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Lamb and sheep are confusing terms when used to lamb for eating. What is the difference between the two?

People eat both lamb meat and sheep meat. The meat indigenous a lamb is indigenous an pet 4-12 month old, is dubbed lamb and is much more tender. Meat indigenous a lamb over 12 months old has more flavor and also is called mutton.

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People frequently eat both mutton (meat native adult sheep) and also lamb.

Generally, in the U.S. Most people that room eating whole cuts choose roasts and also chops are eating lamb. This is due to the fact that lamb is much more tender.

But this all depends upon what you prospered up eating and cooking in her area.

If girlfriend want simply one nice meal for the household then a tiny roasting lamb is just the ideal size.

If you desire more flavor and also more pounds of cooking meat, like when you space roasting a whole animal for a party, climate you require an older animal simply since it is bigger.

Lamb vs. Mutton is based upon age

The difference in between lamb and also mutton is strictly age of the pet when it was slaughtered.

The meat indigenous a lamb that is under one year of period is dubbed lamb. A sheep that is older 보다 one year that age in ~ slaughter is dubbed mutton.

If girlfriend would choose to know much more about the differences in between sheep and lambs click right here for one more article I wrote that contains a much more in depth explanation.


We made this video to show you the differences in between sheep and also lambs, it’s basic to tell when you know what you are looking for!

The U.K. And Australia have second sheep classification called hogget, which is a young sheep between 12-24 months. Part hoggets are supplied for meat and some are to be breeding stock and also are still growing.

Here is a farm yard in Australia, Border Park Organics that sells hogget meat if you desire to inspect out what lock say around it.

In the U.S. We carry out not have actually a separate classification for the 12-24 month sheep, we call all lamb over a year old sheep. No matter if the ewe is 1.5 year old or 6.5 years old, she’s a sheep.

The each other of the sheep and the method it was raised will influence the size, flavor and also fat spanning at slaughter.

No matter how the pet was increased the terms remain based upon age. Some breeds will be bigger, part breeds will certainly be smaller, nobody the much less it is based on age.

Lamb meat is no from infant lambs

When these lambs are prepared to sell, they will weigh close to 100 pounds each!

Lamb meat is not from baby lambs.

Small lambs, choose the ones in the picture above, are way too little to be offered as industry lambs. They’ve gained a lot of cultivation left to do!

When these men are ready to it is in sold, they will be just about as big as their moms! Our market lambs are generally 90-100 pounds, with a low range of 70-75 because that a few that are smaller sized framed.

Market lambs are 6-8 months old before they space sold

The lamb you space eating to be born within the previous year, yet lamb is actually among the older animals we eat because that meat.

Lambs are normally six month old or an ext at slaughter, wherein as other popular meat pets tend to be younger, through the exception of cattle.

Here space some examples of meat animals and their eras at slaughtering:

Meat AnimalAge at slaughter
Lamb6-8 monthsroasters: 2-3 months
Chicken47 days for broilers (common advertisement meat chickens)
Pigs5-6 month roasters: 3-4 months
Cattle12-18 monthsveal: 6 months

Most lambs are elevated on pasture

Lamb is generally raised on pasture at the very least for component of it’s life. While there are a couple of farms keeping lambs inside year round, most have sheep exterior on a pasture.

This depends considerably upon the area whereby it to be raised, the agriculture practices used there and the challenges the area faces like helminth and/or predators.

The first picture shows ewes on pasture grazing. They will raise lambs here, as well, picture from The Sheep game (YouTube).

Sheep that are raised in really large flocks like in the west U.S. Or on a lamb station in Australia will not have been fed anything various other than grass and other forage plants the were available to the flock.

These lambs would certainly be 100% grass fed and finished.

Read Why Lamb Is The Most moral Meat come Eat, at Independent.co.uk, by Lizzie Rivera.

In other areas of the sheep raising human being where the land is more limited or parasites are an extremely problematic then placing lambs on grain and hay in a barn is an option.

We understand multiple lamb farmers who keep the younger share (lambs) in the barn.

The lambs are maintained inside and also fed to save them farming well, since, in this farmer’s situation, the animals are much better cared for in the barn top top feed than outside.

Keeping lambs top top grain works well as soon as there is one economical resource of grain and an available lamb proper barn space.

There room two other large factors the make keeping lambs off of pastures something come consider. One is come break the parasite cycle.

If your pastures have actually a large parasite load (lots of helminth waiting for part lamb come come along and also eat the grass they space on) lambs room the most likely to have endangered health due to parasite infestation.

