Miniature Jerseys are what Jersey cows were like when my father was a child. They are compact, efficient little cows, offspring of cattle imported from the Jersey islands during the settlement of this country. Most of these precious milk cows were bred up by the American dairies to create bigger and greater producing cows that require much more effort to keep healthy.
These little cows were called Island Jerseys, Rabbit-eyed Jerseys, Barnyard Jerseys, and Guinea Jerseys. The
American Miniature Jersey Association & Registry has been created to give them an identity of their own. There are less than 100 foundation pure cows currently known, all descendants of original imports.
Jerseys came from the Channel Islands off the British Coast. Britain and Guernsey islands supplied some of the first imports to America. John A. Tainter brought over the first registered Jerseys in 1850. By 1956, there were over 2 million Jersey cattle in the American Jersey Cattle Club. The small original Jerseys were in great decline by the late 1940s and the early 1950s, and we had the inception of the modern, bigger, higher producing Jersey. Through careful attention when finding herds of these little gems, we are bringing back this heritage cow, the American Miniature Jersey.
The mini-Jersey is an amazing cow. She can produce enough milk to keep a family in milk and help feed a few barnyard denizens.