The Jersey breed is a specialist dairy breed.

It distinguishes itself by its typical brown colour and black feet. The mature liveweight of Jersey cows is significantly less than that of other breeds. It has higher solids milk content and produces more per kg of liveweight.


  • produce more milkfat per unit of feed
  • are more productive from less stress
    and injury
  • are fast to milk
  • have approximately half as many
    cases of mastitis as those of heavier
  • do less pugging damage due to
  • are most tolerant to once-a-day
  • cycle about a week faster from each
  • are significantly more fertile under high-stocked systems New Zealand
  • have a 39% greater volume of rumen, 18% greater DM intake and 20% faster passage of DM—yet have the same efficiency of digestions (extract energy from DM as efficiently)*
    *World Jersey Cattle Bureau

Jersey population

New Zealand has the largest population of Jerseys in the world with over 900,000 Jerseys of all ages. At November 2015 there are 887,000 milking Jersey cows in the national herd of 5.0 million milking cows (17%).

Summary of facts – Jerseys =

  • Productive
  • Efficient Leaders in BW
  • Profitable
  • Solid protein
  • High fertility
  • Calving ease
  • Longevity

Research Summary

The following table is a summary of research findings over time from around New Zealand and around the world and includes other observations about the advantages Jerseys offer over other breeds of dairy cattle.

Energy to Milk Fat 40% 31% Jerseys produce more milkfat per unit of feed
Energy to Lactose 13% 15% Less Lactose also means less volume resulting in less charges for volume under a manufacturing dairy industry.
Total Milk Energy 69% 61% A significant difference – 13%
Energy to Maintenance 28% 33% Jerseys take less to maintain
Energy to Weight Gain 2% 6% Jerseys divert energy to milk rather than carcass size and weight.
Ratio of Milk energy to Maintenance 2.46 1.85 33% advantage to Jersey
Breed Comparison trials