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What Is the Difference Between Goat and Sheep

What Is the Difference Between Goat and Sheep

If you have arrived here, you are wondering what the difference between a goat and a sheep is, two very distinct species of animals that are very similar, which may tend to confuse you. Some say that the differences are found in the horns, others that one species have wool on the back and the other doesn't, or that they can be differentiated by their ear. If you really want to know the answer, continue reading this article: What is the difference between goat and sheep?

The goat

The domestic goat (capra hircus) belongs to the cattle family and to the goat subfamily. She is the female of the goat and her cub is called kid. It has mostly arched horns, but this is not an infallible attribute for recognizing a goat, for polled goats are a type of goat that has no horns at all. The goat is rather small, is a very agile animal and very gifted for jumping. They will eat shrub, leaves and vine. Domestic goats are present on all continents and are a source of milk and cheese, but they are still found in the wild in the mountainous areas of the Caucasus, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Turkey and Europe on the Greek island of Crete.

The sheep

The sheep also belongs to the bovine family and to the subfamily of Caprinae, but it is indeed a completely different species from the goat, which is named ovis aries, commonly called sheep. The male sheep is the ram and the little one is the lamb. Sheep, ram and lambs are sheep. The sheep is naturally devoid of horns unlike most goats, and its white coat is entwined in small balls. Sheep are common cattle animals and can usually be found on farms, as they are completely domesticated at this stage. Sheep will eat mainly grass and clover.

Difference between goat and sheep

To distinguish a goat from a sheep, one can not totally rely on the color or nature of the coat or the presence of horns. It is necessary to look at the tail of the animal: if the tail is raised, it is a goat, if the tail is falling or hanging, then it is a sheep.

Have you ever seen a goat with a beard? We bet you have, but this is a trait that not all goats share, even though sheep don't have beards either. However, you can distinguish sheep for having a philtrum that divides the sheep's upper lip, whereas goats don't.

As we've mentioned before, goats have hair like we do, though it's scattered all over their body, but sheep has a fleece (hence the clothes name), which is a type of curly flock of fur that appears all over the sheep's body.

You can also tell the difference between goat and sheep by noticing their habits and behavior. Take a look at their behavior as a group. You'll notice sheep usually move in a flock and rarely separate, whereas goats are more curious and adventurous, wandering off as they please, being much more independent than their bovine counterparts.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to a vet if it has any type of condition or pain.

If you'd like to read similar articles to What Is the Difference Between Goat and Sheep, we recommend you browse around our Pets category.

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What Is the Difference Between Goat and Sheep