I agree with
- basically, sheep seem more thoroughly domesticated than goats. This has advantages, like being a higher-performace and/or higher-quality source of meat and wool. And it has disadvantages, like being considerably higher-maintenance in terms of food and terrain, as well as being a lot more reliant on husbandry in all kinds of ways.
ETA: In my setting, the only domesticated animal is the Woolly Mammoth (give or take). There are several different breeds, and one of them fits the sheep-niche quite closely: Bred for meat and wool (and ivory), and quite dim-witted, compared to its wild ancestor. The latter is partly the result of the sort of "atrophied intelligence" one generally finds in domesticated animals which have no real function except to eat and grow, and partly deliberate so that they go docilely to the slaughter. The downside of that docility is that these easily fall prey to the abundant nocturnal predators if left unattended.
To prevent that, there are other varieties which are bred for things like strength and size and used as beasts of burden and siege engines. These retain most of their natural intelligence and at least some of their natural aggression, and are more than capable of running off said predators. That's not exactly the goat-niche, but since donkeys and mules can fulfill a similar function, that's probably mostly just a matter of size.
I'm not entirely sure this ETA is going to be of any use, but I'll let you decide.
edited 11th Aug '12 9:52:36 AM by kassyopeia
Soon the Cold One took flight, yielded Goddess and field to the victor: The Lord of the Light.