We are participating in the Valais Blacknose Sheep breed-up program. The import of purebred Valais sheep or embryos into the United States is not currently allowed. The only way to get the breed to America is to use foundation ewes from other breeds that we impregnate through artificial insemination with imported purebred Valais semen. This is a long and expensive process. It is estimated that our first year's endeavor cost about $9,000, was unsuccessful, and nothing short of heartbreaking.
We are continually evaluating how to make improvements and deciding which sheep to use to impart the qualities we desire from a genetic standpoint. Some of these qualities include a large well-muscled frame, soft useable wool, twin births, friendly personalities that make them easy to handle, and milking abilities to sustain multiple lambs without needing to supplement. We are likewise trying not to breed in undesirable qualities, such as kemp in the wool, aggressive flightly personalities, small stature, or spotting within the Valais markings.
In addition to breeding up the Valais, we also aim to make an adorable sheep with Valais characteristics & warm friendly personality that will be useful for meat, wool, and hopefully milk. A true triple purpose sheep that is friendly and easy to handle would be a wonderful addition to any homestead.
The Valais breed-up is not an endeavor that we are taking lightly and we are not in it to make a boatload of money on the boom of adorable sheep. We will not breed these large rams to young or underdeveloped ewes so this is a project that takes time and patience. We are working hard behind the scenes in a responsible fashion to produce what we think will be a wonderful sheep to introduce when we are ready, so please keep following us as we begin to share our journey. We hope to release some Valais crosses for purchase soon.