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About

Valais Blacknose sheep are a rare heritage breed of sheep that originated in the Valais region of Switzerland.  Mention of the breed goes as far back as 1400, but it wasn't until 1962 that the Valais Blacknose Sheep were officially recognized as a separate breed.  The breed was exclusive to Switzerland until 2013 when stock was brought into the UK.  In 2017, The first VBN were brought into New Zealand via embryos from the UK. 

 

In 2017 the US began to allow "semen only" to be imported into the US and a few farms began "breed up" programs.  This is a process in which a foundation ewe from a current US herd is artificially insemenated with Valais semen.  This semen can be imported from the UK or New Zealand.  The offspring of this first mating is know as F1 lambs and are 50% Valais.  The breed up program then AI's the F1 ewes with additional imported semen with the resulting F2 lambs being 75% Valais.  This continues for F3, F4, and F5 generations.  Once the lambs in the program have reached an F5 level which is 97% Valais they are considered "purebred" by most program standards.  To date, there have yet to be F5 lambs born in the US.

Alternately, the USDA has begun to allow embryos to be imported into the US from New Zealand only.  The first embryos were successfully transfered into recipient ewes and lambed in the spring of 2021.  One estimation was that only 50 "purebred" animals were lambed in 2021, and maybe 200 or so were lambed in 2022.  

Timberhaus imported Valais Blacknose sheep embryos into the United States in 2021 and lambed our first "purebreds" in the spring of 2022.  These embryos were from Parkdale Valais in New Zealand and we are absolutely excstatic about the (4) ewes and (1) ram that came from these original embryos.  Our plan is to grow our flock over the next few years and do our best to offer the highest quality lambs, embryos, and semen to support the continued establisment of the Valais Blacknose sheep here in the US.  We have also begun creating a store for "all things Valais".  Take a look at our farm shop for current offerings.

“Sheep only need a single flock, but people need two—one to belong to and make them feel comfortable, and another to blame all of society’s problems on.”

- James Rozoff

Who We Are

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Dr. Randy and Barb Carpenter

Timberhaus is a joined partnership between two farms.  Dr. Randy and Barb Carpenter are located in Cascade Michigan.  Dr. Randy Carpenter is a retired veterinarian and His wife Barb is a retired school teacher.  Dr. Randy and Barb first visited the Valais Blacknose sheep during a vacation to Scotland in the spring of 2016.  At this time they met and toured the farm of Raymond Irvine at Highland Valais and have since been working to bring the breed to the US

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Mike and Tammy Zebolsky

Mike and Tammy Zebolsky operate their farm from Marshall, Michigan.  Mike is an automotive engineer and his wife Tammy is a school teacher.  Their interest in the Valais came as a result of their friendship with the Carpenter's.  After mulitple years of their children showing, then breeding Hampshire sheep for 4H, Mike and Tammy began the effort to bring the Valais to their small farm.

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