Mini Jerseys

Mini Jersey family milk cows provide nourishing food for the whole homestead

Nothing makes a homestead feel complete like a family milk cow. She is beautiful, friendly and calming to be around. She anchors the daily rhythm of food production, providing a grounding point that your day revolves around in the most beautiful way. She gives you a feeling of purpose and fulfillment, and your relationship and bond with her are unmatched by any other livestock. She raises her calf on her milk and contributes to feeding the family as well as most of the other animals on the homestead with one of the most nourishing foods in existence.

Milking a miniature Jersey cow.

Known and loved for the rich butterfat milk they produce as well as their beauty, the Jersey breed is the iconic family milk cow. A Purebred Mini Jersey is genetically identical to a standard sized Jersey cow, just with a smaller overall size, which translates to reduced input and a more manageable amount of milk for a homestead.

Our herd comes from an organic background and generations of grazing, often referred to as grass-fed genetics. We never feed our cows grains, but we do supplement with natural minerals and vitamins and hay as need. Our animal husbandry is 100% holistic and we raise all our animals with a naturopathic approach. Calves and cows we raise to sell are raised on their mother’s milk for at least 5-6 months for a well-developed rumen, immune system, and future fertility. The first two calves that were born here on our homestead each nursed until they were 15 months old! One the cow weaned her calf on her own, and we assisted with weaning the (more persistent) bull calf.

Cattle thrive in a herd. Keeping miniature cows makes it more manageable to keep a pair or small herd!

Benefits of adding a Mini Jersey Milk Cow to your homestead:

  • A good Mini Jersey is worth the investment! They are a beautiful breed adored by many with coveted A2/A2, high butterfat milk. (Note: not all mini cows are pure Jersey or pure A2 but a simple test can be done on each cow to confirm her status).
  • Once a day milking: A smaller cow won’t overwhelm you with anywhere from 5 to as much as 13 gallons of milk per day – but you won’t run out, either. A mini cow will typically give your family 1-2 gallons per day while she’s nursing her calf. She provides plenty of milk for a family and doesn’t require grain to produce it. In fact we recommend you don’t feed grain to get more milk. Quality over quantity!
  • Less pasture/hay needed: Our grass-fed only Mini Jerseys maintain their condition without grain and are 25% more efficient in terms of feed conversion than their full size counterparts. About 1/3 the feed of a standard cow is typical which means you get to buy and haul less hay.
  • Smaller size is easier for women and families with children, and they’re less intimidating to handle. Historically, a woman was almost always the keeper of the family cow and a smaller Jersey makes this very doable even for families who are new to caring for livestock.
  • Better for soil health: A smaller body size is easier on the pasture and doesn’t compact soil as much. A Mini Jersey cow typically weights 500-700 pounds (vs. 1500-1800 for a full sized Jersey).
  • Simple shelter is sufficient: A three sided shed is sufficient for shelter, a barn is not required. Shelter may be necessary for freezing rain but generally our cows prefer to be outside. Your cow will enjoy shade in the summer but it’s not required with the light colored coat. (Confirm that this will apply to your local climate.)
  • Easier to keep a pair or herd: Cattle are herd animals and will thrive in a pair or small herd rather than kept as a single milk cow. Size makes it easier to maintain a small herd on less land and natural breeding is doable (in our experience Mini Jersey bulls are not aggressive when properly raised and handled).
  • Less water is needed. Each of our cows typically drinks between 5 and 10 gallons of water per day. We like this because we can use large stainless steel pots and avoid the chemicals of a coated trough most of the time. This does not work with bulls however, as they often tip the pots over.
  • Wonderful mothers: Typically no assistance is needed with calving and Mini Jerseys have wonderful mothering instincts.

You might also be interested in…

Want to learn more?

We cover all the details of the Once a Day Family Milk Cows including choosing your cow, getting her home, feeding, fencing, milking, natural remedies and more in the Holistic Homestead Course.