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 smaller 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 today. Many times, the calves grew into the larger size 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 more pure 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 were actually 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. The ones who avoided the dinner table during this time of economic collapse remained hardy and of the smaller stature. These are the only true miniature Jerseys here today. Yet, when we search for any information on these Guinea Jersey cattle, we come up empty, except in fables or legends told by various people. 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 our future lineages only the best of the best, smaller (less than 44") standard registered (AJCA) Jersey cows may be used...no standard Jersey, 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 percentage “Jersey” milking breed, while focusing on the smaller sizes of the miniature Jersey 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 Jersey cattle with exceptional milking bloodlines while maintaining their sizes that fit the homestead farm needs so well.