Difference Between Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow

Jersey Cow vs Holstein Cow

Jersey and Holstein are breeds of cattle that are popular all over the world as these cows are known for high production of milk. Cattle is the word used when referring to cows who are domesticated all over the world.


This breed of cow was originated in Netherlands. These cows have white and black patches over their bodies and are known to be the highest milk producing cows in the world. These are large animals, and a healthy calf can weigh between 40-45 kg. An adult Holstein weighs around 580 kg.


This breed got its name after the island where it was developed. Jersey Island is located in the British Channel. This breed has a small body and is reddish brown in color. Adult cows weigh between 800-1200 pounds. These cows are known for high butterfat content (6% butterfat with 4% protein) in their milk. These cows adapt to hot weather conditions and are today even being reared in hot savanna regions of Brazil.

Difference between Jersey Cow and Holstein Cow

Talking of differences, the first major difference is in size. Whereas jerseys are smaller in size, weighing only about 400kg, Holsteins are huge in comparison and weigh around 580kg. There is color difference also. Whereas Jerseys are mostly reddish brown in color, Holsteins are either black or white in color with black and white patches all over the body.

An adult Holstein produces, on an average 19000 pounds of milk over its lifetime, whereas jersey lags far behind, producing only 13000 pounds of milk in its lifetime.

It is in butterfat content that jersey scores heavily over Holstein. Whereas butterfat content in the milk of Holstein is a mere 3.7%, it is around 4.7% in the milk of a jersey cow. Though purists frowned over crossbreeding of these two types of cattle, successful attempts have seen animals that produce more milk with a higher butterfat content.