Sheep eye ratio. Goat Eyes: Is there a difference?

Sheep and goats are domesticated animals that share many similarities, including their physical appearances. One noticeable aspect is their eyes, which are so similar that distinguishing between them can be challenging. However, upon closer examination, there are distinct differences in the appearance, visual capabilities, and function of sheep and goat eyes. In this discussion, we will focus on the key comparison: the sheep eye ratio and the eyes of goats. By exploring the unique characteristics of their eyes, we can gain a deeper understanding of these animals’ visual abilities and how their eyes contribute to their overall survival strategies.

Compare the eyes of a sheep. Goat eye

Goat vs Sheep
Although similar in appearance, the eyes of sheep and goats are visually and functionally different
feature sheep eye goat eye
pupil shape Rectangle Rectangle
color brown or tan light brown or blue
vision 270 to 320 degrees 320 to 340 degrees
visual function Poor depth perception, blind spot in front of nose Sufficient depth perception and no forward blind spots

The main difference between sheep’s eye and sheep’s eye. goat eye

The eyes of sheep and goats are very similar in appearance. You probably won’t see a difference just by looking at them. However, there are noticeable differences, especially in terms of functionality.

The easiest difference to spot is color. Sheep eye color ranges from brown to greenish-brown, while goat eyes are usually blue or light brown.

Most differences are invisible to the naked eye and can only be known through scientific research. Goats have better vision and better depth perception than sheep.

Let’s cover the differences in shape, color, vision and purpose.

Sheep eye ratio. Goat Eyes: Shape

Very cute brown and white young goats on the farm
The oblong pupils of goats and sheep are useful.
Read more  What is Hibernating Animals? A Comprehensive Guide

Both goats and sheep have oblong pupils that look like horizontal slits. People describe their eyes as unusual and disturbing. While they may look very different to the human eye, their appearance serves a purpose.

If you watch closely when a sheep or goat turns its head, you will see that its eyes are perfectly parallel to the ground. why is it like this?

The eyes are located on the sides of the head, with slender pupils. This extraordinary combination provides a wide field of view. These animals can basically see everything around them.

This odd pupil shape can enhance the lighting and image quality of an animal’s surroundings.

In fact, goats and sheep aren’t the only animals with oblong pupils. All herbivores have slits in their pupils. You’ll see the same shape on horses and deer.

A comparative study of sheep and goat eyes found that the optic discs differ in size and shape. The optic disc represents the origin of the optic nerve and also acts as a blind spot.

Goats have a narrow blind spot at the back of the head, while sheep have a blind spot just in front of the nose and the back of the head.

Sheep eye ratio. Goat Eyes: Color

Sheep eye ratio. Goat Eyes: Color
Goats have blue and brown eyes while sheep have brown eyes.

Goat eye color ranges from light blue, light brown or amber. Blue eye color is the most common dominant characteristic of Nigerian dwarves. It’s common for goats to have irises that are almost completely white with a tinge of blue.

On rarer occasions, you may see goats with marbled eyes (brown and blue mixed together) and two eyes of different colors (one brown and one blue).

Read more  Fly Spirit Animal Symbolism

The eyes of sheep are usually various shades of brown. Their color ranges from light brown to dark amber. The eyes of some sheep show a more greenish-brown mix. Lamb’s eyes are usually golden yellow to light brown.

In rare cases, sheep can have blue eyes. This phenomenon often occurs in rams.

Sheep eye ratio. Goat’s Eye: Vision

Sheep and goats have excellent eyesight.

Goats have an almost complete 360-degree view (between 320 and 340 degrees) of their surroundings. Sheep also have perfect peripheral vision, with a field of view between 270 and 320 degrees.

Both sheep and goats have adequate night vision and are happy to graze in the dark unsupervised. However, they still see better during the day. The shape of their pupils controls the amount of light in the eyes. More light comes in at night and less light comes in during the brightest hours of the day.

Contrary to what many people believe, goats and sheep can see colors. But because they only have two color receptors, they can’t see the full color spectrum. These animals seem to notice yellows, oranges, greens, purples, blues and reds.

Due to their excellent peripheral vision, they lack depth perception. Goats have slightly better depth perception (up to 63 degrees), especially peripheral depth perception. Depth perception in sheep is between 20 and 60 degrees.

Due to their wide-angle vision, these herbivores are extremely sensitive to movement. The slightest movement around them can startle them.

Sheep eye ratio. Goat’s Eye: Purpose

Sheep eye ratio. Goat's Eye: Purpose
Rectangular pupils indicate that sheep and goats are prey.

Pupil shape determines whether an animal is a predator or prey.

Read more  Zodiac Signs for September 6: Signs, Traits, Compatibility and More

The oblong pupils of sheep and goats indicate that these species are prey. The horizontal slits allow prey to observe the world around them from a wide angle, allowing them to detect even the slightest movement.

Prey animals that eat grass have evolved to have the greatest chance of survival against predators. They have up to 340-degree field of view and detect motion easily, even with sneaky animals stalking behind them. These characteristics allow them to escape from predators and flee to safety.

When a goat or sheep lowers its head to eat, its eyes are kept parallel to the ground, keeping an eye out for prey. Its pupils also control the amount of light that comes in, so they can see well in the dark and in the bright afternoon.

The only limitations of these animals’ vision are their poor depth perception and blind spots.


In summary, the eyes of sheep and goats may appear similar, but there are distinct differences in their appearance, visual capabilities, and function. According to the information provided on, the pupils of both sheep and goats are rectangular in shape, which allows for a wide field of view. Sheep eyes are typically brown or tan, while goat eyes can be light brown or blue. Goats have better vision, with a field of view between 320 and 340 degrees, compared to sheep, which have a field of view between 270 and 320 degrees. Both species have adequate night vision and are sensitive to movement, but their depth perception differs, with goats having slightly better depth perception. The rectangular pupil shape in both animals indicates their prey status, enabling them to detect potential predators and escape efficiently.


Goat Lifespan: How Long Do Goats Live?

Goat Prices: How Much Do Goats Cost? Uncover the full cost of ownership

Top 5 Types of Game to Shoot for Each Gun Type: Matching Guns and Targets