The lamb is just a baby sheep.
In different parts of the world, it’s classified by various criteria, but it typically refers to a sheep under the age of a year.
What You Should Know
Each country uses the term lamb to describe the sheep at a certain, early stage of life. For example, New Zealand says that any sheep under a year old is a lamb, but Australians require that any sheep without permanent incisors is also a lamb.
When first born, the lamb contains a tail, but this sheds as they grow. Other than that, the lamb is fully developed at birth, but they never grow upper teeth.
Lambs require a large amount of space to graze in. They also want shelter from the elements. Their diet consists of pasture plants and grass. They take a long time to eat and often spend up to seven hours out of each diet grazing.
What Sound Do They Make?
The lamb makes the same sounds does. It is slightly more high-pitched than the sheep because of their voice changing as they grow. Listen to some of the baaings from lambs from these sound clips.
Sheep carry the lambs for about five months before giving birth. These lambs weigh five to eight pounds. These babies are at risk for predators and often experience a high mortality rate without good care.
The lamb is fed by its mother and doesn’t wean until between two to three months old. If the lamb is mis-mothered by a farmer or caretaker, it becomes weak and needs further assistance.
How Many are There?
It’s estimated that there are more than one billion sheep in the world. China currently has the largest number of these sheep.
Lambs are vulnerable to diseases including viral contagious ecthyma. This causes a sore mouth with ulcerations and stops the lamb from nursing properly. Without intervention, this lamb will starve to death. Pneumonia also targets lambs as well as diarrhea.
Sheep are a common feature in animation and kid’s films. In these, you can also find lamb included. For example, in Shaun the Sheep, Timmy is the baby lamb that causes trouble. He became so popular that he also got his own show, Timmy Time.
The most notable example of a lamb in culture is in the well-known nursery rhyme, Mary had a Little Lamb. While this nursery rhyme originates from 1830, it is still recited by children worldwide. This poem is based on Mary Sawyer who kept a pet lamb, which traveled with her to school one day at the suggestion of her brother.
Sheep have a high level of intellect, even when they are babies. They can perform simple problem-solving tasks and are often evaluated to be as smart as dogs. They also have exceptional memories. Because of this, they remember humans and other sheep for years after seeing them last.
Sheep also express emotions. They will position their ears, make facial expressions and voice their emotions.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that the sheep was a sacred animal. That’s why they mummified it when it died, just like they did with humans.
The Egyptians weren’t the only people to revere the sheep. It’s an animal present in the Chinese Zodiac. If a person is born in the year of the sheep, it’s assumed that they have gentleness, righteousness, sincerity, and compassion.
The sheep is also a common animal used in the Bible to depict the followers of Jesus. In a common prey vs. predator illustration, the sheep are told to be careful of the wolves.