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The Jersey Cattle Society of Ireland
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Advantages of Jerseys
Lower Age at First Calving & Longevity. Ages at calving and survival rates largely
determine average productive life of cows in a herd. 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.
Calving Ease. Jerseys are well known for their ease of calving, whether the calf is a
purebred or a cross bred with a large beef breed, such as a Belgian Blue.
Mastitis. Results from several investigations lead to the conclusion that Jerseys are less
susceptible to mastitis.
Lameness. Jerseys are well-known to be less susceptible to lameness because of their
black hoof colour which makes their hoofs very hard. Because Jerseys are a lighter breed
this may also give them less problems with lameness.
Increased Energy Efficiency. Jerseys are known for their high feed conversion efficiency.
This is illustrated by an article in the "Dairy Farmer" magazine ('96), where the 95 cow
"Alderston" herd in Scotland had a herd average of 6245 kg at 5.36% and 3.97% protein,
giving a combined fat and protein yield of 583 kg. This is the equivalent of 9000 litres of
normal fat and protein Holstein milk.
Good Temperament & Ease of Handling. Jerseys are thought to have one of the best
temperaments among the dairy breeds. Being a small animal, the Jersey is usually easier
to handle in difficult situations, such as newly calved heifers entering the parlour for the
first time. The breeds smaller size gives her advantages in wet areas, where they do less
damage through poaching. For this reason, the practice of extended grazing, so popular
in New Zealand, suits the Jersey breed ideally.
Att: Robert Bewley
Address: Kilmore, Enfield, Co. Meath, Ireland