Difference Between Sheep and Goat (With Table)

Sheep and goat are very closely related beings that are from the cattle family. Despite being so closely linked to each other, they diverse a lot in their taxonomy. Knowing some general and easy spotting differences, you can easily decide which type you want to choose according to your farm.

Sheep vs Goat

The main difference between sheep and goat is that sheep gives us wool which a goat cannot. With that, there are a number of physical differences which you can easily spot by just looking at both of them, like their body shape, which depicts that a sheep is a bit less slender in body shape than a goat.

Sheep is a tubbier body animal known to be a natural grazer. It mainly feeds on clover and grass. It is a pretty independent animal and mostly stays in flocks. It gets anxious when separated from its flock. Sheep also owns tear glands below the eyes and odour gland between their toes.

A goat is a slender body animal that is herbivorous in nature. It is considered a natural browser that sustains on shrubs, vines, twigs and leaves. They stand on their dorsal legs to grab plants for grazing. Male goats possess a smell as they turn mature sexually, and their odour gets on peak during mating times.

Comparison Table Between Sheep and Goat

Parameters of Comparison



Scientific name

Ovis aries

Capra aegagrus hircus

Chromosome number

54 chromosomes.

60 chromosomes.

Kind of body

Tubbier body.

Slender body.


Don’t own a beard but owns a mane.

Owns a beard.


They lack horns.

Narrow and less curved horns.


The tail points downwards.

The tail points upwards.

What is Sheep?

Sheep is a mammal that is considered as a domesticated ruminant, i.e. a chewing animal. It is raised worldwide for milk, meat and wool. The sheep are basically stockier than the goat. Its horns (present only in Marino sheep) are pretty divergent.

Sheep has scent glands in hind feet and in the face and have short tails. In wild species, the outer coat forms the hair, and beneath the outer coat lays an inner layer of thick wool.

A mature sheep has a weight of about 80-400 pounds. It swallows its food and munches the cud. This enables its stomach compartments to properly digest the herbage and grass it swallows.

Sheep feels amazing in grazing legumes or grass, i.e. fine and short vegetation that is brushy and coarse. You must keep a check that sheep don’t overgraze an area which is kind of their habit.

They are pretty shy animals who stay mostly in flocks and are totally devoid of predator protection. They get mature at the age of one or one and a half. Majorly single offsprings are born, but in a few cases, twins may also be born.

Domestic breed of sheep varies from their wild parents in quality and quantity of fleece, milk production, size, conformation and other traits. Most varieties are wool producers, while only a few give rise to hair.