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THE JERSEY

The Jersey breed of cattle as described in writings around the 1864 time frame.

       These cattle are now widely known in this country. Many of them have been imported from an island of the same name in the British Channel, near the coast of France, and they may now be considered, for all practical purposes, as fully acclimated. They were first introduced, upward of thirty years ago, from the channel islands, Alderney, Guernsey, and Jersey.

     This race is supposed to have been originally derived from Normandy, in the northern part of France. The cows have been long celebrated for the production of very rich milk and cream, but till within the last twenty-five or thirty years they were comparatively coarse, ugly, and ill-shaped. Improvements have been very marked, but the form of the animal is still far from satisfying the eye.

 

Modern American Jersey Cow

     The head of the pure Jersey is fine and tapering, the cheek small, the throat clean, the muzzle fine and encircled with a light stripe, the nostril high and open; the horns smooth, crumpled, but not very thick at the base, tapering and tipped with black; ears small and thin, deep orange color inside; eyes full and placid; neck straight and fine; chest broad and deep; barrel hoofed, broad and deep, well ribbed up; back straight from the withers to the hip, and from the top of the hip to the setting of the tail; tail fine, at right angles with the back, and hanging down to the hocks; skin thin, light color, and mellow, covered with fine soft hair; fore legs short, straight and fine below the knee, arm swelling and full above; hind quarters long and well filled; hind legs short and straight below the hocks, with bones rather fine, squarely placed, and not too close together; hoofs small; udder full in size, in line with the belly, extending well up behind; teats of medium size, squarely placed and wide apart, and milk-veins very prominent. The color is generally cream, dun, or yellow, with more or less of white, and the fine head and neck give the cows and heifers a fawn-like appearance, and make them objects of attraction in the park; but the hind quarters are often too narrow to work well, particularly to those who judge animals by the amount of fat which they carry.

     It should be borne in mind, however, that a good race of animals is not always the most beautiful, as that term is generally understood. Beauty in stock has no invariable standard. In the estimation of some, it results mainly from fine forms, small bones, and close, compact frames; while others consider that structure the most perfect, and therefore the most beautiful, which is best adapted to the use for which it is destined. With such, beauty is relative. It is not the same in an animal designed for beef and in one designed for the dairy or for work. The beauty of a milch cow is the result of her good qualities. Large milkers are very rarely cows that please the eye of any but a skillful judge. They are generally poor, since their food goes mainly to the production of milk, and because they are selected with less regard to form than to good milking qualities. The prevailing opinion as to the beauty of the Jersey, is based on the general appearance of the cow when in milk, no experiments in feeding exclusively for beef having been made public, and no opportunity to form a correct judgment from actual observation having been furnished; and it must be confessed that the general appearance of the breed would amply justify the hasty conclusion.

     The bulls are usually very different in character and disposition from the cows, and are much inclined to become restive and cross at the age of two or three years, unless their treatment is uniformly gentle and firm.

Modern Day Jersey Bull

     The Jersey is to be regarded as a dairy breed, and that almost exclusively. It would not be sought for large dairies kept for the supply of milk to cities; for, though the quality would gratify the customer, the quantity would not satisfy the owner. The place of the Jersey cow is rather in private establishments, where the supply of cream and butter is a sufficient object; or, in limited numbers, to add richness to the milk of large butter dairies. Even one or two good Jersey cows with a herd of fifteen or twenty, will make a great difference in the quality of the milk and butter of the whole establishment; and they would probably be profitable for this, if for no other object.

Short Horn 

 

 Red Beef Cattle Barn