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


Classification of
Ex and VG animals

UK VG and EX animals Classified


Type Classification

Classification – what is ‘functional type?’

As Classification is a ‘quality control’ procedure, is it appropriate for UK Jerseys to focus on the top end?
Individual breeders definitely should, whereas the Society’s role is to rid the breed of animals not functionally sound.

2189 heifers were Classified in 2007 with the results as below:-

VG = 10.6%
G+ = 52.7
G = 26
F = 8.2
P = 2.5

It is reassuring to note that the VG level equals the combined total of Fair and Poor animals.

Breed development will be most helped by not breeding replacements from the 10.7% at the bottom end. The Society is seeking to compare these levels with other breeds. Already, breeders are not charged for Classification fees of Poor animals.

Type Classification

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.

What are your breeding goals?

The following table is taken from a Danish analysis comparing the Jersey breed across the major semen selling nations:-
Country Tot Merit Body F&L Mam scc Longevity Protein Yield
Denmark 105 102 99 98 103 100 105 105
USA 100 111 97 99 96 100 109 102
Australia - 112 106 108 - 103 106 101
NZ 101 - - - - 108 99 98
Canada 93 117 106 108 98 102 99 92

To arrange a classification visit please contact

UKJ Classifications
Jackie Clark
Tel: 01923 695208


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