Miniature Jerseys are not a new breed, nor a bred down replica of
the Jersey cattle we see today. They are descendants of the original Jerseys imported from the Jersey islands and Britain
many years ago with the same size and conformation of the original Jersey breed.
Miniature Jerseys have also been known as the Rabbit-eyed Jersey, Guinea Jersey, Barnyard Jersey, and Island Jersey; names
used in various geographical areas of the country. early Jersey herds were all of this type. Now to give them an identity
of their own and to differentiate them from the large modern-day Jerseys, they have been renamed the American Miniature
Jersey registry, where the stud book for them is maintained. They are few in number, with less than 100 foundations
pure known at this time, all descendants of the original imports. It has only been in the last three years that these few
small herds have been rediscovered.
The jersey breed originated on the Channel Islands
off the British coast. Early imports were also received from Britain and the Guernsey islands. The first registered
Jerseys were imported into the U.S. in 1850 by John A. Tainter. many other imports came over the following years, eventually
establishing a large population across the country. On December 31st, 1956, the American Jersey Cattle Club had registered
2,737,259 head of Jersey cattle. the late 1940's and early 1950's saw the beginning of the decline of these
small Jerseys and the evolving of the larger modern Jerseys we see today. Most of the small original type Jerseys left
today trace back to an importation of a Mr. Snow of Dobson, North Carolina, and from stock he purchased from other importers.
It is through the interest of people like you that these delightful little cattle will be preserved and restored.
The reason that so many of the older livestock breeds have become extinct or declined in numbers
to the point of virtual extinction is due to the loss of their market niche with changing lifestyles and the development
of refrigeration. After the Second World War the "bigger is better" movement in livestock took hold.