Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder)
Posted Jul 15, 2013
My experiences with Jersey cattle have been good overall. My parents and I raised Jersey calves for meat a couple years in a row. Jersey cattle are not often thought about when raising beef but they are a sorely overlooked breed.
They are some of the least expensive, yet sweet beef you can raise because dairy farmers get rid of the male calves when they are three days old and sell them very cheap. The calves must then be bottle fed until they are old enough to be switched to grain and grass.
Jersey calves must be watched when they are younger if you are using this bottle feeding method because it is easy for them to get sick when getting used to the powdered milk replacer. Once you get them past the upset stomach stage then they are generally healthy animals.
Jerseys can be butchered at one or two years of age. At one year, the meat is very tender and sweet, but if you wait until two years there is much more meat and still tender and very tasty.
If you aren't looking for meat and are looking for a pet instead, Jersey cattle are an excellent choice. They have a better temperament than many breeds of cattle, I would describe them as very sweet and gentle. Whatever you are looking for, Jerseys are a very versatile breed.