We at Celtic Cross Farm are proud to say we are one of the first and foremost breeder of Valais Blacknose Sheep in the USA and the first in Michigan. We have been part of the breeding program since 2018 and are so excited with what is happening with the breed.
Breed description of Valais Blacknose sheep: The Valais Blacknose sheep originate in the Valais region of Switzerland. They are a dual-purpose breed, raised for meat and wool. They are unique to the Upper Valais and are well adapted to the harsh mountain conditions, being extremely hardy, prolific and frugal. The black on its nose, eyes, ears, knees, hocks and feet and otherwise light woolly coats make them quite unmistakable. They have large helical or spiral shaped horns. They are good at grazing steep, rocky slopes. Both sexes are horned. The earliest mention of the breed dates back to 1400 A.D., but they were first recognized as a separate breed in 1962. Today, the Swiss herd books include almost 13,700 animals. The breed was exclusively raised in Switzerland until imported to the British Isles in 2013 and 2014 by several interested breeders. Importation to the US is being pursued through an upgrading program using semen collected from purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep beginning in fall of 2016.
Celtic Cross Farm is a participant of the breed-up program for the Valais Blacknose Sheep. The foundation ewes that we are using are Teeswater Sheep, Icelandic Sheep an Scottish Blackface Sheeo.
Prior to 2018 VBN sheep did not exist in the US. The only way from 2018 to 2021 to produce them was to breed an appropriate ewe from a similar breed by using imported frozen semen. Eventually, after 5 generations we will essentially have full Valais Blacknose sheep.
In 2020 we were able to purchase imported purebred embryos from New Zealand and spring of 2021 brought our first purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep! They are absolutely amazing in their conformation and personality - so incredibly friendly it is hard to believe they are real!