Difference Between Guernsey and Jersey

Guernsey vs Jersey

Both Guernsey and Jersey are domestic cattle breeds that exhibit mild temperaments and important qualities in their milk. They differ from each other’s characteristics in some ways such as the quality of milk, their weights, and available colours. They both are lightweight cows with heavy bulls. The economic advantages that can be sustained from these cattle breeds have lead them to be bred and kept around people in large scale. They both have been named as per the place of origins, which are different islands of the British Channel Islands Guernsey and Jersey.


Guernsey is a small breed of domestic cattle bred mainly for dairy purposes. Guernsey cattle are especially reputed for the rich quality of milk with a golden colour. There is an exceptional amount of beta-carotene, which gives the golden colour of course. The richness of the Guernsey milk can be described with the presence of butterfat (5%) and proteins (3.7%) in high amounts along with the beta-carotene. Since beta-carotene helps in the production of Vitamin-A, the importance of Guernsey cattle is very high. They are efficient milk producers with a low level of dystocia involved.

Guernsey cattle are slightly fragile for diseases due to the narrowness of their gene pool. However, gene pool issues should be salvaged through widening the reproductive populations, which has been encouraged via influencing cow exchanges with other farms. Guernsey cattle are available in red and white coat. Guernsey females are about 450 kilograms in weight while the bulls (600 – 700 kilograms) are relatively smaller than many of the cattle breeds. They are very docile animals, but the bulls can be infrequently aggressive.


Jersey is a popular cattle breed with submissive cows and aggressive bulls. Their popularity is high among farmers mainly due to the low maintenance costs, yet the quality of milk is high with considerably high amounts of protein (3.9%) and butterfat (4.8%). A low maintenance cost along with the high fertility rate and calving ease make the jerseys very important cows. Additionally, jerseys can be successfully bred under hot climates around the world. They are friendly cows and easy to handle, but can be nervous occasionally; on the other hand, bulls are aggressive and can be difficult to handle more often than not.

Jerseys are available in a range of colours from light tan to black, but fawn is the most common. The light colour band around muzzle, dark tail hairs (switch), and black hooves are characteristics of the purebred jersey cattle. Cows are about 400 – 500 kilograms in weight while the bulls can be around 540 – 820 kilograms.

What is the difference between Guernsey and Jersey?

• Bulls of jersey are aggressive, whereas Guernsey bulls become rarely violent.

• Guernsey is available in red coat with white patches while jerseys are available in a range of colourations.

• Milk of Guernsey is of golden colour, but not the jersey cow milk.

• Guernsey milk is richer than jersey in beta-carotene and butterfat.

• Jersey milk is slightly richer than Guernsey in proteins.

• Maintenance costs are lower for jerseys than Guernseys.

• Numbers of jerseys are higher than Guernseys currently.