What Is the Difference Between a Lamb and a Sheep?

It can be a little confusing to understand the differences between sheep and lambs, since most people use the terms interchangeably! Well go over the key differences between sheep and lambs, so you can easily tell which is which.

Mature sheep have a full set of teeth, generally a more filled out body and are taller than lambs of the same breed. Mature sheep will also have a more balanced look to their body as a whole, whereas young lambs look out of proportion, they are gangly and all legs.

Rams tend to be a bit larger than the ewes and have a wider forehead, more masculine appearance to their features and a scrotum (most easily seen when viewed from behind the sheep). The mutton tastes more like the full flavored meat that they grew up eating back home. We have noticed that a carcass of a full size sheep, over a year old, will yield much more meat than that of a younger lamb.

Here is a link to an article I wrote explaining the differences between lamb meat and mutton if you want to learn more. Grass fed only lambs is great for the animals, but as mentioned above it will take a bit longer than supplementing with feed. Lambs are finished when they have filled out their frame (bone structure) with a good amount of muscle and they have a covering of fat on their bodies.

They look alert and spunky and have a chunky body even though they are a smaller size lamb, about 50-60 pounds live weight. Lambs raised for meat are kept for 6 months or so generally, however that depends upon the genetics of the sheep and the farming system being used.

Is a lamb and a sheep the same thing?

Lamb, hogget, and mutton, generically sheep meat, are the meat of domestic sheep, Ovis aries. A sheep in its first year is a lamb and its meat is also lamb. The meat from sheep in their second year is hogget. Older sheep meat is mutton.

Why do we eat lamb but not sheep?

The meat from a lamb is tenderer as compared to the meat obtained from an adult sheep. On the other hand, mutton has more flavor. For most people that enjoy eating whole cuts like roasts and chops, lamb does the trick. It is mainly because of the tenderness of meat obtained from lambs.

Sheep were one of the first animals to be domesticated and are still prized today for their abundant supply of wool, milk, and meat. Today, there are over one billion sheep being grazed in various parts of the world, most notably China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and India. For a layman, it might be difficult to tell the difference between a sheep and lamb, but for a sheep farmer, the differences are numerous and important for turning a profit on their farming venture.

Once the first pair of incisors erupt, the lamb stops feeding on milk, beginss grazing and is then termed a sheep. Summary:
1.Sheep are the general name given to the species Ovis aries and lambs are a subcategory of sheep denoting young sucklings.

3.Sheep feed on grass and legumes whereas lambs drink a high fat diet consisting of their mothers milk.

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 mothers milk due to less developed teeth.

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. Basic Terms LambSheep MeaningA lamb is a young one of a sheep that is less than one yearA sheep is a ruminant mammal that is over one year of ageAge RangeLess than twelve monthsMore than twelve monthsFoodFeed on the mothers milkGraze on grassType of MeatSpring lamb meatMutton, Hogget or LambReligious ValueChristianityIslamMeat TasteTenderGemmyMeat DemandHighLowShare in LivestockRelatively LowRelatively highGroupFlockMobs or bandsSpeciesSub-speciesMain speciesWool productionLessMoreLength of tailComparatively smallComparatively longSlaughtering AgeFour to twelve monthsOver one yearMeat FatLess fatMore fatCost of MeatQuite expensiveQuite affordableTeethMilk teethStrong teeth for grazingHornsLack of hornsHave lateral spiral hornsMaleRam lambRam or buckFemaleEwe lambEwe or Yoe A lamb is a young one of a sheep that is less than one year old of age.

The animal is normally slaughtered at the age of four to twelve months and the meat tends to be quite expensive. These animals are typical indicators of the follower of Christ. Keep in mind that the demand for lamb is comparatively high.

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.

The most amazing thing with sheep is that they produce a large amount of wool and have a high share in livestock. It normally represents Ismail the son of Abraham during the sacrifice before the arrival of the Angel. 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 mothers 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

Both have religious value Both can be domesticated Both raised for meat production Both are herbivores Both are on-demand The animals are less than one year and depend on the mothers milk for survival. What Is the Difference between Lamb and Sheep Meat?

Also, meat is for lamb and mutton is for 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

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.

Meat from mature sheep is called mutton

Mature sheep include ewes, rams and sometimes wethers (in the cases of sheep with very valuable wool or pets) that are over one year of age.Mature sheep have a full set of teeth, generally a more filled out body and are taller than lambs of the same breed. Mature sheep will also have a more balanced look to their body as a whole, whereas young lambs look out of proportion, they are gangly and all legs.The job of a mature sheep both male and female is reproduction. These sheep are kept to produce the next year’s lamb crop.In mature sheep:Mature sheep will generally flock well, some breeds more than others, and will want to stay with the group. Moving a group of mature sheep is easier than moving lambs since lambs do not flock well.

Characteristics of a lamb

Young lambs are uncoordinated and lanky. Quickly they start to grow and get good coordination and become really fast. As they grow they get more muscle and will grow into their legs, the legs will look to be proportional now.Lambs are spunky and quick, but don’t flock up well like the adults. Moving a group of weaned lambs is not as easy as moving a group of adults, they just behave a little differently. Moving a group of young lambs, like when the moms go to a new pasture and a few babies get left behind, that is hard. They do not flock up at all, (a frustrating experience to say the least).

How fast lambs grow

Lambs that are fed on grass only will finish out (reach market weight) slower than lambs that have access to creep feed. If you have a limited pasture available and are already rotating pastures using a high stocking rate (lots of animals per acre) consider creep feeding the lambs. Creep feeding the lambs means giving them supplemental feed which will make the pasture you have last longer.Grass fed only lambs is great for the animals, but as mentioned above it will take a bit longer than supplementing with feed. Forage feeding only is the traditional way to feed ruminants, having the lambs at finishing weight around 8 months, depending upon the forage available.The genetics of the flock, especially the ram since he is genetically half of every lamb, will greatly influence how fast the lambs grow. Meat breed sheep will also grow faster than wool breed sheep. Additionally, a hybrid (cross bred) lamb will grow faster and generally be more vigorous than a purebred lamb.

When do lambs reach market weight

Most lambs reach market weight at 6 months of age. The weight depends upon breed and feeding conditions, so anywhere from 80-110 pounds live weight. Once again this depends greatly upon breed and the conditions in which the lambs are raised.Lambs are finished when they have filled out their frame (bone structure) with a good amount of muscle and they have a covering of fat on their bodies.Some breeds tend to finish out early and at a smaller size like Cheviots. At the livestock auction we normally go to when the pen of Cheviot lambs come through they always get top dollar. They look alert and spunky and have a chunky body even though they are a smaller size lamb, about 50-60 pounds live weight.Other breeds of sheep like most of the wool breeds and the bigger framed meat breeds finish at higher weights. These breeds put on frame first then need time to put on the muscling to fill out the frame, meaning they will be a larger lamb when they reach finished body condition.

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.

Lamb vs Sheep FAQs

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.
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.
Lamb becomes a sheep at the age of twelve months and above. It is the period lamb starts to rely on grass for survival
No. Veal comes from calves, which are young cows. Lambs are young sheep, and mutton comes from older sheep.