Difference Between Lamb and Mutton

Lamb vs Mutton

Meat of the domestic sheep is known as either mutton or lamb depending on the age of the animal. Both mutton and lamb have made it to the dining table as a purely delicious and expensive dish. Apart from the difference of age of these two delicious protein sources, the other factors such as contents, taste, and demand are important to discuss.


Lamb refers to both younger sheep aged less than one year as well as their meet. In Australia, the lambs raised for meat are known as prime lamb. Salt-marsh lamb is the meat of lamb those have been grazing in the salt marshes in Australia. Baby lamb is the youngest with the age less than 12 weeks, and a six month old is known as spring lamb; both are milk-fed. However, the lamb has been a delicious source of protein for many people across the world. The taste of the lamb is mild because of the tenderness of the lean, and which is mostly preferred in the Western countries. The colour of the lean ranges from light to dark pink and contains more fat. Bones are also tender in texture in the lambs, and they are porous in structure. Forequarter, loin, and hindquarter are the three main kinds of meat in a lamb. Neck, shoulder, and front leg are contained in the forequarter, while the loin includes the meat around the ribs. The fore quarter contains more connective tissues than in other cuts. A whole lamb weighs about 5 – 8 kilograms. However, as referred in Australia, the old-seasoned lamb or sucker lamb (about 7 months old and milk-fed) weighs up to 30 kilograms and they are not old enough to be called as mutton. According to the different cuts, the recipes have been created by chefs to extract the best taste out of lamb to be served in dishes that come on to the dining tables.


Mutton is the flesh of adult sheep of both male and female (known as ram and ewe respectively). Normally the sheep should be more than two years old for its flesh to be called mutton. However, mutton in United States is known as lamb. The salt-bush mutton is another form which comes from adult Merinos (a sheep used in manufacturing wool) who have been grazing on salt brush plants in Australia. Mutton is of a stronger flavour that resulted from their concentrated fatty acids in the muscles, which is preferred in most of the Middle-East and far Eastern countries. Generally, the amount of fat is lower in mutton, but it varies depending on the cuts. Colour varies within light and dark red in as the meat is stronger in texture. The bones also become stronger and much whiter as the animal grows.

What is the difference between Lamb and Mutton?

- In comparing these two, both are expensive but, lamb values more.

- The names and cuts according to the recipes are many for the lamb, while mutton has fewer.

- Protein content is slightly higher in mutton, whereas in lamb, the fat content is little more comparatively.

- In Western countries, there is a higher demand for lamb, while the mutton is more popular in Middle-East and far Eastern countries (including South Asia too).

- In addition to the age differences in mutton and lamb, the food habits have been subjected for some classifications also.

With different cuts and recipes both mutton and lamb have been great sources of protein for people.