Jersey cattle

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Jersey cattle,

breed of dairy cattle native to the island of Jersey in the English Channel. Jerseys, smallest of the dairy breeds, are usually a shade of fawn or cream, although darker shades are common. The lighter colors are attributed to Norman ancestors, while the darker cattle are thought to have descended from breeds native to Brittany. Jerseys are adaptable to many environments and are now found throughout the world. They were first brought to the United States c.1850, and soon became one of the most popular breeds. The high butterfat content of their milk—useful in the production of cheese—has led to an increase of the number of Jersey cattle in recent years, despite an overall decline in the dairy cattle population.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Jersey Cattle


a breed of dairy cow bred in England (the island of Jersey) by improving the local Normandy and Brittany cattle and selecting for fat properties. Inbreeding was widely used, and as a result, the breed’s delicate, dry, and sometimes overdeveloped constitution has been reinforced. The animals have a broad, indented forehead, well-developed eye sockets, and a short facial skull area; the neck is long and smooth; the chest is deep but narrow; the withers are often sharp and high; the ribs slanted and rounded; the loins are long; and the rump broad. There are often flaws in the animals’ exterior or constitution. The coloring ranges from light chestnut and fawn to dark brown. The bulls weigh 600-700 kg, and the cows, 360-400 kg. The cows’ milk yield is an average of 3,500 kg per year, and the fat content of the milk is 5-6 percent.

Jersey cattle are raised in England, the USA, Denmark, New Zealand, Canada, France, and Australia, among other countries. They were first imported to the USSR in 1947. Jersey bulls are crossbred with cows of other dairy breeds in order to increase the fat content.


Dzherseiskii skot. Moscow [1957]. (Translated from English.) Merkur’eva, E. K. Dzherseiskii skot i ego pomesi v SSSR. Moscow, 1961.
Skotovodstvo: Krupnyi rogatyi skot, vol. 1. Moscow, 1961.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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