The Jersey cow is the ideal dairy cow. Her figure, her angular shape and her perfect lines are the best traits required for an efficient food-to-milk conversion. The fur colour varies from light cream to almost black, going through brown, overo, and sometimes greyish. The fur in the head and neck is darker and with a light ring around the black nuzzle. The eyelashes are black.
The colour of the udder, the abdomen, and the inner sides of the thighs are lighter than the rest of the body.
Her head has the typical concave profile, with wide forehead, short and bony face, prominent orbital bones and a wide muzzle.
Her female appearance; the tame and friendly character, and her silky fine fur make her outstand among the other dairy breeds.
The jersey cow gets well adapted to the various climates of ouf country and allows a higher number of heads per ha. The weight of an adult cow ranges between 350 kg. and 450 kg. During the last years, there was a tendency of American breeders to get adult animals reach 500 kg.
The early maturity of the cow allows the first mating at an early age, which turns into a higher economic utility.
The Jersey cow does not have calving problems like other dairy breeds who need permanent surveillance. Her fertility allows having a shorter interval between calving, her tameness, her proved rusticity in all kinds of weather condition and her longevity make her economically superior.
The state-of-the-art techniques for maintenance of a dairy cow confirm the importance of her grass-to-milk conversion capacity, and this is an aspect where the Jersey cow is above the other breeds: field studies in New Zealand, Great Britain, Canada and USA have scientifically proved that this breed is a 30% more efficient in grass-to-milk conversion than the other dairy breeds.
The Jersey cow has the following characteristics:
- Tameness: They adapt themselves easily to all kind of systems, either on their own or among other dairy breeds. They a re easy-led not only by the dairyman, but also his wife and children due to their smaller size and friendly character.
- Early Maturity: Her early puberty allows her to get pregnant before 15 months old, and her first calving at 22-24 months old.
- Fertility and Longevity: She has shorter calving intervals, which leads to more calves in her useful life.
- Calving Ease: Due to a wide and easily-dilatable birth channel, and to the low weight of the newly born Jersey calf (25 kg), this breed has minimal calving problems.
- Rusticity: Its great endurance in different kinds of soils and climates. It is very resistant to heat stress. The productive capacity of the Jerseys diminishes 5ºC higher than other dairy breeds.
- Profitability: Due to the efficiency of conversion of grass into milk, seven times its weight, and for having the highest contents of fat and protein. Their smaller size and weight allows them to move on pastures with little ground and muddy farmyards with no excessive damage and no changes in production.
As a consequence, its small size and huge conversion capacity are advantages for exploitation in smaller areas.