Temperament & Care
The Valais Blacknose Sheep is renown for it's calm and docile temperament. This breed is well known to be easy to tame and handle and having such great natures. We have many visitors to see our sheep and they are always happy to come up for cuddles/scratches and the odd few sheep nuts. All of our sheep have been grazed with horses without any problems and are used to dogs.
Having had commercial sheep and knowing the 'fun' endured when moving them from field to field the Valais Blacknose are a dream to work with. They happily follow a person (especially if a bucket is involved) and walk behind or next to us until in the correct field. Having spent a lot of time with our sheep they are all used to human interaction, even when we introduce new sheep to the flock they aren't half as flighty of some other breeds we have worked with previously. A naturally friendly and charming breed.
The Care of the Valais Blacknose sheep is the same as any other breed. The only difference in the care of these animals if that the need shearing biannually instead of annually. They are usually sheared in Autumn and Spring however some breeders differ if they are looking to show them as their fleeces can take a few months to grown back fully. Due to being used to dry conditions in their homeland, the Valais can be susceptible to foot scald and foot root during long wet periods in the winter. This can easily be managed by foot bathing regularly or keeping indoors when the ground becomes wetter.
They need all of the regular treatments such as fly strike prevention treatments, foot dip/trimming, worming and vaccinations. As they are a long wool animal it is important to inspect each individual regularly as the long wool can hide potential problems. Fly Strike is the main problem during the summer months as it can be concealed by the long fleece. Dagging (trimming their back ends) is recommended and there are many treatments on the market for the prevention and cure. Foot treatments are administered in Autumn and at regular intervals during the winter when wet and a close eye kept on the flock during hot summers to check for overheating.
The dietary requirements of the Valais Blacknose sheep is the same as any other breed however we have noticed they enjoy a variety of herbs and plants other than grass and will often favour these to a luscious green pasture. We like to allow the Valais access to hedgerows where possible and ensure they have additional feed/suplements when grazed on pure pasture. Many family members have likened them more to goats when watching them after they have been moved to a new field - straight to the weeds and hedges before noticing the grass!