July Breeder Focus of the Month – Whitehall Valais Blacknose Sheep 🏴
1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
We are Henry and Emily Duncan and have two children Evie (9) and Bertie (7), we are full time farmers having taken over the family farm in Dumfriesshire, South West Scotland. Henry has always lived here, Emily crossed the border from Northumberland, via being an estate agent in London (don’t miss that…)
2. Do you have a website/facebook page www.whitehallblacknosesheep.com Whitehall Valais Blacknose Sheep and Belted Galloways, Scotland
3. Flock Prefex – Whitehall
4. When did you get your first Valais Blacknose Sheep? 2014
5. How big is your flock? Not very many! We have our five original Swiss Imports, a couple of ewes from the Highland Flock, two tups, a couple of homebred ewes , two lambs and one pet wether Eddie.
6. Who has been your favourite sheep and why? Probably Eddie, he was tiny when he was born and we didn’t think he would survive but he did, he has bad markings but he is a good companion for ewes or lambs so has a purpose! Our original girls Betty, Beryl, Bramble, Bonnie and Bertha though will always be special.
7. Do you have any tips you have learned about the breed along the way? We have had them for 5 years now but learn more every year. Trips to Miss Visp in Switzerland and Blacknose Beauties help you realise what is and isn’t a good sheep. Obviously confirmation and markings are important but a really good fleece can make the sheep look that extra bit special. As others say, keep an eye on feet all year round, flies in the summer and it is really important to shear every six months.
8. What are your ambitions for your Valais Blacknose Sheep? To keep on improving and breeding the best we can, Betty won us a bell a couple of years ago at Blacknose Beauties, we would really like to win another one year….but must stop selling our best lambs!
9. What other animals do you have? 2 dogs (about to be 3), 2 guinea pigs, a horse, a pony, hens and too many cockerels, 500 commercial ewes, a few Belted Galloways and 220 Aberdeen Angus cows of which half are pedigree which we also show.
10. What is the best thing that has happened to you because of owning Valais Blacknose sheep? The friends we have made and of course the trips to Switzerland, helping gather the Valais Blacknose Sheep of the Matterhorn, visiting the Schnydrigs in Mund, Miss Visp…. I could go on and on.
Your best photo of your sheep?
It has to be this… David the lamb falling over, but have to add a post show photo too. 💤