11/13/2012

Lamb, Sheep, Goat – What's the difference?


Lamb sheep and goats


We are familiar with lambs, sheep and goats, but then again there are so many things we are not sure of them. At a mealtime conversation, the curious case of mutton came up and after some research, explained.

Firstly, what is their meat called?


Loosely speaking, all 3 can be considered as Mutton.
Depending on your place, only sheep meat is considered as mutton, while lamb meat is known as lamb meat. Goat meat can be called mutton but is technically not correct. It is known as chevon in countries like France and Belgium.

If they are all called mutton, what’s the difference between their meat?


Age.

The lamb is the young of the sheep (12 months and below). The meat is much more tender than mutton, and probably reasons why we have lamb chops rather than mutton chops.
Mutton on the other hand, is much tougher than lamb meat, and has a stronger taste. They are used for stews and soups.

Whats the difference between lamb, sheep and goat ?


As previously mentioned, the lamb is the young of the sheep, and thus we are actually looking only at the difference between 2 animals here – the sheep and the goat.

Biologically, the goat has 60 chromosomes while the sheep has 54 chromosomes. 

Goats are hardworking, they eat twigs, leaves from the top of the plants. Sheep on the other hand are grazers. 

Interestingly, we refer goats as start-ups - being agile and hardworking, while sheep are the lazy man on the streets. 

Another key difference is that the tail of the goat often goes up unless stressed, while the tail of the sheep is always down.  

The goat goes “baa” while the sheep makes the sound “meh…”

.... For more interesting trivia like this, check out my other posts


[Update Jan 19 2014 BY POPULAR DEMAND: Whats the difference between the Ox, Cow and the Bull? Discover the answer here!]

7 comments:

  1. Besides, the sheep and goat, what about the ram?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your post.

      A ram is actually a male sheep! So it still boils down to the difference between the sheep and the goat.

      Delete
  2. In English both Goat and Sheep meat are called mutton

    ReplyDelete
  3. If you are eating mutton you can technically be eating either goat or sheep. In recent years and through lack of education people have been referring to just sheep meat as mutton, the way to identify the difference is that when cooked, sheep meat is pinker than goat meat. But MUTTON is both sheep and goat meat.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If you are eating mutton you can technically be eating either goat or sheep. In recent years and through lack of education people have been referring to just sheep meat as mutton, the way to identify the difference is that when cooked, sheep meat is pinker than goat meat. But MUTTON is both sheep and goat meat.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The reason you don't say Mutton Chops is because it can also be goat meat and it's a way to identify one from the other. Stew mutton can be a combination of both goat and lamb meat. Saying stew lam is a much nicer word than saying stew sheep. Stew goat is just goat. But when ever you hear stew mutton it can be a combination of either goat or sheep so don't be fool into thinking that mutton is only sheep because that is JUST NOT TRUE!!!!

    ReplyDelete

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