Have you ever before wondered "What"s The Difference in between Lamb, Mutton, and Goat Meat"? I"ve heard this question and also decided come ask my neighbor that raises goats for goat meat. What I discovered out was enlightening!!


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Let"s start with the basic differences in between the three prior to getting right into finer detail. Lamb and mutton meats space from sheep, and goat meat is native goats. This is true because that most countries unless you"re in south Asia ( India ), Australia, or Jamaica.

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In India, the meat from a goat can also be referred to as mutton or sheep interchangeably. However, this is no the instance in the united States and Europe.

I"ll get more specific now. In this article, i refer primarily to terminology in the US and Europe.


Table of contents

Difference in between Sheep and also GoatsSelecting Lamb and also Mutton Meat

Difference in between Sheep and Goats

Sheep are a different species 보다 goats. Lamb (Ovine species) have the right to have wool or hair, so the is not how to identify the two species.

The best way to tell, if you to be looking out right into a field of grazing animals, is that sheep have tails the hang down. Goats (Caprine species) have tails that suggest upward.

Sheep hatchet by Age and Gender

Lamb (in general) - is a sheep under one year that age. The meat is very tender and also has less fat 보다 older sheep.

American lamb is generally fed milk and grain, which returns a milder flavor still. Imported meat from Australia or brand-new Zealand has actually been grass-fed and will have actually a slightly more powerful flavor than residential lamb meat.

Milk Lamb - a really young lamb, between 4 - 6 weeks the age. Milk-fed only and has superbly tender meat with a gentle flavor.

Spring Lamb - a infant lamb, under 3 - 5 months of age. These lambs are mostly milk and also grain-fed and also typically sold around Easter or before June 1st. The meat is lighter in color, a pale pink. The is more tender 보다 older lamb meat and also has a an ext mild flavor as result of the lower fat content.

Ram Lamb - a male lamb, under one year that age.

Ewe Lamb - a female lamb, under one year the age.

Hogget - a masculine or female sheep between 1 - 2 year of age, sometimes dubbed "yearling mutton". The meat from a hogget lamb is a combination of the tenderness intended of a young lamb and also the gamey flavor of older sheep or mutton meat.

Mutton - lamb meat native a masculine (typically a castrated male) or female lamb over 2 year of age. The odor of mutton is very strongly gamey to many Americans, which is why it is not commonly sold outside of specialty butcher shops or lamb farms.

The strong flavor is as result of the greater fat contents in adult sheep. To alleviate the gamey flavor, you must trim off any type of excess fat.

Mutton meat is finest eaten when roughly 4 year of age. The meat need to be a deep red in color, as the meat from older pets is darker than lamb meat.

Ram (sometimes referred to as a "tup" - a mature male sheep qualified of reproducing.

Ewe - a mature female sheep.

Wether - a castrated male sheep.

*Now, to add some confusion, I"ve periodically heard any kind of castrated male sheep (a wether) described as mutton. This is most likely due to the fact that that male would certainly be intended come be provided for meat.

Sheep are raised for your wool, meat, hides, and also only sometimes for milk. There space a couple of specialty kinds of cheese developed from sheep"s milk.

Goat hatchet by Age and also Gender

Kid - a young goat under one year of age of either sex, masculine or female.

Buckling - a young masculine under one year of age is sometimes referred to as a buckling.

Buck or Billy - a mature masculine goat qualified of reproducing.

Wether - a castrated mature male goat, wethers intended because that meat space castrated in between 6 - 9 months of age and processed because that meat typically prior to one year that age.

Doe or Nanny - a mature woman goat.

Goat Meat, Goat"s Meat, or Chevron - goat or goat"s meat indigenous adult goats. The lean goat meat has actually a stronger video game flavor together the animals mature.

Kid, Capretto, Cabrito, or Natalie - cabrito is goat meat indigenous a grass-fed young goat. Kid, capretto, or natalie is young goat meat under one year that age. Like lamb vs mutton, the gamey flavor of goat meat is milder in the meat from kid goats.

Goats are increased for their meat, milk, fibre ( hair ), and hides. In your ar ( right here where ns live in Minnesota ), goats can likewise be rented come clear areas of heavy underbrush and also weeds.

