Valais blacknose sheep
The Valais Blacknose, German: ‘Walliser Schwarznasenschaf’, is a breed of domestic sheep originating in the Valais region of Switzerland. It is a dual-purpose breed, raised both for meat and for wool.
The Valais Blacknose sheep is a breed of domestic sheep from Switzerland. It was actually originated in the Valais region of Switzerland. The breed is also known by some other names such as Blacknosed Swiss, Visp, Visperschaf, Walliser Schwarznaseschaf and Wallis Blacknose.
There are indications that the Valais black sheep’s history goes back as far as to 15th century. The earliest mention of a black-nosed sheep appeared around year 1400. But it wasn’t until 1962, that this breed was recognised as a separate one.
The blacknose sheep belongs to the Northern Short Tailed group. The Valais black faced sheep are believed to be forefathers of other multi-coloured breeds, which are living on lands along trading routes used by the Norsemen a thousand years ago.
- Breed Name: Valais Blacknose
- Other Name: Known by some other names such as Blacknosed Swiss, Visp, Visperschaf, Walliser Schwarznaseschaf and Wallis Blacknose
- Breed Purpose: Meat, wool
- Breed Size: Large
- Weight: Rams weight between 80 and 130 kg, and body weight of the ewes vary from 70 to 90 kg
- Horns: Yes, both rams and ewes have horns
- Climate Tolerance: Native climates
- Color: White with black nose and face
- Rarity: Common
- Country/Place of Origin: Switzerland
Valais Blacknose sheep are known to be good for their meat as they are large animals, they are also well known for their wool, which is best used for felting and for carpets. They have placid natures and are easily tamed, combined with their striking appearance they make the perfect pet sheep.
These sheep are very rare and there are only a few thousand left in the world, with only a few hundred in the UK. Their existence is currently threatened by the recent return of the wolf to Switzerland.
Valais Blacknose sheep is a large sized breed. It is mainly white in color, and as the name suggests the breed has black nose and face. It’s a horned breed and both rams and ewes have horns. Average body height of the Valais Blacknose sheep rams is between 75 and 83 cm, and between 72 and 78 cm for the ewes.
The Blacknose sheep feels best in its native climate of Switzerland. It adapted very well to the harsh conditions of living in the high mountains, having an ability to graze even on the stoniest and the steepest slopes.
Extreme weather conditions, which are often the case in the Valais alpine pastures, don’t faze them. In their natural environment of Switzerland, they spend the summertime high up in the mountains and come down off the hill to the lower grounds for the winter months.
The Valais black faced sheep is a dual-purpose breed, raised for both its wool and meat. However, most of breeders raise the Valais mainly with the aim of meat production as it is quite profitable with sheep being large-sized.
When it comes to their wool, it is best suitable for carpets or felting. The black-faced sheep are friendly, easily-tamed and have peaceful nature. They are totally in for a cuddle and can also be lead-trained without much effort. Such traits, together with their fluffy and original appearance, have gained them popularity as an ideal pet sheep.
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