Valais at Gratitude Acres

The wonderful world of Valais Blacknose Sheep!

Valais Blacknose Sheep are a wool and meat breed!

The question of which foundation breed to use is a much-discussed topic. Horns vs no horns come into play. I chose Cotswsold ewes as foundations because of their similarities in size and wool. The Valais standard wants well defined staples with a lot of shine/luster to them. And the Cotsolds have all of that! We brought all of our ewe lambs this year (2 F1’s and one F2) to the NJ sheep and Fiber show and showed them in the wool class- a class of 12. They placed First, second and fourth. Their wool is phenomenal and the judge thought so too!

Why Valais Blacknose Sheep?

The short answer is because they are the most personable, loving, cuddly sheep ever! Falling in love with Valais Blacknose Sheep happens instantly. However; getting your hands on them was impossible at the time I first learned about them. Years later I realized that we could get our very own by participating in a Breed Up Program. We jumped in with both feet; clearing land, building shelters, putting up fencing, acquiring foundation ewes, going through the AI process and then what seemed to be an endless wait to finally be able to welcome our own very first F1’s. We added Embryo Transfers during our third breeding season and ended up with our own 100% purebred ram. And he’s not the last one, as we’re doing it again in October. It’s official- we’re even more in love now!! We welcome you to come visit us, but please be forewarned: You will lose your heart to these wonderful sheep!!


Cotswolds have many traits in common with the Valais; However, they are a polled – no horns – breed. We do not see horns in our F1’s. We have seen some F2’s that have horns (like our Damsel in the picture, newly shorn). The VBN sheep do have some issues with their horns even as purebreds. They can grow too close to their face and if left alone, will grow into their cheeks creating wounds and pain. Potentially, a different set of DNA for a different horn set- the way the horns grow- can lead to even more issues down the line. I’m hoping that using Cotswold sheep means that I don’t have to deal with the added issues. The science of genetics tells us that horns will come- and on a personal note- while breeding up I find it so much easier to not have to deal with horns. They ARE pokey and have a tendency to get stuck lol!

Ongoing Support

We offer all our customers ongoing support. This means that we are happy to help during the process of acquiring sheep – no grudges should you chose to go elsewhere- we WANT you to be happy with your decision. We strive to be as open as we can and are happy to share what worked- and didn’t work- for us. We are there for all the questions you have after you take them home if you are new to sheep and we LOVE the pictures we get once our babies leave us showing us how happy they are in their new homes! We do hope to stay in touch and be able to count you as a member of our continuously growing sheep-family- sheep or no sheep. Stop by anytime for some sheep talk, and of course cuddles provided by our sheep!

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