less amount of sodium, fat, and cholesterol. And a lot of cholesterol is not supposed to be healthy for the human heart so goat meat will be a better option for you.

Goat and lamb meat are both different, both types of meat are flavourful and fall under the same category called red meat and all people have their preferences but if we talk about which is better in a nutritional way, that’s a whole different subject.

Here is a table for the differences between goat and lamb meat.

Goat meatLamb meat
It has large quantities of iron.lamb meat has less iron.
It has less cholesterol which makes it tough and hard.It has a high quantity of fat which makes it tender and easy to chew.
The goat meat color ranges from bright to light pink. Lamb meat color varies from bright pink to red.
Goat meat is more expensive because of its nutritional value.It is cheaper than goat meat.

To Conclude

The goat and lamb are from the same family but the genus is different, the goat genus is Capra, and the lamb genus is called Ovis.

The goat and lamb are not the same, although a sheep is a lamb, a year-old sheep is called a lamb and its meat is also called lamb. A two-year-old sheep’s meat is called hogget and older than two years sheep’s meat is called mutton.

The goat meat and lamb meat fall under the same category which is called red meat. The goat meat has much more quantities of iron and potassium as compared to lamb meat. Goat meat has less amount of cholesterol and sodium.

A goat and a sheep can be differentiated from one another, the tails of goats are pointed upwards, whereas a sheep’s tail is short and pointed downwards. Tails of sheep are docked when they are born because of sanitary reasons, flies lay their eggs around the tail that hatch into flesh-eating maggots which are fatal to sheep.

The fur of the sheep and goat is different too, sheep fur is thick and slightly wavy and goat fur is thin and less as compared to sheep fur. Horns of sheep are curled to the sides of their heads and goat horns are pointed upwards and slightly back. Furthermore, there is a height difference, the goat is somewhat taller than a sheep.

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