Jersey Cattle Breed Profile and Farming Feasibility

Breed Name: Jersey Cattle
Other Name: Alderneys
Origin: UK. The Jersey can now be found across the world with some of the largest populations in countries such as Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, South Africa, USA, and Zimbabwe, and in the UK
Price: Miniature cows cost $1,800 to $3,500 depending on the size, markings and color. (A good standard Jersey sold as a family milk cow will cost $1,400 to $1,800
Breed Overview:
The Jersey is a British breed of small dairy cattle from Jersey Islan located in English Channel
Today, the Jersey breed is the second largest breed of dairy cattle in the world
The Jersey breed generally cost less to maintain than other larger breeds due to their lower bodyweight and small size
Jerseys are well known for their milk which is noted for its high quality – it is particularly rich in protein, minerals and trace elements.
It is also rich in colour which is naturally produced from carotene, an extract from grasses.
The Jerseys has an ability to adapt to many kinds of climates, environments and management practices
Scientific studies also show the Jersey cow produces milk more efficiently than other breeds
Jerseys produces a pound of milk components at a lower cost compared to the other major breeds.
She has little or no calving problems, greater fertility, a shorter calving interval, and earlier maturity.
Jerseys stay in the herd longer than any other dairy breed.
Jersey milk has greater nutritional value, plus the highest yield and greater efficiency when processed into cheese and other value-added products.

Jersey milk commands a premium price in many markets.
Jerseys perform well under a wide range of systems and are well-known for their high feed conversion efficiency
Jersey milk is in many ways unique. As a product it contains:- 18% more protein, 20% more calcium, 25% more butterfat than “average” milk.
Jerseys are well-known to be less susceptible to lameness because of their black hoof color which makes their hooves very hard. Because Jerseys are a lighter breed this may also give them less problems with lameness.
The record for milk production by one cow is held by a Jersey. The Jersey produces more milk on less feed than other dairy breeds, eating about 80 percent of a Holstein’s normal daily intake
One reason the Jersey thrives around the world is its adaptability to various climates, especially hot ones
Lifespan: While most cattle live between 18 to 22 years, it’s not unusual for Jerseys to live 25 years or more. The oldest Jersey cow recorded was 37 years old living at an animal rescue center in the United Kingdom
Milk Production
Their milk is considered quite a luxury product across Britain and other countries! It has a high butterfat content of 4.84% which is 25% more than average milk, and protein reaches about 3.95%, which is 18% more than other breeds’ product. Jersey milk also has 25% more calcium than average
A Jersey cow usually produces about 5,000kg of milk per year. This adds up to about 200,000 glasses of milk in one cow’s lifetime. However, there are some high-standard exceptions that can produce around 9,000kg
A Jersey cow can produce around 140 servings of milk in one day
Jersey cows milk suppresses the immune system, causes type I diabetes, Coronary Heart Disease, Autism, Schizophrenia, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. A2 milk is a healthier choice than regular milk. Most of the old Indian cow breeds provide A2 milk
Height Female: 48 inches
Weight Female : Smaller in size ie 450 kg
Coat : It is typically light brown in colour, though this can range from being almost grey to dull black, which is known as Mulberry. They can also have white patches which may cover much of the animal. A true Jersey will however always have a black nose bordered by an almost white muzzle
Reproduction & Milking Facts
Reproduction Age: Jersey heifers can be bred at 14 months of age.
Gestation Period : The length of gestation periods varied from 262 to 296 days (9 months)
Calves can be born throughout the year
When the calf has been born, the mother licks it to remove the birth fluids. The calf is normally able to stand within a few hours of birth and will drink Colostrum from the cow’s udder
 Colostrum is a type of milk which the cow produces for the first 24 hours or so after giving birth; it protects the new-born calf from disease and provides vital anti-bodies
In modern farming systems the calf is taken from its mother within a couple of days as she is needed to produce milk for sale. The farmer feeds the calf milk from a bucket for the next 6-8 weeks until it is weaned
The calf must, by law, be identified with two tags which are inserted into each ear shortly after birth. Calves may be dehorned when they are a few weeks old. This procedure does not hurt the calf but stops the horns from developing and causing possible injury to other animals or humans
Heifer (female) calves usually stay on the farm and are reared for entry into the milking portion of the herd whereas bull (male) calves are usually reared for beef. In exceptional cases where the bull is of superior genetic merit, it may be used for breeding
Before a heifer can produce milk she must have a calf
Heifers are mated at 15-21 months old. Artificial insemination is the usual method although natural service may be used
Usually, the heifer will be pregnant for nine months before giving birth
Once the heifer has given birth she will begin to produce milk. She will be called a heifer until she has her second calf when she will be called a cow
An average, give birth to 2-4 calves in a lifetime
Breed History
Despite considerable research, nothing definite is known as to the actual origin of the cattle first brought to Jersey Island. Most research agrees, that the Jersey probably originated from the adjacent coast of France, where in Normandy and Brittany cattle resembling Jerseys are found. 

