June Breeder Focus of the Month – Renee Snouckaert Noblesse Valais Oxfordshire 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿

1. Tell us a bit about yourself? 
I am originally from Holland. Horses brought me to the UK and never looked back! Had some interesting jobs in my life, involved with Special Branch & Drug Enforcement in the Cayman Islands, worked for Captain Mark Phillips at Gleneagles and ran a Chambres d’hotes in Normandy. Now settled in the Chilterns on a pretty smallholding.

2. Do you have a Website/Facebook Page?
Valais Blacknose Sheep Oxfordshire

3. Flock Prefex? Noblesse

4. When did you get your first Valais Blacknose Sheep?

5. How big is your flock?
33, consisting of 13 Breeding Ewes (majority are ARR/ARR), 5 rams plus 15 lambs born this year

6. Who has been your favourite sheep and why? 
Ockhuyzen Irja, one of my original ewelambs imported from Holland, she produced a winner every year

7. Do you have any tips you have learned about the breed along the way? 
Frozen colostrum drawn from milky ewes is a life saver for weakly lambs. I store this in my freezer in small smoothie bottles, so easy to defrost in warm water. I make sure that I am present at every birth in case I need to assist,with the result that last year and this year I have had a 100% scan – survival rate, with small lambing numbers every lamb counts. Most common problem was with the lambs presented with one leg back.

8. What are your ambitions for your Valais Blacknose Sheep?
To maintain a small, but quality show flock using natural service.

9. What other animals do you have? 
Alpacas, Miniature Appaloosa Horses and my Labrador

10. What is the best thing that has happened to you because of owning Valais Blacknose Sheep?
Appearing on this year’s BBC1 Farmers Country Showdown programme, sharing my passion in presenting the VBS at County Shows and to demonstrate that you can run a smallholding single-handedly with just a wheelbarrow at hand!

And finally your best photo of your sheep? 🐑

Photo is of three ewe lambs originally imported from Holland and are still part of my foundation flock, we have made this incredible journey together.