Holstein Cattle x Jersey Cattle Cross

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The basics:
The Holstein x Jersey cross is a popular crossbreed which is designed to combine the productivity of the Holstein with the increased butter fat levels and calving ease of the Jersey. The Holstein x Jersey cross may be especially appealing for organic dairy farmers, who allow their animals to graze in pasture, as opposed to cattle yard operators who have a more high-intensity operation.

As reported by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture site, "Another study recently compared field data on the profitability of pure Holstein and Jersey breeds along with two and three-breed rotational crosses in New Zealand. Holstein-Jersey crossbreds make up 18 per cent of the national dairy herd there. Results showed crossbreeding among two or more breeds must be evaluated on a number of traits, mainly related to viability, and reproductive and productive performance. The Holstein-Jersey cross had the highest profitability per hectare."

Appearance / health:
Like other livestock, cattle require regular vaccinations and inoculations (for example, rabies inoculations) for disease prevention and health management. Similar to other mammals, cows can suffer a variety of ailments and health issues. A veterinarian should be on call and provide regular checkups and monitoring for the entire herd.

Behavior / temperament:
Cattle are docile animals that have strong maternal instincts. They are big and bulky, and could, therefore, inflict harm without intending to. Handling and brushing them constantly while juvenile will help train them to be calm and trusting around humans, which is helpful especially when they need to be attended to by the veterinarian or groomer.

Housing / diet:
Housing for cattle is essentially to give them shelter from extreme weather conditions. Barns, rub-in sheds, stalls, and other structures like windbreaks, should be available where the cows graze. Aside from manmade shelters, trees and tall bushes can provide resting places for cattle to minimize heat stroke or wind chill.

Shelters will give the cows the option to seek safe haven from strong winds, extreme heat or cold, and heavy rains. Shelters should be strong, stable, spacious, well ventilated, and waterproof. Barns should be provided with water supply, and stalls should be lined with hay. They should also be cleaned regularly.

Sprinklers and other cooling systems are recommended for areas that overheat during summer months. Professional and humane fencing should be provided. All poisonous plants should be removed from the pasture; and hay should always be kept dry (wet hay grows molds, becoming a health hazard for cows).

A good quality pasture for grazing is the basic dietary requirement of cattle. The recommended pasture size per cow is 10 acres, without which, the diet should be supplemented with hay. The recommended quantity of hay is an average of 2% of the animal’s body weight per day (or 2 lbs. of hay per 100 lbs. of body weight). Supplements include grain mixes, protein and mineral cubes, and salt blocks, depending on the type of cow, its uses, and the local climate.

Providing a constant supply of fresh water is essential. An adult cow consumes an estimate of up to 20 gallons of water per day.


lower feed requirements, backyard homestead milker, lighter body weight, favoured cross


Higher stocking rates, Zealand style farmers

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