Texas lamb and goat meat producers continue to command high prices in a niche market driven by high demand and low supplies, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.
As someone new to farming, have you ever wondered what the difference is between lamb vs goat meat? While both are a type of meat that is derived from young sheep or goats, there are subtle differences in flavor, nutrition, and price.
Differences between lamb vs goat meat
Let’s take a closer look at what sets these two types of meat apart. Here are the main differences between lamb vs goat meat:
- Taste and flavor
- Nutritional value
- Price and availability
1. Taste and Flavor
The first item on the list is the taste and flavor.
Culinary experts have noted that while both lamb and goat share similar flavor profiles, they are not the same thing. Lamb meat is often described as having a slightly sweet taste, while goat meat tends to have less of an identifiable flavor.
Lamb is often described as having a strong taste, while goat meat has been noted for being more mellow in flavor. Goat meat is also often described as having an earthier flavor.
There are often distinctive flavor traits among goats, depending on what their diet consists of. For example, goats who eat more acacia plants tend to have a stronger and deeper flavor than those that consume other types of food.
Many people overcook lamb, which causes it to be dry and tough in texture. Some say that goat meat tastes better when it is cooked medium-rare or even rare; however, others do cook it thoroughly for safety purposes.
2. Nutritional Value
In terms of nutrition, lamb and goat meat are similar in many nutritional profiles. Both types of meat are a good source of protein as well as containing beneficial nutrients such as niacin, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and selenium.
Goat meat, on the other hand, is believed to be more nutritious than lamb or mutton meat when it comes to total nutrition. Goat meat is somewhat sweeter and less spicy than lamb.
Goat meat has more protein per ounce of meat compared to lamb or mutton. According to The Online Grill, goat contains 27 grams of protein when compared to lamb’s 25 grams of protein.
In terms of fat, the goat has lean meat with a lot less fat than lamb and is considered to be a healthier choice than lamb.
3. Price and Availability
Both lamb and goat meat can often be bought at supermarkets, though the price of the two types of meat may vary depending on where you shop.
It’s hard to say which one will cost more without comparing specific stores or brands. If you can buy directly from a farm, goat meat may be less expensive than buying lamb.
Market prices for US goat meat have varied across the years. Before 2019, one kilogram of goat meat was going for US$1.18 in 2017 and US$1.6 in 2018. In 2019 the export price changed to $1 per pound, by -38.44%.
I’ve seen prices for a lamb butchering of $90.00 for the kill fee and $1.20-1.50 per pound to cut it and wrap it to your specifications.
Sales of lambs are on the rise. While consumers were hesitant to purchase lamb due to its high cost, sales at meat retailers increased 28% year over year as of last month, according to Nielsen.
Meanwhile, beef and pork sales increased by 25.6 percent and 20.5 percent, respectively, during the same time as reported by The Seattle Times.
Farming a few goats is a profitable business that requires a lot less capital than cattle ranching. Goat farming can be lucrative if you have the right herd and the proper management skills.
Raising sheep or goats for profit can be a satisfying enterprise. Savvy producers will let markets identify the type of animals they should raise to generate a profit.
This fact sheet from Penn State Extension may be used as a guide for those sheep and goat producers getting started in the industry.
Which is better meat goat or lamb?
So, what is the difference between lamb and goat meat? Both types of meat are different in terms of flavor, nutrition, price, and availability.
Goat tends to be more flavorful than lamb with less fat. When it comes to taste and flavors, some say that goat has a stronger taste than lamb, while others say the opposite.
Nutritionally, both lamb and goat meat are good sources of protein as well as containing beneficial nutrients. Goat tends to be more nutritious than lamb when it comes to total nutrition.
Price and availability vary per store, depending on where you shop. If you can buy directly from a farm, goat is often less expensive than lamb.
While differences exist between lamb vs goat meat, each one still has its unique flavor and nutritional value.
Depending on your taste preferences and dietary needs, either type of meat could make a tasty addition to your next meal!
Sarah Lane has been a farm wife since 2010 and mother of two children for nearly as long. She and her husband, Jonathan, live on a small farm in Texas where they raise dairy goats and beef cattle as well as chickens for eggs and meat. In addition to growing their own hay, straw and garden produce, the Lane family works with other nearby farms to source organic grain from which they make artisan bread sold at local farmer’s market.