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?
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!]