16 Difference Between Lamb And Sheep (With Pictures)

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Sheep

Sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated, and they are raised all over the world. They are generally domesticated for their meat, milk and wool. The sheep is usually stockier than its relative the goat. A sheep’s meat in its first year is called a lamb whereas in its second year is referred to as hogget. Older sheep meat is referred to as Mutton. Mutton is deep red in color and has a stronger flavor and more open texture. It is also much fattier than lamb meat.   

Sheep are only plant eaters and they flock together in large numbers and run away from predators. Like all ruminants, they have multi-chambered stomachs that are adapted to ferment cellulose before digestion. To completely digest their food, sheep will regurgitate their food into their mouths, rechew and swallow. This regurgitated food is called cud. Sheep prefer grazing on grass, legume vegetation and clover, though they will also consume high, coarse or brushy plants as well. They like to graze close to the soil surface.

Male sheep is referred to as ram, the female ewe while immature sheep is called lamb. A mature sheep weigh from about 30 to 100Kg. Sheep prefer to move into the wind and uphill than down wind and downhill. Sheep are also very selective in their grazing habits and their smell is important for them. Sheep have a split in their upper lip, with which they are able to pick the preferred grass or leaves of the plant.

Most breeds of domesticated sheep produce wool, while a few produce only hair and wild sheep grow a combination of wool and hair. Breeds of sheep having fine wool are generally raised for wool production alone, while breeds with medium or long wool or with only hair are generally raised for meat production.

What You Need To Know About Sheep

  • Sheep is actually a term for a woolly ruminant mammal, member of family Ovis aries, that is over one year of age. It is also referred to as adult sheep.
  • A sheep’s meat in its first year is called a lamb whereas in its second year is referred to as hogget. Older sheep meat is referred to as Mutton. Mutton is deep red in color and has a stronger flavor and more open texture. It is also much fattier than lamb meat.   
  • Sheep’s tails is relatively large when compared to that of the sheep. Sheep’s tails hang down and often docked (shortened).
  • The sheep is stockier than lamb.
  • Many breeds of sheep are naturally hornless; some have manes while some have horns.
  • Sheep have a stronger flocking instinct and become very agitated if they are separated from the rest of the flock.
  • Mature sheep weighs between 30 Kg to 100kg.
  • Sheep are easier to handle than lambs.  
  • Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grasses, legume vegetation and clover. They like to graze close to the soil surface.
  • A sheep could either be male or female. A male sheep is referred to as a ram whereas the female is called ewe.
  • Rams are physically bigger and stronger compared to female (ewes). They are also more aggressive.
  • The horned rams have longer horns compared to horned ewes.  
  • Sheep leather is also referred to as lamb leather and is used for making book covers, leather accessories and it can be sturdy, and therefore it is also sometimes used in making furniture.
  • Generally, mature sheep have a full set of teeth, in other words, a sheep has more teeth than a lamb.
  • The hides of sheep are referred to as sheepskin. Sheepskin is comparatively harder than lambskin.
  • Sheep has a fleece- curly, crimped fur all over their body except for their face.
  • Sheep smell and tend to attract parasites such as lice and ringworms.
  • Sheep have fleece that requires to be sheared regularly at least twice a year.

Lamb

A lamb is the name given to a young sheep up until one year of age. The word lamb is also used to describe the meat of a sheep less than one year old. Lamb meat is pink to pale red in color and is generally lean. There are many local terms for lambs of different ages and conditions, such as hogget, shearling, teg, gimmer, yearling, weaner, slinker etc.  

Lambs mature into sheep at about one year of age and many breed when they reach the age of about one and a half years. When the lambs approach a year of age, they are often as big as the adults, but there is always a difference in the wool. The wool of a lamb is softer and less coarse than the wool of adult sheep. Lamb leather is used for apparel because of its smoothness and softness. It is used for making jackets, coats, pants and dresses etc.

Lambs form strong bonds with their mothers and are very protective. They have good senses, in that they can scan their surroundings with few movements of their head and do this even when grazing, and they can relocate a sound very precisely. The lambs can identify their mother by her bleat. They also like to stay with the flock and get lost easily when separated from other lambs or sheep. Lambs prefer suckling and creep feed than eating grasses and clover. The lambs stop suckling and begin to graze at about four or five month of age.

