What is the difference between lamb and sheep?
Many people tend to have a hard time distinguishing a ewe, lamb, and sheep. But these terms are typically used to classified sheep.
The main difference between a sheep and a lamb is that a sheep tend to be one year and above while a lamb tends to be less than one year old.
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Comparison Table (Lamb vs Sheep)
|Meaning||A lamb is a young one of a sheep that is less than one year||A sheep is a ruminant mammal that is over one year of age|
|Age Range||Less than twelve months||More than twelve months|
|Food||Feed on the mother’s milk||Graze on grass|
|Type of Meat||Spring lamb meat||Mutton, Hogget or Lamb|
|Share in Livestock||Relatively Low||Relatively high|
|Group||Flock||Mobs or bands|
|Length of tail||Comparatively small||Comparatively long|
|Slaughtering Age||Four to twelve months||Over one year|
|Meat Fat||Less fat||More fat|
|Cost of Meat||Quite expensive||Quite affordable|
|Teeth||Milk teeth||Strong teeth for grazing|
|Horns||Lack of horns||Have lateral spiral horns|
|Male||Ram lamb||Ram or buck|
|Female||Ewe lamb||Ewe or Yoe|
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What Is a Lamb?
A lamb is a young one of a sheep that is less than one year old of age. The animal tends to feed mostly on the mother’s milk due to less developed teeth.
The animal is normally slaughtered at the age of four to twelve months and the meat tends to be quite expensive. Besides that, the meat is less fatty and quite tender.
Lamb has a religious value among Christians. These animals are typical indicators of the follower of Christ.
Keep in mind that the demand for lamb is comparatively high. It is quite common in Arabs and Asian countries.
What Is a Sheep?
A sheep is a ruminant mammal that is over one year of age. The animal tends to have strong teeth and they feed on grass or legumes.
The animal is normally slaughtered at the age of more than twelve months. However, the meat is less in demand and quite affordable.
The most amazing thing with sheep is that they produce a large amount of wool and have a high share in livestock.
A sheep has a religious value in Islam. It normally represents Ismail the son of Abraham during the sacrifice before the arrival of the Angel.
Read More: Difference between Ruminant and Non-Ruminant
Main Difference between Lamb and Sheep
- Lamb is less than twelve months old whereas a sheep is more than twelve months old
- The meat from the lamb is tender whereas that of sheep is gemmy
- Lamb feed on mother’s milk while sheep feed on grass
- The meat from the lamb is quite expensive while mutton is affordable
- Lamb has milk teeth whereas sheep have strong teeth
- Lamb has religious value in Christianity whereas sheep have religious value in Islam
- Meat is for lamb whereas mutton or Hogget is for sheep
- Sheep has more wool while lamb have little wool
- Sheep have long tail whereas lamb have a short tail
- A flock represent a group of lambs whereas a band or mob represent a group of sheep
Similarities between Lamb and Sheep
- Both have religious value
- Both can be domesticated
- Both raised for meat production
- Both are herbivores
- Both are on-demand
Lamb vs Sheep FAQs
Is a Lamb a Baby Sheep?
Yes. A lamb is a young one of a sheep. The animals are less than one year and depend on the mother’s milk for survival.
What Is the Difference between Lamb and Sheep Meat?
The meat of a lamb is tender while that of a sheep is gemmy and need to be stewed to tenderize. Also, meat is for lamb and mutton is for sheep.
At What Age Does A Lamb Become A Sheep?
Lamb becomes a sheep at the age of twelve months and above. It is the period lamb starts to rely on grass for survival
Is Veal A Lamb?
No. Veal comes from calves, which are young cows. Lambs are young sheep, and mutton comes from older sheep.
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The main difference between lamb and sheep is based on age. A lamb is a baby of a sheep less than one year whereas a sheep is a mature ruminant mammal which is more than one year of age.
More Sources and References
- Sheep Terminology. Sheep 101 Unit
- Lamb and Mutton. Wikipedia