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The Ultimate Mini Jersey Cow Guide | Size, Uses, Cost

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There’s a breed of mini cow perfect for small homesteads that can produce the creamiest, richest milk at a lower cost than many other mini cattle breeds. The Mini Jersey cow! If you’re looking for an intelligent, adorable, gentle, cost-effective family milk cow, our Ultimate Mini Jersey Cow Guide is your ideal primer.

Mini Jersey cows bring a wealth of dairy and financial benefits to farms and homesteads.

Jersey cows exploring the pasture with one looking at the camera.

It’s easy to see that these cows are adorable. But Mini Jerseys also require daily attention and astute care. Naturally, in the interests of happy human-bovine relations, knowing as much as possible about these dreamy-eyed milkers is crucial before buying one.

So – let’s halter up!

Mini Jersey Cow Profile

CostAnywhere from $3,000 to $5,000
Bull Weight500 – 800 Pounds
Cow Weight500 – 800 Pounds
UsesMostly for rich, buttery milk. They’re friendly animals, perfect for homesteaders with small acreages who want ample delicious dairy.
Milk Production2 to 4 gallons daily.
Milk Butterfat ContentUp to 5%
AppearanceMostly tan or light brown. But also gray to fawn. Their eyes and nose are black. They also have black hooves with occasional white markings.
BenefitsMini Jerseys feature adorable faces, docile temperaments, excellent grazing abilities, superb milking skills, and pleasant demeanors.
TemperamentMini Jerseys are sweethearts! Calm, relaxed, friendly, and docile.
Breed AssociationAmerican Mini Jersey Association
Mini Jersey Cow Profile

The table above represents the Mini Jersey cow profile.

But – there’s tons more to know about this lovely, adorable breed.

And some of the little-known insights about Mini Jerseys might surprise you.

Consider the following.

Read More – Complete Guide To The Teacup Mini Cow – Milking, Cost, And Potty Training!

A Mini Jersey Cow Guide

Adorable Jersey cow resting in a field during sunset.

The most desirable Mini Jersey cows are bred with a dominant Jersey breed genome to be authentic miniature dairy cattle producing nutrient-rich A-2 milk. A low feed conversion ratio, docility, high fertility, and ease of calving make Mini Jersey cows a cost-effective and healthy investment for small acreages.

Jersey cattle were originally bred on the isle of Jersey in the English Channel to produce milk rich in butterfat. Their milk is perfect for drinking and cooking purposes. And also to extract cream and manufacture nutritious cheeses, butter, and yogurt for local consumption and export.

Due to limited pastureland on the island, the original Jersey was naturally a tiny cow, measuring around 46″ at the withers (shoulder).

When Jersey cows got exported across the world, they were selectively purebred (or crossbred with Holstein and Hereford bulls) to bigger sizes (up to 58″ at the withers) to increase milk yield.

By selectively pairing short Jersey cows with diminutive Jersey bulls, breeders arrived at a bona fide miniature cow measuring 42″ or less.

Thoroughbred Mini Jersey Cows

Two lovely Jersey cows resting on a small rural farm.

One of the only downsides of Mini Jersey cows is their relative rarity. Purebred Mini Jersey cattle are not easy to find and cost a pretty penny, too!

Dedicated Mini Jersey breeders work to purify the breed DNA and establish breed standards. A multi-generational process of downsizing Jersey cows to arrive at a height of 42″ or less has involved diligent work. Some breeders also create mini Jersey mixes, involving a fair deal of crossbreeding with other dairy cattle breeds like Dexters and Herefords.

(One great example of a mixed mini Jersey is the Belfair, which is 50% Dexter and 50% Jersey.)

Crossbred Mini Jersey cows generally produce lower milk volumes, potentially with less delicious butterfat content than purebred Mini Jerseys.

What happens if you spot a Mini Jersey cow for sale that doesn’t have registration papers to prove its purebred status? Examine its coloration and other identifying markings!

Read More – The Ultimate Guide To Mini Highland Cows! – Size, Feed, And Cost!

How To Identify A Purebred Mini Jersey Cow 

Cute Jersey cow wearing a lovely festive bow.

Purebred Mini Jersey Cows resemble their full-sized counterparts, only smaller! They should appear well-proportioned without signs of dwarfism. They are primarily fawn or brown with black eyes and a black nose

Their hooves are primarily black. You may also notice white markings above the hooves and around the ears and a white muzzle band. A darker face and front legs with grey or mulberry coat color and occasional white spots can also distinguish purebred Mini Jersey markings.