Lambs generally walk just minutes after they are born, though they are often dependent on their mothers for the first four to six month of their lives. They are weaned around four to six month and become sexually mature around two to five years, depending on species and gender.

What You Need To Know About Lamb

  • A lamb is a young sheep typically less than a year, also used as the name of meat from a young sheep. It is also referred to as younger sheep.
  • The word lamb is also used to describe the meat of a sheep less than one year old. Lamb meat is pink to pale red in color and is generally lean.  
  • Lamb tails are small and usually docked (shortened).
  • Lambs are generally hornless (polled).
  • Lambs like to stay with the flock and get lost easily when separated from other lambs or sheep.
  • A lamb can weigh between 8 Kg to 12 Kg.  
  • Lambs are difficult to handle than sheep.
  • The lambs stop suckling and begin to graze at about four or five months of age.
  • Lambs prefer suckling and creep feed than eating grasses and clover.
  • A male lamb is referred to as a ram lamb whereas the female lamb is referred to as ewe lamb.
  • Lamb leather is used for apparel because of its smoothness and softness. It is used for making jackets, coats, pants and dresses etc.
  • Lambs mature into sheep at about one year of age and many breed when they reach the age of about one and a half years.
  • Lamb generally has fewer teeth when compared to the sheep.
  • The hides of lambs are generally referred to as lambskin. Lamb skin is comparatively softer than sheepskin.
  • Lambs are less smelly and tend to become infected with stomach worms.
  • Lambs have fleece that does not require to be sheared regularly.
  • Lamb meat is fresher and tender than mutton. It is also more expensive when compared to mutton.
  • Lambs form strong bonds with their mothers and are very protective. The lambs can identify their mother by her bleat.

Also Read: Difference Deer And Reindeer

Difference Between Lamb And Sheep In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON SHEEP LAMB
Description Sheep is actually a term for a woolly ruminant mammal, member of family Ovis aries that is over one year of age. It is also referred to as adult sheep.   A lamb is a young sheep typically less than a year.  
Alternative Name It is also referred to as adult sheep. It is also referred to as younger sheep.
Meat Sheep meat is referred to as mutton. Lamb meat is referred to as lamb.
Meat Color Mutton is deep red in color. Lamb meat is pink to pale red in color.  
Tail Sheep’s tails is relatively large when compared to that of the lamb. Lamb tails are small and usually docked (shortened).  
Horns Many breeds of sheep are naturally hornless; some have manes while some have horns.   Lambs are generally hornless (polled).  
Behavior Sheep have a stronger flocking instinct and become very agitated if they are separated from the rest of the flock.   Lambs like to stay with the flock and get lost easily when separated from other lambs or sheep.  
Weight Mature sheep weighs between 30 Kg to 100kg.   A lamb can weigh between 8 Kg to 12 Kg.    
Handling Sheep are easier to handle than lambs.     Lambs are difficult to handle than sheep.  
Feeding Sheep are grazers, preferring to eat short, tender grasses, legume vegetation and clover. Lambs prefer suckling and creep feed than eating grasses and clover.  
Eating Behavior They like to graze close to the soil surface.   The lambs stop suckling and begin to graze at about four or five months of age.  
Male & Female Names A male sheep is referred to as a ram whereas the female is called ewe.   A male lamb is referred to as a ram lamb whereas the female lamb is referred to as ewe lamb.  
Leather Sheep leather is used for making book covers, leather accessories and it can be sturdy, and therefore it is also sometimes used in making furniture.   Lamb leather is used for apparel because of its smoothness and softness. It is used for making jackets, coats, pants and dresses etc.  
Teeth A mature sheep have a full set of teeth, in other words, a sheep has more teeth than a lamb.   Lamb generally has fewer teeth when compared to the sheep.  
Skin Sheepskin is comparatively harder than lambskin.   Lamb skin is comparatively softer than sheepskin.  
Smell Sheep smell and tend to attract parasites such as lice and ringworms.   Lambs are less smelly and tend to become infected with stomach worms.  
Regular Fleece Shearing Sheep have fleece that requires to be sheared regularly at least twice a year.   Lambs have fleece that does not require to be sheared regularly.