Goats and lambs belong to the Bovidae family, and they both come under Caprinae subfamily. These two animals are related to each other and also share distinct features.
Goat vs Lamb
The main difference between goat and lamb is that goat is a much wiser creature and distinctly have horns. At the same time, lamb is a younger member of the Ovis aries species, and needs typically care and nurturing of the flock.
Goats are part of the subspecies of C. aegagrus and belong to the Bovidae family. Humans have been domesticating goats for a long time and using them for various purposes such as food and clothing.
Lambs are just sheep who are less than one year old. Lambs belong to the Ovis aries species, and they are generally used for obtaining food resources as their meat is quite tender.
Comparison Table Between Goat and Lamb (in Tabular Form)
|Parameters of comparison||Goat||Lamb|
|Species||They belong to the Capra hircus species, and the Bovinae family.||They belong to the Ovis aries species and come under the Bovinae family.|
|Appearance||Goats are generally seen to have horns and tails that point up. They don’t have hair that must be tended.||Lambs are younger do not have any prominent horns. They have cropped tails, fleece that must be shaved periodically.|
|Eating habit||Goats usually feed off the top part of plants and many subspecies feed on the plants at higher places.||Lambs are smaller in size and are forced to feed on plant life that is closer to the ground.|
|Fat content (milk and meat)||Goats milk and meat is lower in fat content and better a choice in terms of being healthier.||Lambs provide milk and meat rich in fat content and contribute significantly to higher cholesterol.|
|Maturity||Goats are a much intelligent creature and are able to fend off for themselves.||Lambs are just sheep that are under the age of 1 year and depend on their flock for survival.|
|Life span||The average lifespan of a goat is between 15 to 20 years.||The average lifespan of a lamb as it grows into a sheep is 10 to 12 years.|
What is Goat?
Goats have been domesticated by humankind for as long as there has been a need for food and clothing. These creatures belong to the Bovinae family, the Caprinae subfamily, and more specifically, are part of the Capra hircus species.
Some subspecies are considered to be smart and able to fend off many predators with distinct feature and appearance that sets them apart from many other animals, such as:
- Goats have a thick and rough fur, colour ranging from brown, white and red. This fur does not need tending to or any need to be removed without cause.
- They have beards and prominent horns
- The weight of a goat ranges from 20kgs to 130kgs depending on the breed. The goats with more mass can fight off predators with the help of their muscular built, such as the mountain goat.
In terms of habitat, most goats (domestic) can be found in terrestrial biomes, where there is plentiful grass to eat and shelter. Other goats such as mountain goats reside in places such as rocky mountains, and with the help of their cloven hooves, they can climb mountainsides, and also escape any predator with ease if needed.
Goats also provide meat and milk that have a lower content of fat as compared to other cattle animals. Their life expectancy is from about 15 to 20 years, and as they get older, they are slaughtered and used for meat.
What is Lamb?
Lambs are just young sheep that are under the age of one year. They belong to the Bovinae family and are part of the Ovis aries species.
Lambs are younger members of the bovine, and hence they need to be taken care of by the flock and cannot wander about independently. Lambs are not able to fight off predators or fend off for themselves.
As they are younger, they have distinguishing physical features such as –
- They have a thick covering of fur called “fleece”. Most lamb as they grow up can help in the production of wool.
- Lambs do not have any prominent of distinguishing horns like the other older members of the bovine.
- They are smaller in size and regularly feed off the plant life that is closer to the ground.
In terms of food, lambs provide tender and soft meat which makes them a delicacy in many regions. The meat they provide, as well as the milk, are however very rich in fat and cholesterol content.
The average life expectancy of a lamb, if not utilised for meat, is about 10 to 12 years.
Main Differences Between Goat and Lamb
- Goats are wiser animals who can fend off predators and live on their own, while lambs are younger and need the care of their flock to survive.
- Goats belong to the Capra hircus species, while lambs belong to the Ovis aries species.
- Goats have an average life expectancy of about 15 to 20 years, while the life expectancy of a lamb is 10 to 12 years.
- Goats have thick fur which does not need to be removed, but the coat of lamb is removed periodically, such as once a year.
- Goats usually eat the top of the plants or in higher places, whereas lambs eat plants closer to the ground due to their smaller size.
Goats and lambs are closely related to one another as they belong to the same subfamily of Caprinae. Lambs are just baby sheep that are aged one year or younger. They cannot survive on their own and need the help of their flock. Goats, on the other hand, can grow to be a wise creature with prominent horns that allow them to defend themselves from other animals and also give them a distinctive look. The meat of a goat is lower in fat content than that of a lamb’s. Both these animals have their way of providing resources to humankind.