JERSEY CATTLE are a small breed of dairy cattle . Originally bred in
the Channel Island of
Jersey , the breed is popular for the high
butterfat content of its milk and the lower maintenance costs
attending its lower bodyweight, as well as its genial disposition.
Jersey cow is quite small ranging from only 400–500 kilograms
(880–1,100 lb). The main factor contributing to the popularity of
the breed has been their greater economy of production, due to:
* The ability to carry a larger number of effective milking cows per
unit area due to lower body weight, hence lower maintenance
requirements, and superior grazing ability.
* Calving ease and a relatively lower rate of dystocia , leading to
their popularity in crossbreeding with other dairy and even beef
breeds to reduce calving related injuries.
* High fertility
* High butterfat conditions, 4.84% butterfat and 3.95% protein, and
the ability to thrive on locally produced food. Bulls are also small,
ranging from 540 to 820 kg (1200 to 1800 pounds), and are notoriously
Castrated males can be trained into fine oxen which, due to their
small size and gentle nature, make them popular with young teamsters .
Jersey oxen are not as strong as larger breeds however and are
generally out of favour among competitive teamsters.
Due to the small size, docile and inquisitive character and
attractive features of the
Jersey cow, small herds were imported into
England by aristocratic landowners as adornment for aesthetically
Jerseys come in all shades of brown, from light tan to almost black.
They are frequently fawn in colour. All purebred Jerseys have a
lighter band around their muzzle, a dark switch (long hair on the end
of the tail), and black hooves, although in recent years color
regulations have been relaxed to allow a broadening of the gene pool.
The cows are calm and docile animals, but tend to be a little more
nervous than other dairy cow breeds.
Jersey bulls are another matter.
While all dairy bulls are considered dangerous animals,
are considered by many to be the least docile of the dairy breeds.
The cows are also highly recommended cows for first time owners and
Jersey cattle have a greater tendency towards post-parturient
hypocalcaemia (or "milk fever ") in dams, and tend to have frail
calves that require more attentive management in cold weather than
other dairy breeds due to their smaller body mass and greater relative
* 1 History of the breed
* 2 Famous
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
HISTORY OF THE BREED
Jersey cattle being judged at a show in Jersey, home of the
As its name implies, the
Jersey was bred on the British Channel
Jersey . It apparently descended from cattle stock brought
over from the nearby Norman mainland , and was first recorded as a
separate breed around 1700.
The breed was isolated from outside influence for over two hundred
years, from 1789 to 2008.
Before 1789 cows would be given as dowry for inter-island marriages
Guernsey . This was, however, not widespread.
In 1789, imports of foreign cattle into
Jersey were forbidden by law
to maintain the purity of the breed, although exports of cattle and
semen have been an important economic resource for the island. The
restriction on the import of cattle was initially introduced in 1789
to prevent a collapse in the export price. The United Kingdom levied
no import duty on cattle imported from Jersey.
Cattle were being
shipped from France to
Jersey and then being shipped onward to England
to circumvent the tariff on French cattle. The increase in the supply
of cattle, sometimes of inferior quality, was bringing the price down
and damaging the reputation of
Jersey cattle. The import ban
stabilised the price and enabled a more scientifically controlled
programme of breeding to be undertaken. Jerseys are well known as
curious and gentle cattle
Sir John Le Couteur studied selective breeding and became a Fellow of
Royal Society - his work led to the establishment of the Royal
Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society in 1833. At that time,
the breed displayed greater variation than it does today with white,
dark brown and mulberry beasts. However, since the honey-brown cows
sold best the breed was developed accordingly. In 1860 1,138 cows were
exported via England, the average price being £16 per head. By 1910
over a thousand head were exported annually to the United States
alone. It is now the fastest growing dairy breed in the world.
On 1866, at the Annual General Meeting of the Royal Jersey
Agricultural and Horticultural Society, H.G. Shepard notes in his
history that "it was resolved - on the motion of Col. Le Couteur,
that the Hon. Secretary be hereby invited to open and to carry on a
"herd book" in which the pedigree of bulls, cows and heifers shall be
entered for reference to all the members of the Society." In 1869 for
the first time prizes were awarded at the Society's Shows for Herd
Book Stock Cattle.
