Difference Between Lamb vs Sheep

Difference Between Lamb vs Sheep

For centuries, humans have learned to live with animals. Indeed, this age-long relationship stems from the fact that animals are useful in our everyday lives. Well, some animals are good for security, company (pets), hunting, etc. It goes without saying that most of them serve as good sources of food (milk and meat) and hides.

If you wish to learn more about animals, you should be able to spot the difference between lamb and sheep. No doubt, this is one of the challenges that many people have. If you find it hard to tell which is which, this guide will solve that problem in no time. We will start off this guide with the definitions.

Definition of Lamb

A lamb is a word used to describe a sheep that is up to one year old and the meat from a lamb. Most lambs are reared for their meat. When it is up to six months in age, this mammal depends on milk for daily feeding. Indeed, people consume the meat because it is delicious and serves as a rich source of protein.

Lamb is a healthy source of protein. A taste of the meat shows that it is mild and tender. Concerning the color, it ranges from light to dark pink. As you would expect, it contains a significant amount of fat. Basically, three main kinds of meat are derived from lamb.

These are hindquarter, loin, and the forequarter. Looking at the sources, the forequarter comes from the short loin. The hindquarter comprises the shoulder, neck, and leg. On the other hand, the loin is the meat that comes from the ribs and hips. Now, before dissecting the difference between sheep and lamb, let us discuss the former in detail.

Definition of Sheep

A sheep is an animal that belongs to the Ovis aries species. As a ruminant mammal, people often rear it to eat it. The meat that comes from it is known as mutton. Given the impressive quantities of milk and meat that come from the animal, it is a very popular type of livestock.

For anyone to enjoy its meat, it has to be cooked on a skewer to make it tender. The reason the step must be taken is that the meat of an adult sheep is tougher than some other meats.

To take care of the animal demands more effort because it has a woolly coat. In other words, you have to comb and shear it frequently. The demand for its wool is on the rise because it serves as a warm, durable, and aesthetically appealing material for clothing. Wool has been used throughout human history for clothing.

It is noteworthy that sheep require additional attention because they have health and sanitary issues, but this is well worth the reward. Interestingly, sheep dogs are often used to assist in herding sheep. According to zoologists, the mammal can live for over a decade.  

Main Differences Between Lamb vs Sheep

The table below explains more details of the sheep vs lamb discussion.

Basis of comparisonLambSheep  
GroupA group of them is known as a flockA group is known as a mob, flock, or band
AgeThis is a young sheepThis is the adult Ovis aries species
MeatThe meat is also called lambThe meat is known as mutton 
Market demand The market demand for its meat is highThe market demand for its meat is low
FoodMilkMostly legumes and grasses
Coat texture This is not woollyIt is very woolly
Tail lengthThe tail length is shortThe tail length is long
Meat tendernessIt is more tenderIt is less tender

Difference Between Lamb and Sheep: Conclusion

To conclude this well-researched guide, you have now seen how the two differ. Indeed, this guide on lamb vs sheep will be incomplete without mentioning the primary distinction between them.

While the former is between approximately 0 and 12 months old, the latter is the adult mammal. Finally, they have other differences that we examined above like their name, woolliness, meat tenderness, diet, etc. Now, you can identify the difference between these two.