High Percentage Fiber Flocks
We are breeders of Registered high percentage Wensleydale, Teeswater and purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep. We breed for strong body conformation and uniform and lustrous fleeces. Our breeding stock consists of registered Wensleydale, registered Teeswater and registered purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep. We strive to bring as much genetic diversity as we can to these rare breeds. These sheep are rare throughout the world and even more rare in the USA.
We are just getting started with the Valais Blacknose using Teeswater ewes as the foundation. In order to establish this breed in the USA we have partnered with Martin and Joy Dally of Shepherds Lane of Oregon to establish Pure Valais, LLC. To accomplish this we have employed embryo transfer into surrogate ewes to produce purebred Valais Blacknose lambs. We will cease using embryo transfer once we have a strong foundation flock established here in the states.
We have been involved in a rigorous “breed-up” program since 2008. Our percentages are now and have been for some time, into the mid to high 90%’s with regards to our Wensleydale and Teeswaters. “Breeding-up” requires that we bring in new genetics from high quality sires. . As the gene pool needs new bloodlines we are importing semen from the U.K. and New Zealand as it becomes available. The rareness is based on the fact that you can not bring in 100% stock from the UK. Click on the buttons below to learn more about the different breeds.
Pure Valais, LLC had their first crops of lambs born in 2021 and 2022. And in 2022 our first naturally conceived purebred Valais lamb was born at Shepherds Lane in Oregon. You can learn more about Pure Valais, LLC and this amazing breed by clicking the buttons and visiting the links below.
Commitment to Quality Care
The health of our animals comes first. When raising rare heritage breeds the genetic pool is smaller so we are very careful to get as much genetic diversity as possible. We have multiple ram and ewe lines available and will artificially inseminate as well with rams from the U.K. We are lucky to have a farmer just down the road from us who raises high quality grass and alfalfa hay and who supplies us with 50+ tons a year. The sheep have beautiful pastures from March through October. They are vaccinated yearly and are on a consistent deworming schedule. Their feet are trimmed regularly.
We’ve never had a case of footrot thankfully!
The Most Wonderful Time of The Year
Even after being shepherds for over 40 years babies never get old. Lambing, calving, foaling, whelping, kidding - never gets old for us. Lambing in the spring is a lot of work but as the lambs are turned out on pasture with their moms it is a beautiful sight - it’s worth it! We keep moms and lambs around the main barn till they are at least 3 weeks old as we worry about bald eagles going after them. We generally lamb during the months of February, March and April with lambs becoming available by June or July.
Because our lambs are all valuable to us, we strive for 100% lamb survival. It can be cold, windy, and wet this time of year in the northwest. A ‘healthy’ barn has adequate ventilation but shelters from the wind and rain. Second consideration is being aware and watching for ewes in labor. Some ewes, especially first timers, may walk away from a lamb or lambs. Ideally they’re put in a small pen (jug) to be confined with them.