Jersey cows' higher pregnancy rates offer clear economic benefits by lowering replacement rates.
Jagger has a jersey-cross beef business at his Whangarei Heads dairy farm as a valuable sideline.
“They grow as well as any other animal, the cow has an efficiency in its smaller body size so it is able to be more efficient in what can be stocked.
“Its finishing time suits us because we can get our two and half year cattle away before Christmas so we are not carrying through a dry summer and we are not carrying through another winter.
“We generally quit one third prior to Christmas, another third straight after.
And the last lot go March-April. So we have a good flow in moving the stock on.”
Asked about problems with getting small-framed animal up to 300kg weight, Jagger says the first cut of cattle they send to the works about November at two and a half years old are 260 - 290kg. The last ones are 300 - 320kg.
But with a smaller animal you can carry more stock.
He says the industry needs to reinforce that the Jersey breed enhances the marbling effect. Another customer who buys the second cut of heifers mates them to Wagyu. He sees the advantage of the Jersey-cross in adding to the Wagyu programme.