blacknose sheep in a grassy field

There Are Fluffy Blacknose Sheep You Can Own As A Pet and They Are Adorable

Yeah, the classic pets of puppies, cats, and hamsters are cute. But have you heard of this adorable blacknose sheep? They look like animated stuffed animals with soft curly fur and black-furred faces you can’t end by ‘aw’ at. Blacknose sheep are commonly found in the Valais area in Switzerland. They are usually bred for meat and fur but they have very sweet personalities as pets. But you’ll need a lot of farmland to raise these sheep.

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The Most Adorable Mountain Blacknose Sheep

Blacknose sheep are named after their most distinctive feature. Black spots cover their faces, ears, legs, feet, and of course, noses. But don’t let their adorable faces distract you from the fact that it looks like they are wearing black socks! Also, they aren’t as soft and cuddly as they look. These sheep are strong and adaptable to the harsh weather of the mountains. Their neck and shoulder are well-muscled as well as the rest of their body. And their graceful and confident walk befits a species that lives on such difficult terrains. 

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Overall, they become fully grown by the age of two years. Females can grow from 72 to 78 cm (28 to 31 inches) and males from 75 to 83 cm (29,5 to 33 inches). Additionally, females can weigh 70 to 90 kg (154 to 198 Ibs) and males can weigh 80 to 125 kg (176 to 276 Ibs). For reference, that means these sheep can be as heavy as a mountain lion or a wolf. [1] So as cute as they are, they may not be the ‘cuddles in your lap’ kind of pet.

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Part of that weight is attributed to their fleece. In general, blacknose sheep wool grows about 12 inches or 30 cm per year. However, most farmers don’t let it grow that long since they shear twice a year. As expected most of the wool is white, aside from the black-spotted areas. Keep in mind that both female and male sheep grow horns.

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Their History

The first historical mention of this breed dates back to about the 15the century. It took until 1962 for the blacknose sheep to be recognized as a separate breed. This was fortunate because the breed became endangered in 1884 when people tried to cross them with Australian Southdown sheep to sell more of the meat and wool. Fortunately, this campaign didn’t last long because the Australian Southdown breed was not as adaptable and durable, and their wool and meat were of less quality. And in 1964, blacknose sheep were accepted into the Swiss Sheep Breeding Association.

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Blacknose sheep are currently bred in different areas around the world, including Britain, Germany, and the U.S. Good thing too. In Switzerland, an increase in wolf population threatens the number of sheep in the wild. Fortunately, these domesticated sheep have done well since they were officially recognized as a separate breed. [2]

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How to Get a Blacknose Sheep as a Pet

As cute as they are, they are not easy pets to attain. Plus, as with any pet, ensure you are ready to commit to their care before you buy them. With blacknose sheep, you have no choice but to think over the purchase because they can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000, depending on the bloodline purity. Additionally, sheep are herd animals and it’s highly suggested to buy two or more unless you already own other sheep. On the plus time, these pets are overall easy to keep, they get along with other animals and pets, and they could thrive in many areas in the United States.

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While you’re at it, ensure the breeder you buy from works closely with veterinarians. The animals should be DNA verified, registered, and vaccinated before you buy them. [3] 

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Sources

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  1. “List of Animals That Weigh Around 150 Pounds.” Weight of Stuff. Niklas.
  2. “About Us.” Valais Blacknose Sheep Cheshire
  3. “Purchase a Valais Blacknose Sheep.” NJ Valais Blacknose Sheep.
Sarah Biren
Freelance Writer
Sarah is a baker, cook, author, and blogger living in Toronto. She believes that food is the best method of healing and a classic way of bringing people together. In her spare time, Sarah does yoga, reads cookbooks, writes stories, and finds ways to make any type of food in her blender.
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