Valais Blacknose sheep insights: Size, life expectancy and buying options

valais blacknose sheep from switzerland

Strange-looking but cute — if you can even see their ~faces~ — the Valais Blacknose sheep is a type of mountain-breed sheep from the Valais region of Switzerland.

These fancy-looking lambs are called ‘luxury sheep’ for their magical faceless features, shaggy coats, and spiral horns. These peculiarities explain why the “World’s Cutest Sheep” are so expensive to breed.

Are Valais Blacknose sheep for sale?

Although they’re used for their wool and meat in Switzerland, the sheep are growing in demand in the UK and USA as pets, with a value of up to £10,000 ($12,500) each for newborns.

But good luck getting your hands one on if you live outside the EU (European Union), which bars the exportation of the creatures due to health concerns.

For those stateside, your best bet is paying up to $8,000 for a frozen embryo from the UK or New Zealand. Both countries harbor well-developed facilities and procedures for exporting genetic assets.

Valais Blacknose sheep

Valais Blacknose sheep life expectancy

Valais Blacknose typically enjoys a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years. Their robust nature, suited for the alpine terrains of their homeland, plays a pivotal role in their longevity.

According to the Conference of Northern California Handweavers, there are only 13,000 – 14,000 purebred Valais Blacknose worldwide. It’s, therefore, crucial to keep these endangered species blooming in the best conditions possible.

Valais Blacknose sheep
Valais Blacknose sheep

Valais Blacknose sheep size

Adult rams, the males of the breed, typically tip the scales at around 80 to 100 kilograms (176 to 220 pounds). At the same time, the ewes, their female counterparts, are marginally lighter, usually weighing in at approximately 70 to 90 kilograms (154 to 198 pounds).

In stature, these sheep also impress, with rams often reaching a shoulder height of about 75 to 83 centimeters (29.5 to 32.7 inches) and ewes slightly shorter.

Valais Blacknose sheep boast an impressive size, enhanced by dense wool, spiraled horns, and distinctive black face and leg markings. These traits showcase their adaptation to Switzerland’s challenging Alpine terrains, their native habitat.

Valais Blacknose sheep