Welcome to the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society

Established in 2016 to support the development of the American Valais Blacknose Sheep, membership is open to everyone who shares a love of this unique animal.

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History of the 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 unmistakeable. 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 herdbooks 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. 

The VBSS respectfully acknowledges the generations of work that have gone in to developing the Valais Blacknose Sheep in Switzerland and has adopted the Standard of Type from the Swiss time tested standards of selection.

Breed Standard

Standard of Type

The Valais Blacknose has a robust and large-framed physique.

The black nose should be centered and it is preferred that it extend up to the eyes. The ears are also black and extend up to the base of the head. There should be black colorations on the ankles and on the front knees. The females have black tail spots.

Helical or spiral-shaped horns are typical of both ewes and rams and should be well balanced.

The head and the legs should exhibit wool growth evenly and be well covered.

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