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Jersey Cow

Scientific Name: Bos taurus


American Jerseys are a small dairy breed, averaging 1,100 pounds for females and 1,650 pounds for males. They are generally fawn-colored and at first glance are easily mistaken for Brown Swiss. Jerseys are famous for the high butterfat content of their milk and produce well even when fed moderately. The breed has been noted for heat tolerance and fits well with small-scale as well as commercial dairy production.


The Jersey and Guernsey breeds were originally developed on the Channel Islands off the northwest coast of France. Significant breed alterations have occurred in Denmark and the United States.

Status in the Wild

Although Jersey cattle have been carefully protected from outside influence since importations to the Island of Jersey were prohibited in 1789, they are more widespread throughout the world than any other milk breed except the Friesian (Holstein). Riverbanks Zoo houses one female Jersey at Riverbanks Farm.