|Jerseys in Colombia |
Jersey Bulletin. January 1994]
Colombia imported its first Jerseys in 1946 from the USA to Hacienda Timiza
which is located in the flat higlands near Bogota. In 1951 a second importation
of Jerseys was done by the Department of Agriculture and were taken to Granja de
Armero at Tolima.
With these importations, the first studies concerning
adaptability, milk production and cross-breeding was undertaken.
the Department of Agriculture from Tolima imported twelve animals from the
Island of Jersey for the purpose of crossing the sons of these cows with native
cattle to increase milk production.
In 1963 or 1964 the Association of
Coffee Growers of Colombia, looking for Agricultural diversification, promoted
the importation of Jerseys from the USA. These cattle were taken to small farms
and due to bad management and the absence of a Breed Association to uphold
records, the Jersey declined in quality and almost disappeared at the end of the
In 1980 an importation of Jerseys from the USA prompted breeders to
form the Colombian Jersey Breeders Association which was inaugurated on October
The Colombian Jersey 1994.
The Colombian Jersey Association today
has 46 members with herds located in different parts of the country. There are
Jerseys from 250 meters to 3.100 meters above sea level and temperatures range
from 3C to 35 and rainfall from 600 mm to 2500mm.
In all climates and
conditions the breed has shown great adaptability and resistance to tropical
In June 1983 the Association started to register Jersey cattle,
and in the following ten years over 5.500 females have been registered. One of
the benefits of the introduction of the Jersey to Colombia has been the
contribution to the cross-breeding with purebred and native cattle for increased
Upgrading has been done on Holsteins, Simmentals, Brown
Swiss and Santa Gergrudis, as well as native breeds such as Harton, Lucerna and
San Martinero. These are crossbred cattle iin production today, and the
excellent characterics of the Jersey do show through, like endurance, good
grazes, early calving, adaptability, smaller size, better milk quality, and
improved udderr and body conformation.
The behaviour of the purebred and the
Jersey crossbreds in the coffee planting area, one of the hardest areas for
cattle, is excellent and the Jerseys acclimatize easily and yield without
All of these qualities are important for the economy of the
Colombian breeders, as they have to work in arduos conditions and the Jersey is
proving to be increasingly popular in the country.