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A Tillamook Jersey cow

Worldwide, there are hundreds of breeds of cows. Though all of them produce milk just by the nature of the animal’s anatomy, there are a few breeds that are specifically recognized as a dairy breed. The two most common breeds, especially around Tillamook, are Holsteins and Jerseys.

Now, there are Holstein farmers and there are Jersey farmers. Each of them fiercely defends why one breed is better than the other. One produces more milk; the other has higher butter fat. Both characteristics are important to dairy farmers. But not being a farmer, I don’t think like that. I think in terms of cuteness. And at the top of my list are the Jersey cows.

Jersey cows are the petite brown cows you see dotting the landscapes of the county. Their color can range in shades of very light tan to a very dark, almost black, brown. While their coloring is not as flamboyant as black and white spots, they have this doe-eyed appearance that just makes you want to go “aww, how cute.”

Jerseys originated on the Isle of Jersey and is one of the oldest dairy breeds. They were brought to the U.S. around the 1850s. Today, Jersey cows can be found just about anywhere in the world. Farmers favor them because their milk is the highest in butterfat and protein. They are also very efficient animals at converting their feed into milk production, and are capable of producing more milk per pound of body weight than the other breeds. For those reasons, some farmers, who may be die-hard Holstein fans, switch their herds to Jerseys.

Personally, I think they are just so adorable!

3 comments

Christopher

That is a beautiful cow. And butterfat is the most delicious of all fats.

May 23rd, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Annette Fricke

Grew up with Jersey milk cows on a small farm in Eastern Washington state. The high milk fat and protein content did not make me fat. In fact, I spent my childhood as a stick figure. Loved the taste of the milk and my dad had his own separator to separate out the cream from the milk. Great memories.

May 23rd, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Tara

Tillamook Team

What wonderful memories, Annette! Thanks for sharing them on our blog!

Christopher - Isn't she a beauty? I love her deer-like expression. So sweet.

-Tara of the Tillamook Team

May 24th, 2011 at 8:37 am
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