Everything You Need to Know About the Jersey Cow

Posted by Allie Layos

WATCH NOW: Jersey Cows Are Sweet and Their Milk Is Too!

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Jersey cows are great milk producers, making them a popular option for farms all over the country. They're relatively easy to care for and are very gentle cows. If you're considering adding cows to your farm or are looking to expand your current herd, Jersey cows could be a great option.

History of the Jersey Cow

The Jersey cattle breed originated on the English Channel island of Jersey, and was first recorded as a separate breed around 1700 in England. Three other cattle breeds are native to the British Channel Islands including the Alderney, which is sadly extinct, and the Guernsey.

Identifying Jersey Cows

A relatively small breed of dairy cattle, brown Jersey cows are known for the high butterfat content of their milk, as well as their heat tolerance, superior grazing ability, and docile temperament that makes them perfect for the island life. Purebred Jerseys often have a white band around its muzzle and a dark switch (hair on the tail). While Jersey cows have very gentle dispositions, Jersey bulls can act aggressively, often more so than other male dairy bulls.

Caring for Jersey Cows

The Jersey breed generally cost less to maintain than other larger breeds due to their lower bodyweight and small size, high fertility, and they calve with ease with a low rate of dystocia (obstructed labor). Their Jersey milk production is also admirable for cow breeds in America. The breed society, American Jersey Cattle Club, was formed in 1868.

They are, however, more prone to post-parturient hypocalcaemia (or "milk fever"), which means there is lower levels of calcium in the mother cow's milk. If a cow has this disease, the calf will need more attention.

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Body Image: Boulder Ridge Farm

Do you have dairy cows? Have you ever been to the Isle of Jersey? Show or tell us in the comments below!

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Everything You Need to Know About the Jersey Cow