Both the meat from sheep ( lamb and also mutton ) and also goat"s meat ( kid and also chevron ) space red meats like beef. Both lamb ( lamb and also mutton ) and also goat"s meat ( kid and also chevron ) space inspected through the USDA at approved facilities.

Lamb vs Goat - The Difference between Lamb Meat & Goat Meat

When considering overall nutrition, goat meat is usually considered to be healthy meat 보다 lamb or mutton meat.Goat meat is slightly sweeter and also milder than lamb meat.Goat meat has actually more protein per oz of meat 보다 lamb or mutton meat.Lamb meat has a higher fat content 보다 goat meat ( the fat is wherein the gamey odor is most noticeable ).The distinctive odor that lamb meat is as result of caprylic acid save in the fatty sections of lamb cuts.Since goat meat has less fat and also marbling 보다 lamb it is normally a tougher reduced of red meat than lamb.

*If you don"t choose lamb or wild meats, then it is not most likely that friend will uncover goat meat tasty either!

Selecting Lamb and also Mutton Meat

Lamb and mutton meat is USDA graded top top a voluntary basis. The lower grade levels, utility, and cull are used for floor meat and processed meat products.

Higher great levels, in order of high quality from high come low, are Prime, Choice, and also Good. These 3 grade levels of meat room the ones uncovered at your local retail grocery store or butchers. The majority ( around 80% ) that lamb and mutton cuts offered at retail areas are either prime or Choice.

Not all lamb meat is graded; however, every lamb meat is inspected for "wholesomeness" follow to the USDA fact sheet ~ above lamb.

USDA inspected lambs have the right to be increased using hormones and also antibiotics, return both are offered time to cycle out of the pets before processing. Once processing, the meats space inspected because that residual hormones or antibiotics and must it is in under FDA legal yongin amounts.

When to buy lamb meat, you should look in ~ the texture of the meat. It have to be fine-grained and also vary in shades of light pink to red ( relying on age, the larger the animal, the deeper the shade of red in the meat ).

Fine white marbling must be existing in the meat muscle, and the white fat should be firm but not too thick in any area of the meat portion.

Mutton meat will have actually a larger, more open, serial texture. The marbling must still it is in fine, and also the fat have to be obviously white, not off-color.

I have had great luck once using larger lamb or mutton v a gamey flavor. As soon as cooking, sear in part sesame particle oil prior to roasting or braising to assist offset the solid flavor.

Lamb Recipes

Selecting Goat Meat

Although every processed goat meat intended because that sale is inspected, the meat is not graded, according to the USDA fact sheet ~ above goat meat.

The use of hormones is not approved in raising goats, back preventative or treatment antibiotics can be used. Together in lamb raising, there is a period of time compelled for the antibiotics come cycle the end of the goat before it deserve to be processed for meat.

Imported goat meat is also tested for residual antibiotics. Both domestic and also imported goat meat must be under FDA legal tolerance amounts.

Overall, goat meat is fairly lean, so pick meat the is fine-grained and also evenly colored. Fat have to be white and firm, with little marbling seen in the muscle grain.

Kid meat is milder in flavor and also best because that a first time purchase of goat meat. Overall, even though goat meat is well-known for that is gamey flavor, it likewise has a details sweetness come it that lamb and mutton meat do not have.

Typically, as result of the lower fat content in goat meat, girlfriend will desire to use slow cooking techniques. Neck, Leg, Shoulder, Shank, and also Breast goat meat perform well low and slow-roasted in the cooktop or braised. Loin and Rack have the right to be grilled, pan-seared, or easily roasted.

More around the author:

I want to take a rapid moment to share some of my an individual experiences in life that have actually led to why i would have actually a great base of knowledge on meat and also meat animals. Yes, ns love come cook! however I also have a lifetime of being pet obsessed.

I took process in agriculture, veterinary science, and also equine scientific research from my high institution age. I functioned at a vet clinic, was involved in FFA (Future farmers of America), then after high school, I operated for a steed trainer before going into the cooking field.

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I have raised pigs and also cattle and kept lot of fish tanks with assorted tropical fish, goldfish, eels, and crabs. Ns currently have actually my horse, 2 rabbits, two dogs, and also six cats. I"ve to be toying through the idea of adding some sheep, however for now, I have two neighborhood farmers the I acquisition lamb from.