Breed Up Program

Until the summer of 2020, only semen has been available in North America. In order to reproduce Valais Blacknose, a breed up program was established in the U.S. and Canada. A foundation ewe is artificially inseminated with frozen semen from a 100% purebred Valais Blacknose.

The artificial insemination procedure is laparoscopic and must be done by an experienced reproductive vet. Success rates vary depending on the vet’s experience and the health of the ewe. We recommend using a proven vet that has done at least 3000 procedures. There is a process for preparing your foundation ewe that can be done by the breeder, but some prefer to have a vet insert CIDR’s and give the shots.

The first generation of lambs born are called F1. If you have a ewe lamb, she will be the mother of your F2 lambs. AI proceedure is repeated using a different purebred semen. This is repeated from F1-F4 for ewes. At F4 ewes that meet breed standard can be registered as domestic purebreds. Ram lambs are neutered or wethered and not used for breeding until F5 is reached. At F5 a ram lamb can be registered as a domestic purebred if they meet the breed standard.

What do F1, F2 and F3 lambs look like?

That is not easy to answer due to variations in each generation. The breed of foundation ewe chosen will determine how much black they have. Using a Horned Dorset foundation ewe vs a Scottish Blackface will produce fewer markings in the F1 and F2 generation, but will be more uniform in the F3 generation.