Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Differences Between Sheep and Goats

Do you know how to tell the difference between a sheep and a goat?  A lot of people think that if it has wool, it's a sheep; if it has hair, it's a goat - but this is not true!

When we first moved to the country we were pretty familiar with livestock... and of course when we found hair sheep we soon learned more about them.  On many occasions when we would share pictures of our hair sheep people would make comments "That's not a sheep, it's a GOAT!".  Well of course we know our animals, and they were wrong... but you cannot blame folks for not being familiar with hair sheep as they are not common. 

There are in fact many physical differences between sheep and goats.  Without looking can you think which one has a spit lip and which does not?

Sheep or Goat?

One simple difference is that sheep graze, they prefer to eat grass from the ground, goats browse, they prefer to nibble leaves on trees.  Male goats are likely to grow a beard, and some male hair sheep are likely to grow manes!
It's even harder to know if the animal pictured below is a sheep or a goat?  It's actually a Sheep Goat Chimera an animal created in a "test tube" by scientists who combined a sheep embryo with a goat embryo.  This is not the same as a hybrid.


Learn more about Telling the Differences Between Sheep and Goats, click here.

Read More about Bizarre Man Made Animals, Chimera, click here.

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