A breed up program is simply a program designed to create a new breed from an existing one.
In the case of the Valais, it is not legal to import the sheep themselves into the US, but it’s legal to import the semen. Semen is collected in Europe or New Zealand, frozen and shipped to the US. A veterinarian will then take that semen and through a laparoscopic procedure artificially inseminate (AI) a ewe of a different breed, a so called foundation ewe. Her lamb is called a F1- and is 50%Valais Blacknose and 50% of the breed of the foundation ewe.
Once the F1 ewe lamb is old enough, you AI her with semen from a different 100% Valais ram, and her offspring is now a F2 and which is 75% Valais. This continues until you reach a F5 which then can be registered as a purebred Valais Blacknose Sheep.
F1 = 50%
F2 = 75%
F3 = 88%
F4 = 94%
F5 = 97%
There are different registries available, each with different rules and regulations. After careful consideration I have chosen to be affiliated with the Valais Blacknose Sheep Society or VBSS and have registered my foundation ewes and their offspring with them.