Columbia ass’n now certifying rams
The Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America (CSBA) has initiated a program to certify Columbia rams. The criteria for certification honor the dual-purpose breed standards that were established in 1941, when the Columbia association first organized, but they also include traits more recently recognized as important for both seed stock and commercial producers. The Columbia association is the first among the white-faced range sheep breeds to establish a minimum acceptable ribeye area. The criterion for ribeye was established to put pressure on the trait without sacrificing any of the other important maternal, dual-purpose breed qualities. The goals of the program are to encompass the most important Columbia traits, to identify rams that allow the breed to make steady progress in multiple, objectively measured, third party-verified traits, to challenge seed stock producers to improve their own flocks by aiming at targets that are achievable, but not easily hit, and to provide registered and commercial producers with an additional decision-making tool.
A ram must meet all of the following criteria while part of a CSBA-approved ram test to achieve Certified Columbia Ram status:
1. Carcass–Ribeye/Loineye Area must meet or exceed 1.3 square inches per 100 pounds of body weight.
2. Average Daily Gain–Average Gain/Day on test must meet or exceed 0.80 pounds per day.
–Fleece fiber diameter must be within the range of 22.05-27.84 microns.
–365 Day Estimated Staple Length must meet or exceed 4.3 inches for fleeces of fiber diameter 22.05-24.94.
–365 Day Estimated Staple Length must meet or exceed 4.8 inches for fleeces of fiber diameter 24.95-27.84 microns.
–Face Wool Score must be 3 or less.
–Belly Wool Score must be 1.
4. Genetics for Scrapies Resistance–DNA at Codon 171 must be QR or RR.
5. Registration–Rams must be registered with Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America no later than sixty days after their initial weigh-in date at an approved ram test.
– Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America
Hay production has been reported to be 50% of average or less in many areas of Nebraska. The U.S. hay supply is at a 50-year low (Table 1). Couple this information with rising costs (Figure…