Characteristics Of Crossbred Mini Jersey Cows

Crossbred Mini Jersey cows might have pink pigment around their eyes and a mottled pink and grey nose. Dappled, pitch black or spotted coats are further signs of crossbreeding, as are missing white markings around the pasterns, muzzle, and ears. Short legs and elongated or drooping ears are also crossbred Mini Jersey characteristics.

Purebred Vs. Crossbred Mini Jersey Cows

Owning a purebred Mini Jersey cow may be a passport to micro-dairy heaven, but crossbred Mini Jersey cows also have their perks! They may be less prodigious in the milking realm. But they can still produce healthy raw milk. And they’re as manageable and cute as their purebred cousins!

Also, consider the following when deciding on crossbred vs. purebred Mini Jersey cows.

  • A crossbred Mini Jersey cow costs less to buy than a purebred Mini Jersey cow.
  • A purebred Mini Jersey cow can calve premium breed stock to sell to the boutique cattle market.

With dominant Jersey genetics and homestead productivity in mind, let’s examine more advantages of purebred (or near-as-dammit) Mini Jersey cows.

The Advantages Of Mini Jersey Cows

Tiny Jersey cow prancing in a field and grazing for yummy forage.

Purebred Mini Jersey cows have several advantages, including the following.

  • Excellent milk butterfat content.
  • Excellent feed cost ratio (FCR). 
  • Mini Jerseys make great farmyard companions with unmatched manageability.
  • They need less pastureland.
  • High fertility.
  • Longer lactation period.
  • Delicious milk with superb protein, calcium, phosphorous, and vitamin B12 content.

The above attributes are enormous advantages for micro-farms wanting to optimize productivity and reduce operational expenses

  • A small homestead with a few Mini Jersey cows can sell surplus raw milk and dairy products to neighbors, restaurants, and farmer’s markets for additional income.
  • A Mini Jersey cow’s high feed conversion efficiency generates more milk at lower feed costs than competitor breeds.
  • Mini Jersey cream makes the best ice cream!

The charming gentleness of Mini Jersey cows makes them great educators, allowing young children to safely learn how to care for dairy cows, from leading them to pasture to grooming, feeding, and milking.

The inside word from dairy professionals about Jersey cows is – “Less cow to feed. And more cow to milk!” (We feel their sentiment is twice as valid for the miniature version!)

Read More – 275+ Cute And Funny Cow Names From Moodonna To Donald Rump!

The Disadvantages Of Mini Jersey Cows

Tiny brown Jersey cow grazing in a field on a lovely sunny day.

Mini Jersey cows are prodigious milk producers and require daily milking, udder care, and grooming. Full udders on Mini Jersey cows can be difficult to milk due to their proximity to the ground, a trait that makes them more susceptible to infections like mastitis. 

Considering their exceptional productivity credentials, the Mini Jersey cow ‘disadvantages’ shouldn’t stop you from investing in a Mini Jersey or three. 

  • Learning the basics of udder hygiene is easy, and learning how to prevent mastitis can save you tons of heartache.
  • Antibiotics and a vet can help effectively cure milk fever and other severe cases of infection.

As always, we urge you to invite a family-trusted vet to visit your farm (or homestead) if you detect health problems with your Mini Jersey cow or any cow!

Can You Milk A Mini Jersey Cow?

Thirsty Jersey cows getting a drink from a trough.

Yes! A Mini Jersey cow produces milk just like a full-size Jersey cow, only in lesser quantities. The udders and teats on a Mini Jersey cow are marginally smaller than those on regular Jersey cows. But you can still milk them by hand or machine.

If a full udder on a Mini Jersey cow is too close to the ground to accommodate a milk bucket, an elevated milking platform should support the cow’s hind legs to create sufficient ground clearance between the udder and the floor.

If milking by hand proves difficult, an electric milking-machine will save your hands and back muscles. Milking machines can also prevent the udder-floor proximity problem.

How Much Milk Do You Get From A Mini Jersey Cow?

How To Milk A Mini Jersey Cow // Our Twice A Day Milking Routine!

A purebred Mini Jersey cow will produce, on average, between two and four gallons of milk per day, depending on which stage of her lactation cycle. A crossbred Mini Jersey cow will produce around half that volume. A full-size Jersey cow produces between six and ten gallons of milk daily.

Read More – The Ultimate Guide To Mini Highland Cows! – Size, Feed, And Cost!

