The animal kingdom is diverse and consists of different kinds of organisms that sometimes may be hard to differentiate. Most people, at first glance, might think goat and lamb are very similar.
Well, the main difference between a goat and a lamb is their appearance. Lambs have white and woollen fur, while goats come in various colors and have hair rather than wool.
In this article, I will discuss goat, and lamb, the critical differences between these two, and which of them is better.
What is a goat?
Goats are part of the subspecies of Capra aegagrus and belong to the Bovidae family. Humans have been breeding goats for a long time and using them for different purposes such as food and clothing.
Some subspecies are considered to be intelligent and able to fend off many predators. With distinct features and appearances that set them apart from many other animals.
SEE: What Does Goat Taste Like?
What is the lamb?
A lamb is an immature sheep that is less than one year old. Consequently, they are more gentle and rather smaller in size than the sheep. They belong to the Ovis aries species and are generally used as food resources as their meat is quite tender.
Lambs are younger members of the bovine. So, they must be taken care of by the flock and must not wander about on its own. Lambs are unable to fight or fend off attackers for themselves.
What is the difference between goat and lamb?
They also differ in their eating habits, although they both eat plants. Goats prefer eating the top of plants, while lambs prefer to eat plants that are located close to the ground. Sheep or lambs eat more than goats
Goats have a hairy coats, while lambs are in the beginning stage to grow their trademark wool. While lambs will not have very thick coats until their adult years, you can still tell the difference between goat hair and lamb’s wool.
For example, wool has a soft and dense texture, and goat hair on the other hand has a coarse texture. Although, some goats have long hair and others have short hair, all lambs have shorter wool than their adult sheep colleague, given their age.
Most lambs reach their peak wool production when they grow to adulthood, and their optimum wool age is between 3 – 5 years.
3. Nutritional value
Goat has a superior nutritional value, and it is widely considered to be healthier than lamb. Compared to lamb, goat is lower in cholesterol, saturated fats, and calories.
The lower fat content in goat makes it tougher meat to chew than sheep, but the flavor differences stretch far beyond just texture. Goat is sweeter than lamb in flavor and can even carry a more gamey flavor.
Though the taste of goat usually depends on how it is prepared. If you smoke it, this sweet flavor should lock into the meat. But if you grill it, it might lose some of that and become tougher.
Another noticeable difference is their horns. Lambs can never be born with horns, but some goats are. Although, Sheep can grow their horns as they grow similar to goats. But lambs cannot grow horns until they grow well into their adult age.
Even though lambs develop horns as they grow, these horns are still very different from the horns of the goat. For example, many sheep grow their horns on the sides of their heads, while goat horns are found atop their heads.
Lambs and sheep have tails that point downward and are often thick and woolly. While goat tails point upward and are more slender and hairy.
This can be an easy way to tell lambs and goats apart, given that goats often have erect and active tails. The tail of a lam is often docked at a tender age for its own safety and health benefits.
The same can also be said for goats, but goats have fewer health issues with their tails when compared to sheep.
SEE: Is Lamb Expensive?
What are the similarities between goat and lamb?
1. Lamb and goat belong to the Bovidae family
2. They both have similar amounts of chromosomes.
3. They both eat plants
SEE: Can You Eat Lamb Medium Rare or is Not Safe
How to cook goat
Goat meat does not have a lot of fat or marbling. This means that if it is cooked at high temperatures, it may be prone to becoming tough. It is far better suited to cook in low and slow heat, this will help retain its moisture.
That is why we often see goats served in curries or stews, as the slow cooking approach tends to bring out the best in the meat. If you want to grill it, I strongly suggest marinating it. This will help prevent it from drying out too quickly.
SEE: Best Grill Temperatures to Make the Best Steaks
How to cook lamb
Different cuts of lamb have different fat content. If you wish to slow cook or roast your lamb, it would be perfect if you can get your hand on a piece with good amount of marbling.
If you get a fatty cut like lamb shoulder, try barbecue smoking it. Although, lamb chops are expensive, the low fat contents make it worth the prize.
They can be barbecue grilled or smoked and are best finished with seared skin and pink inside. In contrast, the leg of lamb is lean and contains far less fat, and this makes them better for slow roasting or barbecuing.
SEE: The Tasty Barbecue Meals Available on Jim ‘N Nick’s Menu
Is lamb meat healthier than goat meat?
No, they aren’t. Goat meat is by far the healthiest among the two.
Lamb meat and goat meat, which is better for a weight loss diet?
Goat is better for weight loss. They have a lower amount of fat and calories than lamb meat, which makes them ideal for a weight loss diet.
Does a goat taste like a lamb?
No, they don’t. Goat has a very distinct and unique taste that is quite different from lamb.
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. On the other hand, goats can grow to be wise creatures with prominent horns. This allows them to defend themselves from other animals and gives them a distinctive look.
The meat of a goat is lower in fat content than that of a lamb. Both animals have their way of providing resources to humankind.
I hope you enjoyed this article, you should also see the similarities between lamb and goat.