Posted by: Ruby | December 23, 2008

Let’s talk about Sheep, Lamb, Goat and Ram!

Since the company server is down and I can’t do any work in the middle of the night, I shall endeavour to shed some light with regards to some queries. During the trip to Downunder last month, one question that came up was – What’s the difference between a lamb, sheep, goat, ram etc. Although I have a fairly good idea of the differences, in order not to mislead anyone who reads this blog, I decided to google it.
Hence according to Wikepedia –
Adult female sheep are referred to as ewes, intact males as rams or tups, castrated males as wethers, and younger sheep as lambs. Many other specific terms for the various life stages of sheep exist, generally related to lambing, shearing, and age. (Didn’t realise that hmmm… there’s a name for castrated male sheep too! Interesting!).
Therefore when a sheep is younger (approximately < one year old), it’s called a Lamb. uncastrated sheep are called Ram.
Goats and Sheep are different although Domestic Goat is closely related to the domestic sheep (both of part of the goat-antelope group). The young of a goat is called a kid whereas the young of the sheep is called a Lamb (they make different sounds too!).  
Billy goat is just a male goat.
Difference between lamb meat and mutton – Basically both refer to the meat of a sheep but depends on the age (lamb meat comes from a lamb) and mutton is meat from a female sheep or castrated male sheep. The defination varies from country to country too! Sometimes goat meat is also referred to as mutton but is mostly referred to as the meat from a sheep.
I hoped that I have shed some light on this topic. This is just some basic information. If you want more information, google it!
Question – Is the Photo below a Lamb, Sheep or a Goat?
ANSWER – It’s a SHEEP. It’s a breed (out of many many breeds) known as the Barbados Blackbelly (Obviously because the belly is black as shown in the photo). 
Next time the server goes down – let’s look at cows………


  1. Interesting topic.. hehe I learn something. thx

  2. Good one. As a parent i wanted to know the difference so that to educate ourselves and also educate our kids rather than saying something which is incorrect.

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