How Long Do Mini Jersey Cows Produce Milk?

Mini Jersey cows produce milk whenever they calve, which equates to around four calves during their lifetime with four lactation cycles. A lactation cycle lasts nine to ten months of the year, followed by a two to three-month dry period. Although rare, Mini Jersey cows can lactate as much as nine or ten times.

How Many Times A Day Do You Have To Milk A Mini Jersey Cow?

A Mini Jersey cow must get milked at least once daily, even if she’s feeding a calf. During peak lactation (in the first three months after calving), try milking twice daily, especially if the cow is not feeding a calf.  

What Do Mini Jersey Cows Eat?

A small Jersey calf eating a grassy lunch in the farmyard pasture.

Mini Jersey cows eat grass (forage). The longer the hay, the better. They also love grains, legumes, alfalfa, minerals, and salt. Cow feed called balanced or mixed rations can supplement forage to ensure a balanced diet for optimum health and milk yield.

What you might find surprising is that Mini Jerseys are tremendously thirsty. They’re like mini water buffalos! Expect your Mini Jersey cow to drink at least 10 to 20 gallons of water daily!

How Big Do Mini Jersey Cows Get?

Mini Jersey cows range from Full Miniature at 36 inches to 42 inches in height to Mid-size Miniature at 42 inches to 48 inches tall.

How Much Space Does A Mini Jersey Cow Need?

A single Mini Jersey cow needs one-half to one acre of pastureland to graze on and a stable of around 140 square feet to calve and shelter in. (Many sources say you can enclose your mini cow in a smaller space. But don’t cramp them. Give them ample barn space to stretch, move about, turn around, and rest.)

Read More – How Fast Can A Cow Run, Exactly?

How Much Do Mini Jersey Cows Weigh?

Full Miniature Jersey cows weigh between 500 and 700 pounds, while Mid-size Miniature Jersey cows weigh from 700 to 800 pounds.

How Much Does A Mini Jersey Cow Cost?

The price for Mini Jersey cows varies depending on breed purity, conformity, age, and appearance. Typically, a purebred Mini Jersey cow will cost around $3,000 to $5,000. You can purchase a mixed Mini Jersey cow for around $2,000.

Where Can You Find Mini Cows For Sale?

The best place to find a healthy Mini Jersey cow for sale is by contacting your regional cattle breeder’s association. They usually maintain a diligent list of registered breeders and sellers of Miniature Jersey cows. 

You can contact Mini Jersey cow breeders directly via the International Miniature Cattle Breeders Registry. 

Cattle auctions may also prove a happy hunting ground for your first Mini Jersey cow (check your online livestock auction sites).

The ultimate Mini Jersey cow guide.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our guide about Mini Jersey cows. We now invite you to take a few additional tips from a Mini Jersey Cow legend!

There’s no better way to end a livestock guide with a show and tell. Watch this instructive and fabulous video on how to raise Mini Jersey cows, presented by the doyen of Mini Jerseys, Tim O’Donnell.

Enjoy!

Thanks again for reading.

Have a great day!

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Mini Jersey Cows And Full-Sized Jersey Cows | References, Resources, And Works Cited

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2 Comments

  1. I wish you had contacted the Purebred Mini Jersey Society, the only registry that requires proof of Jersey DNA purity. Many “Mini Jerseys” are not really miniaturized Jerseys at all. PMJS is also the ONLY Mini Jersey registry that’s applied to be a non-profit and to offer grants for taking relevant educational courses. PMJS offers so many educational resources and opportunities. It appears you’ve visited the website, PurebredMiniJerseys.org, but didn’t contact PMJS for help with this article. I wish you had! If you’d like help you can contact PMJS through the website.

    1. Hey Lorinda!

      Thanks so much for visiting our humble blog!

      It’s our pleasure to connect with like-minded Mini Jersey cow enthusiasts. You have a magnificent passion for these lovely farmyard companions, which is admirable.

      :]

      We are relatively new to these adorable miniature cows ourselves. But, in the short time we’ve studied them, we realize how majestic they are.

      We’ve also been checking out more about your organization. It’s excellent!

      We’ll spread the word about your organization if anyone asks about healthy, happy, purebred Miniature Jerseys.

      (I will work on giving your organization a prominent plug in the article and listing you as a reliable source for Miniature Jerseys. We’re also happy to hear any tips or suggestions. We could use all the help we can get!)

      Thanks again for reading.

      We wish you and your team the best!

      Cordially,

      Mike D

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