The domesticated fore-father of the Jersey came from Asia, belonged in all probability to Bos brachyceros, was probably tamed during the Stone Age, some 10 000 years ago or more and migrated to Europe through Central and Southern Europe and North Africa to Switzerland and France. In Northern France some cross-breeding undoubtedly took place between the pure Bos brachyceros and Bos primigenius herds (which mostly came down the North Coast of Europe to N.France). 

Jersey Island being joined to France until about A.D. 709 by a narrow isthmus, cattle from Normandy and Brittany were brought over regularly in the early days to Jersey Island and must have played a very important role in the origin and development of the present day Jersey. 

Jerseys are known to exist in the UK mainland since 1741 and probably well before. At that time they were known as Alderneys. 

The flourishing times for the breed were the period from the 1860s to the First World War when the Jersey cow enjoyed the greatest period of development for the breed worldwide. For many years, thousands of animals were shipped to the USA annually, but records show that early settlers took Jerseys there in 1657. Canada imported her first Jerseys in 1868. Jerseys first went to South Africa in 1880, and in 1862 New Zealand imported her first cattle. 

Although records of earlier importations into Australia are not available, it is believed that the first Jerseys arrived as “ship cows.” The first reference of a Jersey dates back to 1829 when Mr. J. T. Palmer of Sydney advertised the sale of 200 pure bred Jerseys. 

Latin America imported its first Jerseys around 1892, the first cattle went to Guatemala. Brazil had its first Jerseys four years later. Costa Rica that first imported the breed to Central and South America in 1873. 

