Lamb vs Goat Differences
At first glance, both the goat and the lamb seem to be very similar. However, the lamb and the goat are two very different animals.
Both of them may share some common characters like having hooves, being livebearers, and having the same diet etc. But they have some stark differences that set them apart from each other.
What is Goat?
Scientifically speaking, a goat or the ‘domesticated goat’ is a member of the animal family known as Bovidae and belongs to the subfamily Caprinae. The genus of goats is Capra which sets them apart from other members of the sub-family.
Having been domesticated nearly ten thousand years ago, the goat has over three hundred distinct species. Goats have been used by humans to fulfill the need for food, shelter, and clothes supplying both milk and meat. Goat hides are often made into leather goods and were used in ancient times as a means for shelter.
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What is Lamb?
Scientifically, a lamb is also a member of the animal family Bovidae and belongs to the subfamily Caprinae. The genus Ovis is the differentiating factor from other members of the Caprinae subfamily.
Having descended from the mouflons the sheep have thick fur that helps them thrive in higher altitudes and lower temperatures.
Lambs are considered to be one of the earliest animals to be domesticated. Apart from being important for their milk and meat, lamb fur or ‘wool’ is one of the most commonly used animal fibers. It is obtained by shearing and is used for making winter apparel.
Lamb meat is a common delicacy enjoyed in many parts of the world, especially the middle east. Also known as Ovine meat, lamb meat is considered to be healthier than adult sheep’s meat which is known as mutton.
1. Lamb vs Goat Meat
Lamb meat and goat meat are common delicacies that are enjoyed by people all across the globe. They both come under the category of red meat.
Ovine meat, hogget, mutton, and lamb all refer to the meat of one single animal which is the sheep. However, there is a subtle difference between hogget/mutton and lamb. Lamb meat refers to the meat from a young sheep, whereas meat from an adult sheep is known as hogget/mutton.
As compared to lamb meat, goat meat is more expensive. It also has more nutritional value and has lower cholesterol levels as compared to lamb meat. Goat meat is considered to be the healthiest of all red meats.
Moreover, goat meat has a higher level of Iron as compared to lamb meat. In lamb meat, there is 1.6 mg of Iron per 100 g of meat whereas goat meat contains 3.8 mg of Iron per 100 g. Furthermore, goat meat contains lower levels of Sodium and higher levels of Potassium as compared to lamb meat.
Goat meat has a range of colors from bright to light pink. It has a light marbling of fat, on the exterior that makes it juicy and tender. The light marbling of fat makes goat meat perfect for smoking and slow cooking.
Lamb meat is often pink in color the meat darkens to deeper tones of red if the meat is from an adult sheep. Lamb meat has a higher fat content than goat meat which makes it more resistant to higher temperatures when grilling.
2. Goatskin vs Lambskin
Goatskin and lambskin have been used since ancient times. Not only did they provide shelter in harsh climates but they were also used as a means of clothing.
Even though both the goat and the lamb are physically so similar one may be surprised to find that their skins are so vastly different.
Comparatively, the goatskin is much heavier than lambskin. This extra weight ensures better insulation than the lighter lambskin. Being lightweight however makes lambskin the perfect choice for a soft and comfortable garment. Lambskin is more pliable than goatskin. It has a buttery texture and is thin and supple.
3. Goat Leather vs Lamb Leather
Although the term leather and skin are used interchangeably, there is a subtle difference between the two. Leather is made from an animal hide (animal skin) in our case goatskin and lambskin.
After the skin has been removed from the flesh it undergoes several processes such as drying, brining, and tanning which makes it usable for the manufacture of certain goods like bags, belts, jackets, clothes, etc.
Goat leather-like goatskin is tough and durable. It is said to be more economical in contrast to lamb leather. Furthermore, goat leather has a smooth fine grain and is water-resistant. Lamb leather is soft and comfortable, warm and delicate, and absorbs water well.
Which is better in Lamb and Goat?
When deciding between either goat or sheep here are some factors that you need to keep in mind.
1. Ease of Rearing
Generally speaking, lambs are easier to keep than goats this is because lambs are easily frightened. This tendency of lambs makes it easier to manage overall. Furthermore, lambs have fewer birthing problems and they tend to have better immunity than goats.
2. Nutritional value
Lamb meat has a greater percentage of saturated fats which are unhealthy. They also contain more cholesterol than goat meat. Moreover, lamb meat also has a lower percentage of Iron and Potassium which are essential to humans.
If you have a tight budget these last few days you may consider buying lamb meat over goat meat. Lamb meat is cheaper as compared to goat meat and also has a great taste.
So, all in all, when deciding between either goat or lamb it is vital that you have a clear idea about your needs and then makes a decision accordingly.
Does Goat taste like Lamb?
Although both goat meat and lamb meat are commonly referred to as mutton they have a very distinct flavor and textures.
Owing to the lesser fat content goat meat is tougher meat as compared to lamb meat. Especially if the meat is from an aged goat the meat has a noticeable toughness to it.
Goat meat is sweeter than lamb meat. The flavor can be described as being gamey. Lamb meat is considered to be gamier than goat meat because of the higher amount of fat content and is often said to have a much deeper intense flavor as compared to goat meat.
Even though they are commonly confused especially when young, lamb and goat are two very different animals. They have each been extremely important throughout human history as a means of food and shelter.