What is a Baby Sheep Called?

A baby sheep standing in a green pasture looking at the camera
A baby sheep is called a lamb until it is one year old. Male baby sheep are called ram lambs, and female baby sheep are called ewe lambs. A 16th century English word for lamb is "lambkin."

Origin of the Word “Lamb”

The term “lamb” originated in Old English from the Proto-Germanic word “lambaz.”

The Old English plural of the word lamb was sometimes “lambru.”

 Variants of the word “lamb” are common in Germanic languages, but have no cognates outside of them. The “b” in lamb has probably been silent since the 13th century.

Different Words for Baby Sheep

Word for Baby SheepMeaning
LambA baby sheep up to one year old
Ram LambA male baby sheep up to one year old
Ewe LambA female baby sheep up to one year old
LambkinA version of the word “lamb” dating back to the 16th century

“Lamb” is the primary word you need to know for baby sheep, but you can get more specific from there. 

A ram lamb is a baby male sheep, and a ewe lamb is a baby female sheep.

There is also the word “lambkin,” which is word for baby sheep dating back to the 16th century.

How big are lambs?

Depending on their breed, gender, and nutrition, newborn lambs can weigh around 8-10 pounds. Larger breeds of sheep can produce offspring weighing up to 12 pounds.

See Also:  A Beginner's Guide To Raising Healthy Sheep

Newborn lambs can stand and walk on their own shortly after birth. They would seek their mothers’ udder to feed on their milk. 

At 6 to 8 months old, lambs can weigh over 100 pounds. If you’re raising lambs for meat, you sell them as early as 3-5 months.

How long are young sheep considered lambs?

Young sheep are considered lambs from birth up to one year of age, after which they would be considered adult sheep (either a ewe or a ram).

By the time they’ve reach this age, these baby girl and baby boy lambs should have long been weaned from their mothers.

Some sheep, like Babydoll Southdown sheep, stay small until adulthood. Even so, they are no longer called lambs once they reach one year of age.

What color are lambs when they are born?

Lambs can be many colors when they are born. The most common shade is white, but black, brown, and red are other common colors.

It’s possible for a lamb to be born black even if its parents are both white. Some breeds are born with darker colorings that become lighter as they grow into adults.

For instance, California Red lambs are born with red wool. Over time, they fade into more of a brown color.


Joanne is a nocturnal person who loves traveling and coffee. She’s also an animal lover (and rescuer) who makes it a point to befriend every animal she meets. Her passion for learning led her to writing about various topics. As someone who dreams of becoming an “animal whisperer,” she aims to continue learning about animals–particularly sheep, and at the same time, share her knowledge here at Sheep Caretaker.

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