Welcome to the official Miniature Jersey Herd Book & Registry!
Good news! We have formed the Miniature Jersey Herd Book into a FULL SERVICE cattle registry! Our members requested a registry and we've happily complied. And we've got some big changes on the way to better serve our members. We hope the improvements to this site will make it make it THE best miniature Jersey website today!
Come grow with us!
We're glad you've chosen to stop by! This Herd Book & Registry is here for all miniature and mid-sized Jersey owners, breeders and those new to the breed. And our two main goals are to focus on miniature size first and Jersey genetics second.
Whether this is your first purchase, you've been raising these cattle for years now or just stopped by to gaze upon the beauty of these little milkers, take your time to get to know the site and what it has to offer.
The purpose of this website is to help owners and breeders acquire information quickly and efficiently, as well as attracting new owners to this breed of homestead dairy cows. As older herds are grown and new herds are established, the numbers will grow rapidly...once again filling the homestead farm with these delightful smaller sized "milkers". These pages will offer help and information for the novice as well as seasoned breeders. Together, we will be able to build on great bloodlines while enhancing the future for this magnificent breed of homestead dairy cattle.
This site is specifically prepared for miniature registered and unregistered cattle. Certificates of Registration will be issued from the Herd Book for entered cattle. Since the numbers of actual miniature Jersey cows are fairly small, we have made a place here for the purebred 46" and less mid-sized Jersey cows as well. These mid-sized Jersey cattle have exceptional Jersey genetics and most will be registered with the AJCA, yet never fully grew into the larger sizes that most commercial dairies desire. If these smaller standard cattle are registered with the American Jersey Cattle Association (AJCA), they will be welcomed here as long as they never exceed the upper height limit of 46" and meet the other criteria set forth in the Herd Book Standards.
Although wonderful lesser percentage cows are available for sale, this Herd Book & Registry is focused on the preservation of the 87%+ (7/8ths pure and up) miniature Jersey cattle genetics. There is much dispute as to how pure, the purebreds really are today, so we will accept many known miniature lineages from other registries as well as cattle that are assessed by the Review Panel as having the "dairy type and quality" to move them forward for preservation.
What is a miniature or mid-sized Jersey?
The miniature Jerseys we admire today are for the most part, a product of crossing small dual purpose or beef breeds such as Dexter, Lowline Angus, Galloway, possibly even Zebu, etc., in the past 30 years or so with small standard purebred Jersey cattle. This cross produced smaller stock in most cases, which continued to maintain the milking ability of the standard Jerseys. As this process was continued, more of the miniatures were produced. But, not all offspring produced by these crossings produced the miniature variety we have now. Many times, the calves grew into the larger size or "mid-sized" cattle yet still were much smaller than the typical standard Jersey of commercial use today. Therefore, when breeding the miniature Jerseys one must consider that not all the calves produced will remain in the miniature size ranges, even if two miniatures are bred together! If they were indeed pure lineages from the Isle of Jersey, they would breed miniature calves consistently. This makes the true miniatures of greater rarity and higher in value because they have been bred for several generations away from these original cross breedings and back to mostly purebred Jersey genetics while keeping the smaller miniature size.
In the 1940's-1950's, there were still a few small pockets of the "Guinea" Jersey cattle located here in the USA...and they were indeed a very rare find. Guinea Jerseys are actual smaller standard Jerseys which were raised during the early 1900's and through the conditions of the Great Depression Era. They were very malnourished. Those same smaller Jerseys were fairly hardy cattle, but their offspring when they did reproduce, were smaller too because of the malnourished cow. Somehow over time, they remained hardy and of the smaller stature. These are the only true miniature Jerseys here today. Others are the results of the cross breeding mentioned above. All in all, the name "Guinea" Jersey is a pen name and has no tracability or history to be found, other than it's name.
To grow the genetics pool for future lineages only the best of the best, smaller (less than 46") standard registered (AJCA) Jersey cows will be used...no small beef or dual purpose breed bulls will be allowed. At present, the gene pool is far from this need in the immediate future. This will maintain the cattle to be a completely “Jersey” milking breed, while focusing on the smaller sizes of the miniature cattle.
As we move forward with this Herd Book & Registry, many problems with cross bred bloodlines and bad genetics will eventually be erradicated from the breed. This will keep the miniature and mid-sized Jersey cattle with exceptional milking bloodlines while maintaining their sizes that fit the homestead farm needs so well.
There are many enhancements being planned for this site as it grows. Our goal is to make this Herd Book & Registry a "one stop" place for information, registration and services for everything concerning miniature and mid-sized Jersey cattle. And we will offer the BEST SERVICE, bar none!
Please review the "How to Use this Site" tab found at the right to easily navigate the site efficiently and to familiarize yourself with it's offerings.
Come step inside the wonderfully fulfilling world of miniature and mid-sized Jersey cattle. You are invited to take your time and venture through the pages on this site to see for yourself the beauty and mystery of this small "doe eyed" breed of gentle, functional cattle. I hope you enjoy and support this effort...for it is a labor of love for bovine companions everywhere!
All information presented on this website has been thoroughly researched and documented...sources available upon request, credit given to all information used from any non-original source.
Debra Ridings, Founder
- Top header photos courtesy of:
- Gary & Elaine Lipham, Doe Creek Miniatures
- Tim O'Donnell, Dexter Corner Miniatures