Columbia Ram Tops 2020-21 WY Ram Test and Achieves CSBA Certified Ram Status with Three Flockmates
Kathy and Russell Bell of Bell Columbias, Gillette, WY, consigned five Columbia rams to the 2020-21 Wyoming Ram Test. Four achieved Certified Columbia Ram status, marking the second year that Bell rams have earned this honor in CSBA’s three year old ram certification program. Of special note is the fact that one of the rams—Bell B-181 “CR 005”—ranked first on the Wyoming Certified Index, topping all rams and all breeds on a test that included Columbia, Rambouillet, and Targhee. The index is calculated based on the following weighted factors: 25% Average Daily Gain (ADG), 25% Feed Efficiency, 30% Clean Fleece Weight (CFW), and 20% Loin Eye Area (LEA).
This Bell-bred ram ranked first in the following categories: 1) CFW, with a 365-Adjusted CFW of 18.65 pounds, 2) Feed to Gain Ratio (pounds of feed/pound of gain) of 5.359 pounds, and 3) cost/pound of gain of $0.857. He ranked fourth among all rams and all breeds for his 365-Adjusted Staple Length of 6.55 inches. He is QR and single born with an ADG of 0.80 pounds, a 23.95 micron fleece fiber diameter, and 1.52 in2 of LEA per hundred pounds of body weight. His dam is a twin-born 2015 ewe, Bell B-583. Bell acquired the sire, Bell Gene-101, through an agreement with Gene Langhus of Big Timber, MT in which Bell bred several Langhus ewes to his ram Bell B-709 in exchange for one ram lamb. (B-709 also sired the Champion Production Ewe and Champion Fleece Ewe at the 2019 Columbia National Show and Sale in Tooele, UT, as well as the Bell ram that earned Certified status in the first year of CSBA’s Certified Ram program.)
Bell B-162 “CR 006”, also sired by Bell Gene-101, achieved Certified honors as well. He is a twin-born RR ram with an ADG of 0.97 pounds, a 23.18 micron fleece fiber diameter, and a 365-Adjusted Staple Length of 4.46 in. His LEA, largest among the Columbias on the test, measured 1.76 in2/CWT. His dam is a single-born 2016 ewe, Bell B-731.
The third and fourth Bell rams to meet Certified Ram criteria during the 2020-21 WY RAM Test—Bell O-2897 “CR 007” and Bell O-2865 “CR 008”—were both sired by Eagleson-bred ESC W-59RR, a ram that achieved Certified status during the 2018-19 North Dakota Ram Test. O-2897 “CR 007” is QR and single-born and had an ADG of 0.97 pounds, a 24.51 micron fleece fiber diameter, a 365-Adjusted Staple Length of 5.57 in, and an LEA of 1.63 in2/CWT. His dam is a 2014 twin-born ewe, Bell G-225. O-2865 “CR 008”ranked in the top 30% of the rams in the test for his ADG of 1.11 pounds. He is RR and single-born and has a fleece fiber diameter of 26.96 microns, a 365-Adjusted Staple Length of 5.29 in, and an LEA of 1.56 in2/CWT. He is out of a twin-born 2016 ewe, Bell B-721.
The fifth Bell Columbia ram on test, also Bell/Langhus sired, did not qualify for Certified status because his fleece is too fine. Nevertheless, he topped all rams and all breeds on the test with an ADG of 1.286 pounds.
Attaining Certified Ram status with four rams in one year is a notable achievement. Kathy and Russell Bell of Bell Columbias deserve recognition for that achievement, for their commitment to ram testing, and for breeding for success in the sheep industry.
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