Miniature Jersey Cows: Exhaustive Facts About Mini Jersey Cows


Minis are not underdeveloped or immature cows. Rather they are mature cows of smaller height and overall size.

Miniature Jerseys are raised to be shorter than full-size Jerseys in size. They also meet the very same Breed Based Representation (BBR) DNA purity test. As a result, they must be distinguished from Dwarves with a “Condro” (defective) gene.

Jersey cows are indeed a popular breed. Apart from their milk-producing capacity, their docile temperament, good look, and ease of management make them a high in-demand cow breed. 

But what is more pretty than a Jersey cow is a mini Jersey cow. They are simple to maintain and care for, are less expensive to raise, require a smaller pasture, and produce lots of milk. But it is advisable not to compare their milking capacity with that of full-scale Jersey cow. 

That said, here, we will look into some of the fascinating facts about mini Jersey cows and try to explore more about them. At the end of this post, we are sure that you will learn a lot of in-depth details of this cow breed, which can help you get one for yourself.

Image Credit: Close-up shot of a cow’s face from Pxhere

What is a mini Jersey cow?

Before delving deep into the details about mini Jerseys, let us understand what are they actually. Are they a scaled-down version of full-size Jersey cows?

Mini Jerseys are as true as full-size Jersey cattle. The current miniature Jersey breed is descended from ancient lineages that produce smaller animals. However, what we see in today’s world is the result of the growing demand for larger cows capable of producing more milk. This demand has resulted in the larger modern Jersey we know today.

Since miniature-sized cattle would fail to bridge the increasing demand for milk and its supply, Jersey cows were bred to be grown as full-sized cattle. On the other hand, Mini Jerseys are great for small businesses and could be the future’s ‘homestead’ cow.

What is the maximum size of a mini cow?

The first thing to know about miniature cows is that they are classified into different groups. These miniature cows are divided into different categories based on their hip level.

Mini cows, on the other hand, can be classified into three groups:

  • Midsize miniature cows: 42 to 48 inches to the hip
  • Micro-mini cows: less than 36 inches to the hip
  • Standard miniature cows: 36 to 42 inches to the hip

In general, miniature cow breeds are half to a third the size of standard cattle.

Miniature Jersey cow weight

One of the reasons that mini Jersey cows are preferred in smaller firms is their convenient body weight. It also enables better bovine management.

However, a miniature Jersey cow’s body weight ranges from 500 to 700lbs, significantly less than that of a full-sized Jersey cow. As a result, these cows only require roughly a third of the feed or forage that standard-sized Jerseys do to maintain their weight.

However, don’t be fooled by this; mini cows are believed to be 25% more efficient than regular-sized cattle. Furthermore, even if there is food scarcity, you will be able to feed your cow adequately.

Mini Jersey cow size

Image Credit: A miniature cow by Justin Baeder (CC BY 2.0) from Wikimedia

Experts and researchers are continuously studying cattle and their breeds. Mini Jerseys have captured the attention of several cow enthusiasts and have been the subject of analysis.

According to several pieces of research, the Miniature Jersey breed is classified into size groups, with real Miniature Jerseys measuring up to 42 inches at the hip and larger “Mid-Miniatures” measuring 42 to 46 inches. 

In this light, it’s worth noting that cattle larger than 46 inches can only be registered as breeding stock. Nevertheless, mini cows have been increasingly popular in recent years for various reasons, including the convenience of handling, lower costs, and general aesthetic value. 

How long do mini Jersey cows live?

Jersey cows are known for producing milk with greater levels of protein, calcium, and butterfat and being disease resistant.

Jersey cows typically live for 25 years or more, which is significantly longer than other breeds. Jersey cows also reach reproductive age earlier than other dairy breeds, often delivering a calf months before other breeds.

A miniature Jersey cow’s lifespan, on the other hand, is largely governed by the circumstances in which it is raised. Grass-fed cattle will live longer and healthier lives. However, Jerseys in commercial dairy farms tend to have only seven years of life expectancy.

Is it necessary to milk miniature Jersey cows?

Image Credit: Dairy farm cows from Maxpixel

Jersey cows are known to produce the creamiest milk for which they are highly preferred. But when it comes to mini Jerseys, should we expect the same?

Well, mini Jersey cows also need to be milked, and they produce creamy milk as well. In contrast to full-size cows, average miniature Jerseys should be milked once a day (OAD) for the first month or two. You can switch to OAD Milking while Calf-Sharing once the calf consumes most of the milk at each milking.

