Columbia Sheep Breeders Association of America

Columbias - The Best in the Barn!

Standard of Excellence for Columbia Sheep

  Size - Superior, large, well-balanced rams showing correct Columbia type which fully represent the breed at its finest. (Only ram lambs weighing a minimum of 120 pounds are subject for inspection.) Registered ewes shall be above average in quality and size. (Only ewe lambs weighing a minimum of 90 pounds are subject for inspection.)
  Fleece -
Columbia ewes should shear an annual fleece of at least 12 pounds. The fleece should grade 1/2, 3/8 or 1/4 blood of staple length for grade but not show a greater variation than two grades and not show medulated or colored fibers.
  Head -
Hornless and free from wool blindness, moderately long ears covered with an even covering of white hair or very short wool. Hair on face and ears should be white; occasional small black spots are permitted on ears. Small spots of colored pigment are permitted on nose.
  Neck -
Medium, neatly attached and full, and preferably free from wrinkles and folds.
  Shoulders -
Wide, meaty, tightly laid on top and even with backline.
  Chest -
Wide and Deep with forelegs set well apart.
  Back -
Long, level, wide and strongly muscled.
  Rump -
Long and wide with dock carried well up.
  Ribs -
Well sprung, wide and deep.
  Thighs -
Thickly muscled and well filled in the twist.
  Legs -
Set squarely under sheep, heavily boned and covered with white hair below the wool line.
 
Pasterns - Moderately short and strong.
  Hoofs - May be either white or black.

Disqualifications - Should Not be Registered

  Horns - Horns, scurs or knobs on ewes and rams (slight scurs—small horny growth attached to skull—are permitted in outstanding rams that show promise for breed improvement in production and type). Inspectors are instructed to be critical on the registry of ram lambs with significant soft, horny growth in the socket.
  Wool Blindness - Open white faced with poll covering not to exceed 2 inches below eyes or impair vision, even in full fleece.
  Short Staple-Uneven Fleece - Less than three and one-half inch staple length or proportionals per grade for 12 months growth or proportionate length for periods of varying duration. More than two grades of wool on same sheep or medulated fibers.
  Eyelids - Sheep with inverted eyelids shall not be registered.
  Light Fleece - Loose, light fleece, lacking in density.
  Fine Wool - Finer than 1/2 blood.
  Coarse Wool - Coarser than 1/4 blood, except on lower thigh which may be low 1/4 if body fleece is 1/4 blood.
  Faulty Mouth - Any tendency toward either overshot or undershot jaws.
  Discolorations -
Any colored wool. Colored hair on legs. Thin covering of hair on face and ears leading to excessive sunburn.
  • Pigment- accept small spots of colored pigment on the ears and eyelids. Pigment on end of nose may be either pink or black.
 
• Hair - accept occasional black spots or black hair on the ear or around the eye. Also accept brown tinge on the eyelids or fringe or lacing of ear. Inspectors are instructed to hold color exceptions to a minimum.
 
Folds - Excessive wrinkles or folds on neck shall disqualify. A slight fold on brisket shall not be discriminated against on quality animals.
  Lack of Quality - Poor constitution, low productive capacity, malformed weak pasterns, crooked feet, or crooked legs.

Scorecard for Judging Columbia Sheep

Body

  General Appearance - A large sheep, symmetrical in outline, head erect, legs squarely placed. Rams distinctly masculine. Ewes strong but feminine.....................................................................................10
  Head - Free of horns, open white face with poll covering not to exceed two inches below eyes or impair vision, even in full fleece, moderately long ears covered with an even covering of white hair or very short wool, eyes clear and bright, mouth neither over nor undershot..............................6
  Neck - Medium, with smoothness from head to shoulders. No wrinkles...2
  Back - Strong level, long with thick fleshing, wither smooth, well
covered with natural fleshing.........................................................10
  Ribs - Well sprung, deep underline, covered with natural fleshing.........6
  Chest - Broad and deep, providing ample width between forelegs, full in front without skin folds...................................................................4
  Rump - Level on top to dock. Wide at dock. Deep in twist..................4
  Legs - Medium long in proportion to size, heavy bone, straight feet, strong pastern..............................................................................6
  Leg - Full to shank, thick and plump, with deep full twist....................6
  Scrotum, Udder - Two well-developed testicles in rams. Two teats with udder well developed and well balanced in ewes ..............................
...6
                                                                                               60

Fleece

  Fleece - Dense, long staple, with uniform fiber quality from shoulder to thigh and carrying with uniformity to underline with heavy yield of clean wool .........................................................................................25
  Length - Three to five inch staple in 12 months growth, uniform length and square tip..............................................................................5
  Uniformity of Grade - Three grades permitted: 1/2, 3/8,1/4 blood. Not more than two grades in one fleece. Free of hair and kemp. Soft, elastic, white, clean.................................................................................5
  Condition - Fibers well grown, free from breaks and strong throughout length. Yolk white or cream, not in excess, not dry or discolored. Fleece free from matting or cotting, free of burs, leaves, and trash..............
...5
                                                                                               40

Click here for a printable version of the Columbia Breed Standard

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