The States of
Jersey took a census of stock in 1866, and
supported 12,037 head of cattle, of which 611 were bulls, and no fewer
than 6,322 pigs and 517 sheep. This was before the motor age and 3,227
horses were kept,
Saint Helier being responsible for 888.
In July 2008, the States of
Jersey took the historic step of ending
the ban on imports, and allowing the import of bull semen from any
breed of cattle, although only semen that is genetically pure will
enable the resultant progeny to be entered in the
Jersey Herd Book.
For many decades each of the 12 parishes in
Jersey would hold cattle
shows in the Spring, Summer and Autumn of every year; followed in turn
by the main shows held by the Royal
Jersey Agricultural ">
Sculpture by John McKenna, unveiled in 2001 and on display at West's
Center, St Helier
* Brown Bessie, the famous champion butter cow of the Chicago
World\'s Fair dairy test, averaged over 18 kg (40 pounds) of milk a
day for five months, and made 1.3 kg ( 3Lb ) of butter a day.
* Huronia Centurion Veronica 20J EX-97% is a well known show cow of
Jersey breed. In 2003 she was sold for $85,000 at public auction.
She was the 2006 World
Dairy Expo Supreme Champion. She has also been
named the All-American Grand Champion Jersey.
* Mainstream Barkley Jubilee holds the top two records for milk
production for a
Jersey cow. She produced 49,250 lbs of milk after
calving at 3 years and 6 months of age, and 55,590 lbs after calving
at 4 years and 8 months old.
Lily Flagg , raised in Northeast Huntsville, Alabama, champion
butterfat and milk producer of 1892. She produced a record 1047
pounds, 3/4 ounces of butter as well as 11,339 pounds of milk. Her
owner threw a locally famous high-class party in her honor, going so
far as to paint his house "butter yellow" for the occasion. She was a
"Cow worth Kissing", her value to the community was so high.
* Duncan Belle, sired by Highland Magic Duncan, was named the winner
of the 2000 Great Cow Contest. This came after she was named the
Reserve Grand Champion of the All-American show in 1993. She was also
named All-Canadian cow between 1991 and 1993.
List of cattle breeds
List of cattle breeds
* ^ Rex Paterson in
Jersey Cattle, ed. Boston, 1954, pp81-95
* ^ http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/cattle/jersey
Jersey Cattle, Eric James Boston. 1954.
* ^ One Hundred Years of the Royal
Jersey Agricultural and
Horticultural Society 1833-1933. Compiled from the Society's Records,
by H.G. Shepard, Secretary
* ^ "
Cattle Show & Family Day Out - The West Show, Jersey".
Westshow.org.je. 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
* ^ "Non-pure bull semen imported into Jersey". BBC News.
2010-02-17. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
* ^ "The Book of the Fair : Chapter the Nineteenth: The Live-Stock
Department (Image)/ Paul V. Galvin Digital History Collection".
Columbus.gl.iit.edu. 1998-08-26. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
* ^ "Show Summaries 2006". World
Dairy Expo. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
* ^ "
Dairy Cow Daily - Huronia Centurion Veronica 20J".
www.dairycowdaily.com. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
* ^ http://www.usjersey.com/Reference/Top30Records.xls
* ^ Lucindaville (2010-04-17). "Cookbook Of The Day: Huntsville
Heritage Cookbook". Cookbookoftheday.blogspot.com. Retrieved
* ^ "Huntsville History Comes Alive". Huntsville.about.com.
2012-04-09. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
* ^ A B "Rapid Bay Jerseys". www.rapidbay.ca. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
* ^ Sydney L. Spahr, George E. Opperman (1995). The
Today: U.S. Trends, Breeding, and Progress Since 1980. USA: Hoard's
Dairyman. p. 74.
* Balleine's History of Jersey, Marguerite Syvret and Joan Stevens
(1998) ISBN 1-86077-065-7
Butterfat in Relation to the
Jersey Breed, Boston, E.J. and H.L.
Webb, WJCB, 1954.
* A Short History on the Origins of
Jersey Cattle., Boston Eric,