Parkdale Valais Blacknose Sheep
Established 2018 - Owned by Hayden and Melissa Cowan, North Canterbury
Hayden and Melissa, along with Emma (9 years) and Ben (8 years), own and operate an 850-acre mixed cropping and grazing property in picturesque Motunau Beach in North Canterbury.
We have extensive experience and knowledge in the farming and stud industry. Hayden is a fourth-generation farmer and stud breeder. He also worked as a shearer for five years and is the Valais Blacknose Breed representative on the New Zealand Sheepbreeders’ Association Council. Melissa is actively involved in the New Zealand Valais Sheep Society Committee. We feel privileged to have been invited to showcase Valais Blacknose Sheep in NZ on Country Calendar in July 2020.
Our Valais Blacknose journey stared in 2017 when we discovered this unique rare breed of sheep. After doing some research and making some phone calls, our first shipment of embryos arrived from the UK in early 2018. These embryos came from one of the top UK breeders, Jamie Woods, with all embryos coming from sires (namely Prendwick Basil and Prendwick Eros) and dams (Predwick Dot and Predwick Dell-Girl) having scored maximum points based on the Swiss grading, the best genetics available.
In August 2018 out first 18 Valais Blacknose lambs were born and we’ve never looked back! We are also lucky to have the first (and only) “spitti” Valais ewe born in NZ. A “spitti” is a Valais that has the reverse colouring, being predominately black, and they are considered good luck in Switzerland.
Since 2018 we have continued to source top quality genetics from breeders across the UK and also from within NZ to add to our purebred flock here at Parkdale. Our aim is to build our breeding flock to 50 Valais ewes, whilst retaining our best rams every year for breeding and selling the surplus ram lambs and wethers. We also sell semen and embryos both within NZ and into the USA and Canadian markets.
We are excited to have been part of the Valais breed-up programme since 2019. We chose to use Romney’s as our foundation ewes due to them having similar confirmation to the Valais Blacknose, we have not been disappointed in our choice. We had our first F3 cross lambs born in Spring 2021 and are so excited to see what Valais traits each cross exhibits. We offer cross bred ewes and wethers for sale each year and also offer a ram mating service.
The Valais Blacknose Sheep have an incredible temperament, additive personalities and super cute looks and of course they have a story behind them that everyone loves, coming from the Swiss Alps.
Our family have been involved in the Stud industry for many years and have made life-long friends from all over the world as a result. We hope that we will have the same experience with the Valais Blacknose Stud industry and look forward to working with other breeders both within NZ and wider afield.