This year we will have 2 breeds that haven’t been displayed at our Festival in prior years: Scottish Blackface and Valais Blacknose!
The Valais Blacknose is new to the US and the sheep on display (courtesy of Stone Manor Farm) is the 1st in NJ! Freddie is an F1 wether (50% Scottish Blackface, 50% Valais Blacknose) born this year and part of the Breed Up program in the US. Scottish Blackface sheep are first preference for use in the program as they were one of the breeds used originally to develop the Valais Blacknose (Leister Longwool and Lincoln are 2nd and 3rd preference breeds for the program). Since animals can’t be imported to the US, semen from Blacknose sheep in other countries (Europe) is used on US Scottish Blackface ewes to produce a hybrid. After 5 generations the resulting sheep are 97% Valais Blacknose.
The Valais Blacknose Sheep Association of North America announces the successful launch of a “breed up program” for introducing the breed to North America. The first generation of lambs are being born in 2018.
For centuries, the Valais Blacknose sheep were found only in Switzerland on the remote snow-covered peaks of Valais. Although the sheep are believed to have existed since the 15th century, it became a breed recognized by the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association in the mid 1960’s as the Walliser Schwarznasen or Valais Blacknose because of its unique markings. Several hundred were exported to the United Kingdom in 2014. The breed’s wool is considered ideal for carpets, bedding and felting.
The Blacknose Sheep Association of North America was formed in 2017 to support the introduction of the breed to the United States and record the offspring of the breed up programs already in progress.
For more information, on how to purchase the frozen semen of the Valais Blacknose Sheep, as well as general information on the breed, contact the Teton Blacknose Sheep Company at firstname.lastname@example.org, www.tetonvalais.com or 561-309-1402.