21 July 2012

Guernsey and Jersey Cows


This picture comes from the August 19, 1875 Cultivator & Country Gentleman magazine. I own several years of this magazine and would like to someday make a collection of notecards with with the old cow illustrations. 

Fashions change in farming and stock-raising almost as much as they do in millinery, though perhaps,not quite so often. We are always aiming after something that is new, something that everybody else hasn’t got. Every farmer will remember that a few years ago, the Jerseys were regarded as the “fashionable” breed, and their merits were claimed to be greater than could be found in any other class of cattle, especially for the butter dairy. The enthusiasm for them led to frequent and extensive importations, and it must be admitted that they have exercised a great and important influence on the common or native stock of New England, which they have, no doubt, greatly improved.

More recently the Guernseys have rather taken the lead, and many claim for them the very first place at the head of the dairy breeds, upon our farms, as being better adapted for general purposes than even the Jerseys. The Channel Islands of Guernsey and Jersey are only about twenty miles apart, but the cattle of the two islands have been kept quite distinct for very many years, no animal of the bovine species having been allowed to land alive on the island of Jersey for nearly a century, while the Guernsey farmers have been equally jealous of all contamination of their neat stock for centuries. The result is that they are reaping a rich harvest of profit for their long and jealous care, just what the islands of nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard might do here by taking the same care.

The Guernseys are somewhat larger than the Jerseys, and the butter made from their milk is of a deeper yellow. Their color is most commonly a shade of orange, with some patches of white. The horns are short and often turn upward and inward, giving them a rather unique and stylish appearance. The general look and outline of the two breeds, and Jerseys and Guernseys are similar, and the color is very much the same, as well as other general characteristics, like the quality of their milk. Both are eminently fitted for the butter dairy. On ordinary keeping many Guernseys have yielded from fourteen to twenty-two pounds of butter a week, enough, certainly, to satisfy the ambition of any reasonable dairyman. The number of pure Guernseys in this country is now about equal to that upon their native land.
[Thomas’s Farmer's Almanac]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your postcard idea is wonderful! I strongly urge you to pursue it - I'd buy multiple packs!
Thanks again for the work you do here.