March 2022 – In March, Chris visited Widdermarkt in Switzerland with some other members of the Council. Widdermarkt is where the Swiss grade and show their rams. Chris and the other members of the Committee undertook a grading course over the week and he is now certified to be able to grade sheep according to Swiss standards in the UK.
January 2022 – Some new arrivals. The first lambs of 2022 have now arrived and we think you’ll agree they look very cute. Here are a couple of them chilling out together in the barn.
August 2021 – New kid on the block. Very Pleased to add ‘Snowdonia Inevitable’ to our flock. He won his class at Cheshire before coming 2nd to the reserve champion male at Blacknose Beauties. His father, grandfather and great grandfather all achieved maximum points and we are hoping he can go the same way in time 🙂
August 2021 – The Valais Blacknose Society National Show and Sale takes place at Worcester Livestock Market on 7 August. Show is 10am and Sale at 1.30pm. We are taking a few ewe lambs and 1 ram lamb. Look forward to seeing you there. Valais_Blacknose_Sheep_Catalogue_07_08_21.pdf (homeflow.co.uk)
April 2021 – Now its time for the March born lambs to head out to grass after graduating from their individual pens, then to the nursery pen and finally to the fields outside. They were enjoying the Easter sunshine in this photo.
February 2021 – Delighted to be asked to appear on ITV’s This Morning to show off the January lambs and help celebrate Hollys birthday. The lambs behaved themselves even if the presenters didn’t lol – we definitely said “hocks”!
January 2021 – Happy New Year to all our followers. Our first lambs for the year are on the ground and doing well. We hope you like the picture of them.
October 2020 – Tupping time for the ewes
September 2020 – The Valais Blacknose Sheep Breed Society ran its 2nd Annual Show and Sale at Sedgemoor Livestock Market in early September which was very well attended. We were delighted to pick up 1st prizes in 2 of the 3 classes we entered and were awarded Male Champion too. A great day.
July 2020 – Covid 19 claimed all the traditional agricultural shows this year so it has been a quieter year than we expected. Our attention is now focusing on the Show and Sale (3rd September – Sedgemore Livestock Market) where we will show and sell a few lambs. It is also time to start thinking about pairing up rams and ewes ready for our mating season which starts in August.
April 2020 – Those January born lambs pictured below have grown on well and we had a few more in March too. Some of the January born ones have already settled into their new homes. No shows foreseen for a while but we can still take some nice pictures and think about what they might have won..
January 2020 – And so it begins.. The Valais decided to wait until 10pm and continue until 2am but the first lambs were worth waiting for we think. Here’s one of our Ram Lambs practicing his show pose!
December 2019 – A Nice article in the Western Morning News about our Valais and the excitement of lambing them. Hope everyone else lambing in the next few weeks has a successful and not too stressful time! Happy New Year!
November 2019 – The Valais and the commericals that will lamb in January are now in the sheep shed. They will be fed hard feed and hay until they lamb now. The hard feed will gradually get built up. Jacobs and Valais due in the first 10 days of the New Year 🙂
November 2019 – The clocks have gone back and it wont be long before the first Valais come into the Shed to receive extra feed ready for lambing. We expect our first lambs in the first week of the New Year. Fingers crossed it goes smoothly and hope everyone else lambing in January has a good lambing too!
September 2019 – A successful show season has now drawn to a close. Our Rams performed well again with Older Ram ‘E-type’ winning Reserve Male at Devon, 2nd at Dorset and 2nd at Cornwall. Galileo our Ram Lam won 1st at Cornwall, and followed up with 2nd at Devon and Dorset and 4th at Three Counties. Our Ewes and Ewe Lambs also secured podium positions at Dorset, Devon and Cornwall 🙂 . Now time to focus on preparing for lambing!
September 2019 – Exceptional interest at Sedgemore Livestock Market for the Society Show and Sale. We sold Halsbury Gertrude for 5,500 gns (Equaled highest price paid for a Ewe Lamb at Auction) and Halsbury Gloria for 4,500 gns. Both sired by our homebred Ram Halsbury E-Type who himself is by Highland Montana.
June 2019 – Royal Cornwall Show. Unfortunately no breed specific classes at Cornwall but we did secure 1st place in the Any Other Continentals class for our Ram Lamb, 2nd with our Ram and 3rd with our Ewe Lamb. Really pleased to take on and do well against some other more established breeds 🙂
May 2019 – Devon County Show. Very pleased to get a 1st in the aged ram class and reserve male champion. Plus we got 2nd in the ram lamb class and 3rd in the ewe lamb class with it being the lambs first show. Nice to see a lot of Valais at the show and well done to Blackertor Valais for taking Champion.
April 2019 – The March Lambs are now out enjoying their new playground in the Devon sunshine. Here is a couple of photos of them :-).
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February 2019 –
Estimate of Valais Blacknose Sheep Population in the UK – Blog Post
Author: Tom Hooper and Chris Slee – Halsbury Valais Blacknose – www.valaisblacknosesheepsouthwest.co.uk
Aim: Using data from the Valais Blacknose registration system on Grassroots we have attempted to estimate the current UK population of Valais Blacknose Sheep. The data was sourced from https://www.grassroots.co.uk . Our analysis shows the number of Valais Blacknose Sheep registered by year of birth, by sex. We have then used the data from the registry to calculate the number of alive animals from that year of birth by sex and in totality. In addition we have calculated the % of Rams that were born, are still alive and registered as a percentage of the total sheep born in that year. Finally in the total column we estimate the number of Valais Blacknose Sheep in the UK by sex as at the date of the analysis (15-2-2019).
- The data has been calculated using the submissions of breeders to the grassroots registration system which may not be accurate. If breeders have not registered births then they cannot appear and the numbers will underrepresent the true flock numbers. Likewise, if owners have not registered deaths on the system those animals will still be shown as being ‘alive’.
- We accept that some breeders may not have registered all of their 2018 lambs by now (mid February) so we could be underestimating slightly the total 2018 cohort.
- There will be some 2019 lambs, but given we are only 1.5 months into the year we did not feel it was sensible to include this data.
- We estimate the current size of the UK Flock of Valais Blacknose Sheep to be 2,138 animals. Of this we believe there are 1,308 Ewes and 736 Rams with 94 Wethers;
- The increase in the number of lambs born each year has declined from 85% in 15-16 to 26% in 16-17 and 19% in 17-18;
- We have calculated that 96 breeders produced lambs in 2018 averaging around 7 lambs each;
- A large proportion of the lambs registered are Rams (2018 – 37%).
We did the above analysis for our own interest. It is not exhaustive and cannot be completely accurate and should not be taken as such. Maybe you will see something interesting in it – maybe not. It strikes us that of a total UK sheep population of over 20 million animals the Valais Flock is tiny at just over 2,000 – there would appear to be the potential for significant further growth. We also thought it was interesting how many Ram Lambs are registered each year (37% in 2018) – it would appear that perhaps too many Ram Lambs are being kept entire which would partly explain some of the lower prices for Ram Lambs but clearly that’s up to individual breeders. Anyway hope you found it interesting – some charts are below.
February 2019 – In February we had the opportunity to travel to Switzerland to see the sheep in their natural habitat and watch the ‘Miss Visp’ annual show. It was amazing to see so many Valais in one place and we got to do a bit of skiing too 🙂
January 2019 – We are pleased to announce the first batch of lambs of the year have arrived. We are really pleased with the markings and size and are hoping some will do well at the shows in the summer.