The Jersey breed is on the up. Its qualities are increasingly being recognised by producers around the world who are seeking efficiency, health and high-quality milk production, all of which are driving an interest in its use. In fact, Jersey has now become one of the fastest growing dairy breeds in the world and is tipped as the breed for the future.
This comes as no surprise to Peter Larson, Senior Breeding Manager with VikingGenetics, who was not only brought up milking Jerseys but has been closely involved with the breed throughout his career.
He says dairy producers often turn to Jersey to improve their herd’s fertility and the quality of its milk. But they discover when she comes that she brings a range of further benefits, such as:
- good health
- long lifespans
- excellent legs and feet
Overall ease of management also comes with the package, which is partly a result of her fertility, health and mobility, but also a function of her diminutive stature.
“When I was a child, my parents were the only farmers in the village milking Jerseys and, because the cows were small, I was ridiculed at school for milking goats,” he says.
“However, they were efficient goats and profitable goats, so I have stuck with the breed.”