This is Ruby.
The sweetest mama you ever met.
I love her colors- copper, brown and gray with a black face.
I think Jerseys are pretty special.
In the cow world, they’re not exactly the ‘cool kids.’
Being smaller, they don’t produce as much milk or meat.
So basically, money-making cows are ‘cool’ and Jerseys…not so much.
They do, however, produce copious amounts of cream being that their milk is extremely high in butterfat.
So they’re wonderful if you want butter and cream.
Not only that, compared to an average glass of milk, (which is predominantly from Holstein cows)
the American Jersey Cattle Association states that a glass of Jersey milk has:
15-20% more protein
15-18% more calcium
10-12% more phosphorus
and high amounts of B12.
And while as a smaller breed, they may not produce as much in a day as a Holstein,
they do produce more milk per pound of body weight and on 20% less feed.
And their beef, in my opinion, tastes like the beef of my childhood- full of flavor.
I hadn’t realized that beef had lost its flavor until I tried Jersey beef.
With their docile personalities, ease of calving and adaptability to varied climates,
(even hot Idaho summers!)
they make a great addition to a family farm.
*Interestingly, while Jersey cows are known for their sweetness, Jersey bulls are considered the meanest of all breeds.
Which is why banding the bull calves and raising them as steers for beef is a good thing.
Originally from the British Isle of Jersey, their breed has a history of at least six hundred years, making it one of the oldest breeds in the world.
Jersey and Guernsey cows (both ancient breeds) are two of the highest producers of A2 milk.
What does that mean?
Well, from what I understand, the proteins in milk come from two main sources- whey and casein.
Casein being most abundant, there are specific types of casein called beta-caseins.
Beta-caseins can be beneficial- for instance, beta-casein proteins in human breast milk help newborn immune, digestive and gastrointestinal systems develop properly.
Scientists are finding that the majority of cows today produce A1 beta-casein protein, which they are finding may be harmful.
Simply put, studies are showing that the A1 milk breaks down and oxidizes cholesterol at a fast rate, causing inflammation and possibly heart disease.
It also changes hormones and the nervous system.
It’s being highlighted as a possible contributor to everything from brain fog, sleep issues and diabetes, to schizophrenia and autism.
On the other hand, A2 milk’s beta-casein proteins are beneficial.
Apparently, all cows used to be A2 producers.
They’ve discovered that at some point in history, there was a naturally-occurring genetic mutation in European cows.
More research is taking place, but just know that high percentages of Guernsey, Brown Swiss and Jersey cows are A2 producers.
(Guernsey cows have the highest percentage at 90%)
A simple DNA test reveals whether they are A1 or A2 producers.
I plan to test Ruby and will update when I do.
I truly hope she carries the A2 genetics.
But I’m not fully convinced that all other dairy is bad.
In the meantime, dairy from any pasture-raised cow has to beat the commercially raised confinement stuff.
Here’s some additional food for thought: