Difference Between Lamb and Sheep

Difference Between Lamb and Sheep

The difference between lamb and sheep can be differentiate easily but only when you know it. If you ask this question from non-expert or laymen, it might be difficult to tell the difference between a sheep and lamb but for a sheep farmer, it won’t be a big deal at all.

What is Sheep?

Sheep is a woolen hypothetical mammal related to the goat whereas lamb is a young sheep that is under one year of age. So, you see the only difference between lamb and sheep is their age. Moreover, meat of lamb is very moist and tender and in many countries, it’s favored over sheep meat.

Sheep was one of the first animals to be house-trained. It is still valued today for supply of wool, milk and meat. There are almost one billion sheep being grazed and eaten in many parts of the world. Sheep refer to the types Ovis aries. They are ruminants, quadrupeds (four-footed animal) and mammals.

What is Lamb?

As mentioned earlier that the lambs refer to young sheep that are less than one-year-old. Knowing the sheep age is really important for a sheep farmer to maximize his profits. Both lambs and sheep can be slaughtered for food but lamb meat makes a much higher price than sheep meat. It is known as mutton.

As sheep are ruminants so they are strict herbivores that graze on a variety of grasses. Mature sheep have eight-pointed teeth. Every year after birth a pair of them go off ’til all eight are in place. This makes sure that for the first four years a sheep is going to eat solid food.

It at all times has a pair of sharp teeth to cut off the grass. Lambs are born with milk teeth that aren’t strong enough to offer them nourishment through grazing. Lambs feed their mother’s milk. Sheep milk has a high fat and lactose content which is very good for promoting growth.

Once the first pair of teeth break out, the lamb stops feeding milk and starts grazing and is then named a sheep.


Sheep are the overall name given to the species Ovis aries and lambs are a subcategory of sheep.

Lamb is a young sheep that is under one year of age. Its meat is more tender and desirable than sheep meat or mutton.

Sheep meat can be categorised as lamb until the sheep’s first birthday.

Sheep eat grass and legumes while lambs drink their mother’s milk.

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