What is the milk yield of a miniature Jersey cow?

One of the core reasons cows are bred is their capability to produce milk. Jerseys are also noted for being one of the highest milk-producing breeds.

The size of a mini Jersey cow does not impact its duration of milk production but the volume. That said, mini Jerseys would typically produce 2-6 gallons of milk per day. Therefore, finding out how much milk a cow’s dam produced could be an excellent indicator of how much milk the present cow will supply.

However, you should keep in mind that a miniature Jersey’s milk-producing capacity is influenced by a variety of circumstances, including:

  • Age
  • Health status
  • The ease of birthing
  • Feed
  • Body condition
  • Milking frequencies
  • Genetics 

How much acreage does a mini Jersey cow need?

Image Credit: Mini cows grazing by By_Jo from Pixabay

Mini Jersey cows should not create the appearance of being ineffective. In fact, the case is quite the opposite, as minis can produce sufficient milk and meat to sustain small families. 

However, depending on agricultural production and soil texture, you’ll need around 1.8 acres per cow to raise a typical miniature Jersey. There’s more: because small mini cows graze and consume at a slower rate, you’ll be capable of moving them more efficiently.

This gives you the chance to rear more miniature cattle at the end of the day, which can produce more than enough milk and meat. 

How much do mini Jersey cows eat?

So, we have already mentioned that one of the preferred reasons to opt for mini Jerseys is their low feed consumption. Therefore, it helps cut costs of managing them to a great extent.

For each and every 100 pounds of body weight, a small Jersey cow would consume 2 to 2.5 pounds of hay every day. Although they are primarily designed for milk production, their compact stature allows them to carry greater body conditions, making them excellent for meat and milk. The feed intake of beef cattle will increase to maintain optimum body fat levels.

All diets should include high-quality forages and carbohydrates to ensure healthy milk production. The sole purpose of feeding should be to meet the cow’s nutritional requirements while also maintaining its health.

Benefits of miniature Jerseys

Let’s face it- mini Jersey cows look extremely cute! Undoubtedly, they add a sense of beauty to the whole barn. But, furthermore, they have certain benefits worth mentioning.

Some of the typical benefits of raising mini Jerseys include the following:

  • They’re usually easier to manage
  • They’re less scary 
  • They’re great for first-time cow handlers
  • They’re a good size for kids or those with shorter statures.
  • They eat less feed
  • They have the highest conversion of feed to milk

In this regard, it should be understood that mini Jerseys are also cattle at the end of the day and have the same need as a full-sized Jersey cow. Moreover, these cows should not be treated as typical pets. The handlers should know the art of managing bovines even when having mini Jerseys.

Mini jersey cow vs. Jersey cow

Although mini Jerseys are also a highly demanded breed of cattle, certain differences make them stand apart from the typical sized Jerseys.

That being said, let us focus on some of the most common differences between miniature Jerseys and full-sized Jerseys.

Jersey cowMiniature Jersey cow
HeightUp to 127 cmUp to 42 cm
WeightMale: 1,200–1,800 lb
Female: 900–1,100 lb
500 to 700lbs
Milk yield 5.58 gallons per day2 to 4 gallons per day
Feed quantity2- 2.5lbs of had per day2- 2.5lbs of had per day
Acreage1.5- 2 acre1.8 acre
Mini jersey cow vs. Jersey cow

Mini jersey cow vs. Dexter

Both Dexter and mini Jersey cows are lovable breeds. Both can be easily managed and yield a pretty quantity of milk. Still, there are differences between these breeds worth noticing.

Dexter cowMini Jersey cow
OriginIreland Jersey, British Isles
HeightUp to 40 inchUp to 42 inch
Weight700- 900ibs500 to 700lbs
Milk Yield1 ½ gallon per day2 to 4 gallons per day
Acreage1 acre per adult cow1.8 acre per adult cow
CalvingGood calversGood calvers
TemperamentDocile if trained properly, but not suitable for children.Docile and affectionate
Mini jersey cow vs. Dexter

Summary

Hence, to summarise, we can state that miniature cattle are the ideal alternative for the homesteader. These cattle are easy to be handled than the typically sized ones. Their light bodyweight and compact size make them gentler on the land and less demanding on your fencing and equipment. Also, they are safer for newcomers and children.

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