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.