jersey cattle society
Jersey Cattle Society
of the United Kingdom
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Mill Lane
Little Shrewley
Warwickshire CV35 7HN
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Advantages of Jerseys

This is important as the earlier your heifers mature and calve then the quicker returns start coming in from the ensuing lactation. Ages at cullings and survival rates largely determine average productive life of cows in a herd.

Mean age at calvings by breed and parity, by month
Parity Ayrshire Brown-Swiss Guernsey Holstein Jersey
1 29.4 28.7 28.3 28.2 26.8
2 42.4 41.8 41.5 41.2 39.5
3 55.3 54.9 54.4 54.1 52.2
4 68.2 68.1 67.4 66.9 64.9
5 81.0 81.3 80.4 79.8 77.6
6 94.0 94.4 93.4 92.7 90.2
7 107.0 107.5 106.2 105.5 102.8

Calving, interval measures the amount of time in days between each parity in the dairy cow. The ultimate calving interval is 365 days, but this is very rarely reached. Esselmont and Peeler, (1993) calculated that in a typical dairy herd producing 5500 litres of milk a day the cow produces an average daily yield of 18l a day throughout the lactation. It is this amount that is lost per day when, due to the present calving interval being greater than a year in length, the next lactation is delayed.

Jerseys are well known for their ease of calving, whether the calf is a pure-bred or a cross-bred with a large beef breed such as a British Blue.

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.

Jerseys are well-known to be less susceptible to lameness because of their black hoof colour which makes their hooves very hard. Because Jerseys are a lighter breed this may also give them less problems with lameness.

As a result of lower incidence of calving problems, mastitis and lameness it is to be expected that the Jersey should live longer, Increased longevity is a good measure of a cows overall profitability as long as she is calving regularly. Better longevity in a herd means lower replacement costs and higher profitably.

Jerseys are well-known for their high feed conversion efficiency.

Good Temperament is important in a dairy cow. In today's modern parlours rapid throughput is of top priority. An animal misbehaving by continually kicking, off the units will cause unwanted delays and even damage to the expensive equipment. Jerseys are thought to have the one of the best temperaments among, the dairy breeds, although a lot of this depends on the handling the animals receive.

(data written and/or collated by M Colwell)


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