What is a breeding plan?
As many know the Miniature Jersey is a relatively new breed created by crossing standard Jerseys with smaller cattle breeds, such as Dexters and Lowlines.
by Tazara McClanaghan & Naomi De Ruiter
Many Canadian breeders have either imported Miniature Jersey breeding stock from the US or crossed standard Jerseys with Dexter, Lowline, or Miniature Jersey bulls to 'downsize' their genetics.
Our goal at the Canadian Miniature Jersey Association is to see the Miniature Jersey breed continue to grow and develop in Canada, so we prepared a breeding plan with progressive requirements to help guide breeders in the process of downsizing their standard Jerseys.
There are five steps to the breeding plan: base animal > F1 cross > F2 cross > F3 cross > F4 cross>full mini.
Base animals are a standard Jersey cow crossed with a Dexter, Lowline, or Miniature Jersey bull or a Dexter or Lowline cow crossed with a Miniature Jersey bull. These are the only crosses that will be accepted by the CMJA.
When we breed two base animals, the calf will be an F1 cross. For an F1 animal to qualify for registration within the Association, they must remain under 46" when measured to the top of the hip at maturity (3+ years of age) but not be shorter than 36" (cows) or 38" (bulls).
When bred with a full mini Miniature Jersey bull, the F1's offspring will be an F2 cross. By now, we should see an obvious Jersey influence in appearance: a mealy-white muzzle, dished face, black hooves, and a switch that is black, white, or a mixture of the two.
At the F3 level, we no longer want to see solid black or brindled animals and no pink eye pigment or noses.
The final step in the breeding plan is the F4 cross. These animals must be easily recognized as Miniature Jersey by appearance. Miniature cows must be under 44", and mid-size miniature cows must be under 46" when measured to the top of the hip at 3+ years of age.