Today, the Jersey breed is the second largest breed of dairy cattle in the world. On Jersey itself there are fewer than 6000 Jerseys in total with nearly 4000 of these being adult milking cows. The purity of the breed on the island is maintained by a strict ban on imports. This ban has been in place for some 150 years. There are no other breeds of the cattle on the island. 
Daily Feed Requirements
For milk production, the cow must eat large quantities of food and drink large volumes of water to obtain the nutrients that she needs. The cow is a ruminant which means that, unlike humans, she can make use of fibrous foods such as grass. In the UK, most grass grows in the months between March and November. The herd grazes outside during this period. Surplus grass is preserved for the winter months. The most common form of preservation is in the form of silage which is fermented grass. Drying grass in the sun is another method of preservation which produces hay. In recent years, farmers in central and southern Britain have started growing maize (the same plant as sweet corn) to make into silage as well, providing extra protein to the cows’ diet. Cows will eat silage or hay in the period between October and April when they are kept indoors. 
Expectations of the modern dairy cow is a high milk production level, therefore, her grass-based diet needs to be supplemented with extra energy, protein, vitamins and minerals. Concentrates are used for this purpose. Concentrates are mixtures of cereals, rape meal, sunflower meal, peas, soya, vitamins, and minerals etc which are ground and pressed in animal feed manufacturing mills to produce small, brown pellets
Dry forages are pasture (fresh forage) or high quality alfalfa hay, alfalfa-grass mix hay, grass hay or straw. Some dairy farmers will feed a mix of both silage and hay, while others might only feed silage or only feed hay, depending on the farm. The other half of the diet is called the concentrate
Actually, lush, protein-rich alfalfa hay make beef cattle sick. Some signs that your beef herd has consumed too much fresh pasture include bloat, diarrhea and other digestive problems. Your cattle will do best on a pasture grass mix of hay. This hay includes legumes as well as grass
Alternatively you can try “Premium Concentrates for Cattle” made through the ‘Secret Recipe’ of Nadia Pets Cross. It contains essential dietary requirements, minerals, vitamins, preventive medicines and a branded breeding formula to enhance fertility in your Cattle.
Feed Calculations
As an example, if it were determined the daily dry matter intake of a group of 1,200 pound cow eating an average quality hay is 24 pounds per head and the hay that they are consuming is 88% dry matter, these cows would consume about 27 (24 pounds/.88) pounds per head per day on an as-fed basis
As a thumb rule, a cow will eat 2 to 2.5 pounds of hay per day for each 100 pounds of body weight (about one 30- to 40-lb. bale per day). If you feed grain, the usual is 16% dairy ration, which will balance well with most pasture or hay. Another rule of thumb is to give 1 lb. of grain for every 3 lbs. of milk
A cow can eat about 55-60 lbs of corn silage per day (33% moisture. To grow cattlefrom 300 to 1000 pounds on only corn silage would require about 7 tons of silage. Generally you could expect between 20 and 24 tons of corn silage per acre
Water Consumption On average, a Jersey cow drinks 130 litres of water in one day
Common Cattle Diseases
Results from several investigations lead to the conclusion that Jerseys are less susceptible to mastitis, e.g., in dairy herds of Florida, mastitis and udder disorders were more frequent among Holsteins (51% of cows treated) vs. 22% for Jerseys
Jersey cattle have excellent resistance against disease. Cases of mastitis and dystocia (difficult calving) are very low, with some studies showing that Jerseys are half as likely to suffer from udder problems compared to Holstein Friesians. This is handy for farmers who want to keep their herds healthy and productive
However, it’s important to remember that Jersey dams and calves are more likely to suffer from ‘milk fever’. Other common cattle diseases are following
Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex (BRDC) or “Shipping Fever”, is a form of pneumonia commonly seen in shipped or stressed calves. Stress, such as weaning, dehorning, shipping and weather changes can make the animal susceptible to disease-causing viruses and bacteria. The best way to reduce the risk of BRDC is through routine vaccination. Vaccinating early in life is important, because calves that survive respiratory disease often don’t grow as fast or as large as calves, which have never been infected. A vaccine program should include protection against the following respiratory diseases, all of which contribute to BRDC.
Clostridial Disease, or “Blackleg” is a common name for a class of bacterial infections called clostridial. There are over 60 different types of clostridial bacteria, but not all of them cause the disease. Clostridial usually occurs in calves or young cattle less than 2 years old and is caused by gangrene that forms in the muscles. Clostridial normally results from young calves not getting the proper amount of colostrum. Clostridial can appear in older cattle and is usually the result of vaccine needle contamination.
BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus) This is a sometimes fatal, stress-related infection that can cause mild to severe respiratory disease and reduce the animal’s resistance to other diseases. Signs include coughing, high fever, and runny eyes and nose.
BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea) This is one of the most costly diseases of cattle. Signs include scours, nasal discharge, coughing, and fever. Type 2 BVD is a severe form of this virus that can cause hemorrhaging in young calves, as well as adults.
Haemophilus Somnus is a bacterial infection implicated in a variety of respiratory, neurological and reproductive disorders. H. Somnus can be the primary cause of respiratory disease, or it can be an underlying infection that is masked by other disease-causing agents. Signs of H. Somnus include fever, coughing, nasal discharge and labored breathing. Death without symptoms can occur.
IBR (Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis) Aka.‘Red nose,’ this highly contagious virus causes respiratory disease. Signs include inflamed nasal passages, fever, rapid breathing, deep cough, and loss of appetite.
PI3 (Parainfluenza Type 3) This is a common, mild respiratory disease that suppresses the animal’s immune system, allowing other diseases and infections to develop. The virus is shed in nasal and eye secretions, and infects non-vaccinated animals through the mouth and nasal passages.
Pasteurella Haemolytica and Pasteurella Multocida These highly infectious bacteria are the major cause of pneumonia, and the most commonly found pathogens in cattle dying of respiratory disease. P. Haemolytica and P. Multocida multiply quickly in the presence of stress, poor weather, or primary viral infections. Signs include depression, lethargy, loss of appetite, and high fever. Death can occur suddenly with few signs of disease, or the animal can survive only to become a “‘poor doer” due to the lung damage caused by this disease.
Rabies Rabies can infect all warm blooded animals, including humans. It attacks the central nervous system, causing death. Rabies vaccinations are only available from a veterinarian

Jersey Cattle
Jersey Cattle Breed Profile

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