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Why Dual Register?

There are deficits in each of the Mini Jersey Registries currently available to us.  PMJS strives to correct these issues and hold ourselves to the highest standard by requiring testing and proving the purity of Jersey genetics in our Purebred Mini Jersey Herd Book.  Take advantage of the SPECIAL $10 Dual Registration and register with PMJS. 

​My herd of Mini and Midsize Jerseys are all dual registered with the American Jerseys Cattle Association (AJCA).  They’re all Jerseys, just miniaturized to different degrees.  All but one have a Breed Based Representation (BBR) of 100, meaning they share at least 94% of their DNA with the genetic database of known pure Jerseys.  Mini Jerseys are derived from Jerseys, either by smaller heritage Jersey bloodlines, Jersey crosses, or breeding a Jersey to a smaller (Mini) Jersey.  All these situations include Jersey bloodlines so offspring can be tested for BBR percentage.

The ONLY one of my Mini Jerseys that doesn’t have a BBR of 100 is Autumn.  Her BBR is 90.  She’s sired by a “Foundation Pure” Mini Jersey bull.  That’s an oxymoron.  The “Foundation” stock used for the Mini Jersey herd that coined that term wasn’t PURE Jersey.  Autumn is the proof of that!  Her dam is a Purebred standard Jersey with a BBR of 100 and a long pedigree in AJCA.  For Autumn to be BBR90 when her dam is BBR100 the “Foundation Pure” sire was only BBR80 at best.  That means 20% of his genetics are unknown.  Basing a breeding program off “Foundation Pure” simply means the calves resulting are still crossbred but from within those original herd’s genetics. ​

​It would be ideal to only need to register in AJCA, having all my pedigrees in one place.  The Mini Jersey bulls we use, however, may be long dead, don’t qualify for registration there, or are owned by someone unwilling to do BBR testing.  Requirements to register a bull are different than those for a cow, as are the fees associated with genomic testing.  So, dual registration with PMJS bridges the gap.

​Some of my Purebred Mini Jerseys are sired by Mini Jerseys that aren’t registered with AJCA.  Their AJCA pedigrees show them as sired by a generic place-holder, “UR UNKNOWN JERSEY SIRE {0}“.  That’s not completely accurate since I do know who but they’re not in the AJCA system.  So, again, dual registration with PMJS fills the gap.

Some of my herd were dual registered with another Mini Jersey Registry years ago.  They don’t require DNA documentation as proof that a pedigree is factual. A registration is only as good as it’s documentation.

Mini Jersey dam & heifer

A Jersey herd in the United Kingdom

There are other Mini Jersey Registries that are online and require varying degrees of genetic verification.  They have some nice Mini Jersey cattle registered.  They also have some registered that aren’t Mini Jerseys.  How’s someone new to Mini Jerseys to know the difference?  A Breed Standard is the definition of a breed.  Look at the Mini Jerseys in those registries and compare them to the full-size Jerseys at AJCAJersey Canada. or Jersey Cattle Society of the UK.  Do you see what I mean?  Below are examples of cattle I’ve seen called Mini Jerseys that are clearly NOT Jerseys, though they may be a miniature in stature and a Jersey cross.

Speckle Park breed

Brindle coat with pink pigment

American Aberdeen/Lowline bull

Dexter Cattle X Jersey

Where does that leave us?  Well, like I’ve said before, we can do better.  We SHOULD do better!  Is it impossible to breed a pure Mini Jersey?  Of course not!  But, we can’t continue to use bulls just because they’re small, ignoring the fact the stature is a result of Dexter Cattle or American Aberdeen/Lowline ancestors.  We must seek out bulls that will improve our cows and have the highest amount of Jersey DNA.  

​Let’s forge a new path, leaving behind the past but building on it for the future.  Start where you are.  Test your cow or heifer and you will learn not just her BBR, but her strengths and weaknesses in dairy traits, health, fitness, and dairy type.  Combined with your visual assessment, you can see how you can improve her and what to look for in a mate beyond only reducing her stature.

Don’t be afraid to want more from your Mini Jersey.  Every breeding should be with the intention of improvement.  If you hold yourself to this higher standard, you’re in the right place!  Let us know how we can help and support you.

Lorinda, PMJS President

About the Author

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Lorinda Barnes, PMJS President, North Woods Homestead, ID has written 7 posts.

Lorinda and her husband, Lance, own North Woods Homestead, in Idaho. Wanting to know where their food was coming from, they bought two bred Jersey cows in 2012 and dreamt of Spring calves and fresh Raw Milk for their family. The dream expanded into a passion for pure little Jerseys. Lorinda and her family homestead on 60 acres in the northern Rocky Mountains. They produce grass hay for their growing herd of Purebred Mini Jerseys. She’s a Master Gardener, cans their harvest, breeds rare Salmon Faverolles chickens and of course, makes lots of dairy products. Lorinda is the Fundraising Chairperson on the Board of Directors for the non-profit, National Ladies Homestead Gathering. She’s the founder of PMJS and a leading voice in utilizing genomics and DNA for breeding Purebred Mini Jerseys.

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