The 2nd factor is predators. as soon as a wild animal, like a coyote trots in to obtain a meal it typically is looking to swipe a lamb. If the lamb is in the barn this doesn’t happen.

Eating lamb is healthy and balanced

Lamb is a really healthy meat. Ruminants prefer sheep and also cattle, space a wonderful meat choice!

Lambs have the right to be raised on grass alone, no serial or confinement needed.

A lamb simply needs water, solar energy and nutrients from the soil, in addition to milk from mom and also a couple of licks top top the salt block now and also again.

Lambs room the most most likely of every livestock come be elevated in a way that you want your meat to it is in raised, meaning fresh air and also plenty the space.

This is simply due to the fact that lambs execute not handle stress well, so they space not good candidates because that a confinement system.

Other meat animals that room packed into confinement barns room able handle the anxiety of tight quarters, respond fine to medications or just thrive fast enough to no be approximately long, choose a broiler.

Sheep do not occupational this way.

Stress is a vast problem for lambs so even if you want to throwing them into a building, girlfriend can’t.

The nature of a lamb necessitates that the lamb be treated well.

These are some of our ewe lambs ~ above pasture ~ above a foggy day. These lambs space being retained for reproduction stock. The industry lambs we sell are this size 80-100 pounds.

Lamb is right for no electrical energy areas

Some locations of the human being that eat lamb have different values and also resources than we do concerning food.

Here I’m particularly referring to freshness of the meat and obtainable refrigeration.

Many cultures are much more into eating fresh, no refrigeration, and certainly no freezing meat.

In this situation the size of the carcass has to be something they deserve to use increase quickly, for this reason the pet chosen because that slaughter is the the size the group needs and can use ideal away.

This is certainly not American layout thinking, therefore it’s not the an initial thing to come to mind.

It is how countless lamb and also mutton eaters anywhere the human being decide which animal to eat.

You can eat lamb rare

Sure friend can. You deserve to eat any cut of meat together rare or as well done together you would like it come be. The exemption to this is ground meat.

When the pet is slaughtered, any kind of of the trimmed off piece of meat that carry out not fit well into a greater value cut, favor chops, will be put together and also ground.

The whole carcass might be ground, yet normally the is simply the trimmed off edges.

Unless the animal is closely slaughtered, there is a danger of bacteria pollution from the cradle tract components getting on the meat, especially the poop.

The cut of meat that are not exposed come the potential contamination can be consumed rare, prefer steaks.

Anything that is soil up has the possibly contaminated meat blended throughout therefore it needs to be completely cooked prior to eating.

Really, this is a great reason to gain meat native your regional butcher, they take your time and do points right.

The hazard of pollution of the meat is much reduced at a smaller slaughterhouse.

The mega slaughtering plants kill and process thousands of pets a day.

That way they need to go at sight fast. Notice i didn’t to speak super careful, just super fast.

In the big slaughterhouses the trimmed bits room all put right into one vast grinder and also ground together.

This means that also one chaos up v one poop contaminated carcass is currently spread through numerous pounds of soil meat.

Do you yourself a favor, buy from a regional slaughterhouse.

Lambs grow more for the feed eaten

From a feeding perspective, lambs will certainly grow more for the feed you give them.

This is called the feeding to acquire ratio and also it applies to any type of feed the sheep would eat, grass, hay or grain.

Once a lamb reaches full body size, any added calories walk to fat and also maintenance demands which the sheep farmer walk not gain paid for as soon as the lamb is sold but will be more costs put right into raising the lamb.

Once a lamb gets old enough and large enough come be dubbed a lamb it quiet eats and also needs looked ~ every day yet is not worth any more money as a industry animal.

It provides sense indigenous a money view to sell the lambs as soon as they have actually reached their top condition and also growth.

We offer our lambs in the 10-12 month range. This method we are offering a lamb the is 90-100 pounds and also looks choose an adult.

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Many lambs room sold prior to winter

The bulk of breed cub owners desire to reduce the share they will certainly be keeping (and feeding) over the winter, so lambs and also other stock space sold before they should be carried inside as result of weather.

Many market pets are born in the spring and also kept to eat the grass with the summer then marketed in the loss or beforehand winter.

Keeping the lambs inside way taking them all your food and also water and also handling the manure, every for the very same pay as a farm yard that had actually the lambs exterior the entirety time.

More work for the same results, not an economical plan.

Any lambs preserved for reproduction stock will stay, but otherwise market animals are sold prior to the price of maintaining them goes up without corresponding returns.