Why Another Mini Jersey Registry?


By Lorinda Barnes, PMJS President, Owner of North Woods Homestead, llc

Purebred Mini Jersey Society is different because it’s based on both Mini height and Jersey genetic purity. 

When you were shopping for a Mini Jersey did you think you were buying a small Jersey with all the dairy traits you had read about?  It’s simple.  If you wanted something different than a Jersey you might have bought a nice Dexter or Guernsey cow.

Pure Jersey genetics equals known Jersey traits in a Mini Jersey cow.  ​Mini Jerseys are derived from Jerseys, either by smaller heritage Jersey bloodlines, Jersey crosses, or breeding a Jersey to a Mini Jersey.  All these situations include Jersey bloodlines so offspring can be DNA tested for Breed Based Representation (BBR) Jersey percentage.

THIS is what the market is demanding!​​

Do you remember why you decided a Mini Jersey was the family milk cow for you?  I do!  I wanted high cream content, 

moderate production, less metabolic issues, easy calving, a docile nature, great mothering instincts, smaller stature, and lower feed consumption.  I was unaware at the time that most Mini Jerseys contain genetics from other smaller breeds, usually beef or dual-purpose cattle breeds, diluting those desired Jersey traits.

I expected my Mini Jersey to perform like a miniaturized Jersey.

We love Mini Jerseys for their Jersey traits.

When my Mini Jersey heifer calved I was surprised by her low production and udder.  While I expected a lower yield from a heifer, I was still disappointed.  Right from the beginning, after her calf was nursed, there was nothing left for us.  Her udder was narrow and had poor capacity.  

I learned then that Mini Jerseys were commonly downsized in height using other breeds, often Dexter, which introduced a genetic dwarfism defect called Chondroplasia.  I had my cow tested, and thankfully, she was free of the defect.  I was shocked that the scientific technology available since 2007 for testing bovine DNA purity wasn’t being applied by breeders of Mini Jerseys.  This started a journey that led to the creation of the PMJS community.

I felt very alone in those early days with my dairy cows.

NW Fern is 39.5″ at 2 years old and BBR100.

I had no one to mentor me and teach me about conformation, genetics, and dairy cow care.   

I gained knowledge by researching on my own, and applying what I learned to breeding my cows.  It took years to see if my plans were coming to fruition.  A heifer must be at least 15 months old before I will breed.  Nine months later she calves and I get a much better idea of her udder and production.  Add the nine months her dam carried her to that 2 years for her to mature and it’s almost 3 years from breeding to see if that bull was a good genetic influence on that cow.  Heaven forbid it results in a bull calf and we have to start all over!

​I grew in confidence when I was getting the desired results in my heifers as they came into milk.  I had others approaching me to mentor THEM!  But, I felt so unqualified.  I had only limited experience and no way to quantify it.  I pursued genetic testing so I could identify the best of my herd to further my goals.  This testing confirmed traits she carried at the DNA level, long before coming into milk.  I didn’t need to wait three years to see the results of breeding.  I could know now.

We CAN utilize genomics.  So, why don’t we?  Well, Purebred Mini Jersey Society DOES.

Frazier’s Credentials Rio has sired heifers that are BBR100.

I want to teach you how to increase the purity of your Mini Jersey’s offspring, to improve each generation.  I’ve been working on this for years within my herd.  I started with Midsize pure Jersey cows, carefully selecting small Mini Jersey bulls that I thought would be pure Jersey.  Without DNA it was a blind guessing game.  By applying the science of Breed Based Representation (BBR) genomics I have produced true, Purebred Mini Jerseys.  In time, Purebred Mini Jerseys are becoming the norm.

This is the future of Mini Jerseys and I want you to be part of it!