Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow Differences, Features

Hello dairy farmers, are you interested to know the differences between Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow? well, here some useful information. Holstein and Jersey are the top two breeds in dairy farming. Both are having the ability to convert high quantities of fodder into milk. They are popular high yielding breeds that can produce large quantities of milk.

A guide to fifference between Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow

Jersey Cow and Holstein Cows.
Jersey Cow and Holstein Cows.


Holstein cows are originated from the Netherlands with white and black patches on their bodies. Jersey cows are originated from the place Jersey Island in the British Channel. Jersey cows are reddish.


Holstein cow is heavier, larger and weighs about 580 Kg, whereas Jersey cows weigh around 350-550 Kg. Jersey cows are smaller in size than Holstein cows.

Milk production

Holstein cows produce 19,000 Kg of milk in its lifetime, whereas Jersey produces 13,000 Kg of milk in its lifetime. The butterfat content is more in Jersey cows compared to Holstein cow’s milk.


The total milk fat in Holsteins is 885 lb whereas in Jersey’s it is 776 lb. The milk protein content in Holsteins is high 717 lb and for Jerseys, it is 598 lb.


The milk yield in the first seventy days of lactation for the Holsteins 4061 Kg whereas for Jerseys it is 2706 Kg.


Jersey cows are more adaptable to hot climates compared to Holstein cows.

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Growth rate

The Growth rate of Holstein is 6.8% whereas the Jersey growth rate is 4.2%.

Milk duration

There is no significant difference in milk duration between the Holstein and Jersey cows.

Feed intake

This is high in Holsteins when compared to Jersey cows.

A1 milk

Both Jersey and Holstein cows produce A1 milk which has many disadvantages and digestive issues.


Jersey cows are of pleasant temperament extremely docile. They are quite nervous compared to Holstein cows and even other breeds. Holstein cows are friendly.

Disease resistance

Jersey cows are resistant against mastitis and dystocia. Some studies prove that Jersey’s suffered only half from udder problems compared to Holsteins.


Jersey cattle are small at birth which weighs only 25 Kg whereas the cattle of Holstein weighs around 40-45 Kg.

Fertility rates

Jersey has high fertility rates and can give birth at the age of 19 months. The calving interval is also short. Holstein cows can give birth at the age of 21 months. They have low fertility rates compared to Jersey.

Milk fever

Jersey’s calves are more likely to suffer from milk fever compared to Holstein. Jerseys are sometimes observed with symptoms like weakness, unsteadiness and many attempts to keep lying down after calving which is not observed in Holstein.


Jersey and Holstein’s cow have great longevity that cuts down the replacement costs for herds. Jersey and Holstein’s cows also allow more lactations during their lifetime.

Milk cream

Jersey cows produce more cream compared to Holstein which gives only a thin layer of cream.

Feed efficiency

Jersey breeds have advantages in terms of milk solids related to metabolizable intake of food. Hence the maintenance requirement of Jersey cow is more compared to Holstein.

Intake and Feed Digestion

The intake of DM in Jersey cows per unit of BW id higher when compared to Holstein cows. In Jersey cow, an increased rate of passage of digestion through the gut was observed more compared to Holstein cows. This might be the main reason for increased milk energy output in Jersey cows compared to Holsteins.

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The fiber content in food

Jersey cows are more tolerant than Holstein cows in terms of low fiber rations.

Energy Metabolism

Jersey cows have a high percentage of digestible energy. This can also be observed in urine and methane energy losses. Energy balance is not different between the breeds.

Superior Performance

Holstein dominates milk production, income over feed cost, adaptability to a range of environmental condition and unequaled genetic merit makes them choose first for the dairy cattle when compared to Jersey. The average productive life of Holstein is 4 years which is lesser compared to Jersey.


Pros and Cons of Holstein cows 

Holstein cows can produce higher yield compared to Jersey and can gain additional energy to body tissue rather than milk. These cows have fertility problems, short productive life span, less cream in the milk, less butterfat content. But these are not having issues like milk fever, ketosis, udder infections, etc. Holstein calves weigh 40-45 Kg and give birth to more number of calves. Their physical structure is more solid compared to Jersey. Holstein meat has good demand in the market compared to Jersey.

Pros and Cons of Jersey cows

Jersey cows produce less quantity of milk compared to Holstein. Their milk has heavier cream, rich in butterfat content and is prone to diseases like milk fever, ketosis, udder infections, etc. They do not have fertility problems and they have a long life span compared to Holstein. Jersey calves weigh 25 Kg and give birth to less number of calves. They are smaller in size and weight compared to Holstein. Jersey cattle maintenance is more compared to Holstein. The average protein content is more and also has 25% more calcium in the milk compared to Holstein. Jersey is well known for converting grass to high-quality milk at a low cost. Jersey cow meat does not have much value compared to Holstein meat. Jersey cows can withstand extreme temperatures compared to Holstein cows. The intake of DM is more in Jersey cows when compared to Holstein cows.

Advantages and disadvantages includes the following- Holsteins are larger and have higher salvage value than Jerseys. Jersey cows have very few reproductive problems and are more efficient compared to Holsteins. In the fluid market Holstein would be more advantageous compared to Jersey.Even though the Holstein cows produce large quantities of milk there are few disadvantages. Whereas, Jersey cow milk production is less compared to Holstein. But the nutritious value is more in Jersey cow milk. Nowadays, the crossbreeds of Holstein cows are showing better performance and hence these cows are chosen as the top priority for dairy farms and the cattle for meat production.

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