The Valais Blacknose sheep is a breed originates from the Valais region of Switzerland, and for hundreds of years that was the only location they could be found. They were first mentioned around the year 1400, but they were not recognized as a breed until 1962. In 2014 the breed was imported to the UK and in 2016 the United States began importing semen as part of an "upgrading program." The Valais Blacknose has a thick coat of coarse long white colored crimped wool, black noses, ears, eye rims, knees, and ankles and both male and female should have helical or spiral shaped horns. They are a dual purpose breed and originally kept for both meat and wool. The wool is considered ideal for carpets, bedding, and felting. Valais are a naturally inquisitive and an extremely cute breed of sheep. They are known for their stuffed toy appearance and gentle dispositions, therefore becoming more popular to smaller homesteads and farms as just a pet breed.
Breed Up Program
In late 2016 the USA was granted approval to allow the importation of pure-bred semen to be shipped in for elite breed-up programs. Breeders began breeding them to other closely linked breeds like the Scottish Blackface each generation bred creates a genetically closer sheep to the Valais Blacknose. It takes five generations to produce a 97% Valais, which is considered purebred. The first generation (F1) will be 50%, the 2nd generation (F2) will be 75%, 3rd generation (F3) will be 88%, and the 4th generation (F4) will be 94%, and finally at the 5th generation (F5) they will be 97%.
We are hoping to have lambs in 2023 and will retain any ewes born on the farm, weathers and rams will be available in our online auctions, along with our mini Scottish Highlands. If you are in the area, we'd love for you to come visit us, the valais, and the mini Highlands. You can find more info on our farm tours HERE.