Dairy cattle breeds

Tête caractéristique de Jersiaise - Crédit : Brune Génétique Service
Tête caractéristique de Jersiaise - Crédit : Brune Génétique Service
Summary of the article

 Traits and performances

Originally imported from the Channel island of Jersey as far back as the 16th century, today’s French-line Jersey cow is essentially clustered into a breed nucleus in western France.

Jerseys produce astonishingly high milk yields given their small size, but what really makes them so popular is the unbeatably high milk fat and protein content, which returns better price-per-litre value and a milk that has special utility in cheese production.

The Jersey also stands out in terms of its efficiency in converting rough feed mass into valuable milk solids (fat and protein). Note that when standard milk production is measured per hectare of forage area, the Jersey rivals even the Holstein.

The Jersey is also popular due to other qualities, such as its long productive life. The length of the front udder attachment and a powerful suspensory ligament combine to give the udder a good strong hold over productive life. Resilient hooves and strong-boned legs lead to low reform rates due to feet & legs issues.

Finally, the Jersey has a good fertility (and a very good track record in terms of non-return rate to first service), and its gentle nature makes for easy breeding and handling.

This set of qualities has made the Jersey a popular breed around the world, particularly in North America, Denmark, Australia and New Zealand.


Every year, Jersiaise France works together with Gen’France to select among bulls indexed in the USA, Canada, and Denmark, and occasionally extending out to Australia or New Zealand too.

Gen’France then imports and stores semen from the selected bulls.

The bulls’ catalog gives farmers a broad panel of options to cover the range of farming needs while at the same time nurturing the breed’s most popular recognized traits (dense milk content, milk yield output, udder morphology).


Key figures

  • 9,670 cows
  • 281 farms
  • 5,103 cows under milk recording system
  • 3,034 cows recorded in the Herd Book
  • 17,145 artificial inseminations
  • Height at withers (adult cow): 128 cm
  • Adult cow weight:
    430 kg
  • Young-bull carcass weight:
    250 to 350 kg
  • Milk yield: 6,019 kg
  • Milk yield 305 days: 5,055 kg
  • Fat content: 5.45 %
  • Crude protein content: 3.98 %

Official milk recording results 2014 - Mature equivalent milk yield - Institut de l’Elevage & France Conseil Elevage