jersey cattle society
Jersey Cattle Society
of the United Kingdom
The Studio @ The Mill
Mill Lane
Little Shrewley
Warwickshire CV35 7HN
General Enquiries T: 01926 484035
Cattle Registrations T: 01923 695203



From 1st January 2000, The Type Classification Service has been contracted out by Jersey Cattle Society to Holstein UK, thereby introducing an independent appraisal of dairy cattle within our breed. Much discussion took place on this new liaison to ensure that the breed is assessed along criteria set by the Board of the Jersey Cattle Society.

The importance of breeding cows of good conformation has never been greater
Modern production systems impose stringent demands on the dairy cow, not only to produce high quantities of good quality milk, but to do so over a long and trouble-free lifetime. Milk buyers and the general public too find conformation defects increasingly unacceptable, and dairy farmers themselves are aware that it is the cows of better type that produce milk with ease and comfort, without ill health, lactation after lactation.

The modern dairy cow needs good functional type traits: a well-supported udder with strong central ligament; correctly set legs with a reasonably steep foot angle; and the general constitution to cope with life on a modern dairy farm. And whilst the dairy cow is expected to produce good profits, it is unacceptable for her to do so under conditions that compromise her well-being and comfort. These principles lie behind the Type Classification Service used by JCS.

The Type Classification Service offers its users two key advantages:

  1. It provides an independent assessment of every cow in your herd, and thus raises the standard of conformation across the herd.
  2. It provides a final score for your heifers and cows, which can substantially increase their value.

The Type Classification Service is extremely well qualified to classify for all types of farm, from those with extensive systems to those at the top of the show-winning ladder. Holstein UK now classify several breeds and over 100,000 animals are classified annually by a team of 12 fieldsmen. All fieldsmen attended the JCS Workshop, however, the vast majority of Jerseys will be classified by four nominated personnel.

The scheme has two basic components:

  1. Linear assessment
  2. Classification

Linear Asssessment
Linear assessment involves the measurement of 16 individual type traits on a scale of one to nine. It describes the degree of trait rather than its desirability.

The traits are as follows:

Body Legs and Feet Udder Teats Management Traits
Stature Rear legs, side view Fore attachment Placement, rear view Temperament
Chest width Foot angle Rear height Placement, side view Milking speed
Body depth Locomotion Central ligament Length Condition score
Rump angle        
Rump width        

These traits have been selected in order to fit the universal criteria that has been the basis of the World Jersey Cattle Bureau Classifiers’ Workshop and once enough records are available, we shall have the advantage of being able to use the MACE programme, in order to develop Select-a-Bull type programmes.

Classification involves the appraisal of an animal in comparison to the ideal. An overall score and grade are awarded, according to the following scale:

90-100 Excellent (EX) 75-79 Good (G)
85-89 Very Good (VG) 65-74 Fair (F)
80-84 Good Plus (GP) 50-64 Poor (P)

A similar score and grade are awarded to each of four areas of the cow (body conformation, dairy character, legs/feet and mammary) and it is from each of these four assessments that the final score and grade are calculated. However, the mammary system is weighted so that it has twice the influence to the other three areas.


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