There is rich golden pigmentation in the ears and skin and around the eyes; the muzzle is buff, the hoofs amber and the coat sahdes of fawn with or without white markings over a thin, loose hide.It is a fast-growing breed and can produe a more accepteable calf for beef than the Jersey.Whatever the original stock, the breed has developed in isolation during the last two centuries.
"We do have in our collection [Jersey Museum] a pencil drawing of a cow by Thomas Gainsborough. Bones of domestic cattle have been identified in Jersey from approximately 4500 B. and there is no reason to doubt that they existed on the other islands at similarly early dates. First Published 1995 by The ALderney Society, The Museum Alderney C.1. On The Domesticated Animals Of The British Islands Comprehending The Natural And Economical History Of Species And Varieties: The Description Of The Properties Of External Form; And Observations On The Principles And Practice Of Breeding. 1842.] Channel Islands The Jersey and Guernsey breeds, along with Englands`s South Devon, are unique among British cattle (and unusual among those of all Europe) in possessing the bovine haemoblobin B allele, which is prevalent in African and Asian cattl.
This has been said to be an early study of a Jersey cow, but in fact the Jersey cow as a breed did not exist until after the artist`s death ". 2) A small piece of bone of a "domesticated bovine", carbon dated to 2430 /- 70 BP (about 430 BC) was found in the peat at Longy Common, Alderney, in 1990 3) Cattle were brought over from Brittany and Normandy at various times. Alderney breed 1842 [Cow and calf, the property of M. Yet blood-factor studies reveal a surprising genetic distance between the two island breeds which is almost as wide at that between, say, the Jersey and the Holstein.
They had come to England during the eighteenth century through the southwestern ports and an English breed society was formed in 1884.
The colour was described as rich orange-and-lemon with white patches, and yellow in the ear was deemed important as a sign of potential milk quality.
Regional differences of "race" in cattle before the eighteenth century were largely the outcome of geographical distance or isolation by natural barriers rather than of deliberate attempts to maintain purity of breed. The Channel Island are physically much closer to the French coast than to the English and the island breeds have a certain affinity with the breeds of Brittany and Normandy.
Up to the end of the eighteenth century there was little difference, if any, between the cattle on the various Channel Islands which circulated freely between the Islands and France. Being island cattle, however, they have developed to some extent in isolation, especially on Jersey, a tiny island which has managed to breed a cow whose fame is worldwide, and with justice.The Guernsey`s horns tody are more commonly like those of the Isigny but perhaps the smaller Alderney owed little to the Isigny and more to the Lon.At one stage the Guernsey was used as a draught animal and later for beef, but its prime role was always as a milk producer.The northernmost of the islands is Alderney and in times past it was common to describe all Channel Island cattle as being of the Alderney breed, even when they were clearly Jersey, Guernsey or small French dairy types.In the nineteenth century, they were all categorised together as "the Alderney or French breed" said to be bred chiefly on Alderney and to a lesser extent on the other islands.The Jersey`s ancestors were probably of the Celtic type (there is certainly a hint of a likeness with the dainty dairy Kerry of Ireland), coming to Europe from Asia and North Afric.