Registry Services - FAQ

Purebred and 100% do not mean the same thing

All Jerseys are cows, but sadly not all cows are Jerseys.  
All thumbs are fingers, but not all fingers are thumbs.
All Silverados are pick-ups, not all pick-ups are Silverados.

All 100% Jerseys are Purebred, but not all Purebred Jerseys are 100%.

According to the Animal Pedigree Act, a breed association sets out their own definition of "Purebred" animals in its bylaws, so long as an established minimum purity level is used.  Jersey Canada recognizes a purebred Jersey as any animal, which is at least 31/32 (96.87%) registered Jersey. This means that a minimum of 96.87% of an animal's pedigree traces back to the foundation stock originating on Jersey Island. 

The percentage make-up of an animal is calculated as the mathematical average of the two parents. Therefore, the Act permits an animal, which is less than 100% to qualify as purebred, but the actual percentage makeup remains the average of the parents and should not be recalculated.

When importing Jerseys into Canada, it is worthwhile to add one additional phone call to your pre-purchase research. National breed associations in different countries have unique rules for registering animals.  Animals may be recorded differently from one country to the next based on their officially recognized level of purity. And the definition of the word “purebred” is likely to vary between countries as well.

When an animal is imported into the Jersey Canada herdbook, she is subject to Jersey Canada’s rules for registration and recordation. It is possible that a purebred Jersey in another country would be an 87.5% Jersey in Canada.

Before closing the deal on a Jersey in another country, make that one additional phone call to the Jersey Canada office. Our office team will be happy to research pedigrees and confirm at what percentage the animal will be recognized in the Jersey Canada herdbook. We’re here to help, and just a phone call away.

Registration Tips

1] If you have received a registration paper that has an error on it, please forward the incorrect paper back to the Jersey Canada office, with notation on what the error is. It will be corrected and re-issued to immediately.
2] Have you tried our on-line registration? Contact our Registrar for your password and instructions!
3] All dairy producers in Canada are able to register through their Dairy Herd Improvement program using the ERA program. CanWest DHI and Valacta are set up to help you keep your registrations up to date, and reduce your paperwork!

Need help understanding a short form or acronym?  Visit the our dairy industry Glossary for help!

Reproduction Mixes and Registrations

Maintaining the integrity of the herdbook is the most important part of the registrar’s job at Jersey Canada.  This means ensuring that calves are registered with the correct dam and sire. We have several policies in place which help to monitor this-including random spot checks and parentage verification for bull registrations, overage females and whenever the sire is in question. 

One of the biggest obstacles we’ve had recently is identifying calves that come from pooled semen, reproduction mixes or “Repro-Mixes”. A reproduction mix generally includes the semen of three highly fertile bulls. Sometimes a mixture of beef, Holstein and Jersey bulls is used so that breeders are able to pinpoint the sire by appearance. The reproduction mixes which include three Jersey sires are more popular since they guarantee purebred calves. Calves from these mixes are more difficult and costly to register since the sire must be identified through a microsatellite or SNP genomic test.

Sometimes these calves are registered incorrectly at the time of registration, because only one of the three bulls registration numbers is entered. It is imperative that a calf is identified as having several potential sires when it is being registered. This alerts us to the fact that we should request parentage verification and send out a kit for microsatellite DNA testing or register the calf with an unknown sire so that SNP testing can occur through Holstein Canada.  When registering a calf from a 'Reproduction Mix', please enter a “dummy” registration number for the sire, such as JECANM99999999, rather than one of the 3 potential sire’s registration numbers. Our computer system will flag the nonsense number as an error and alert me that something irregular is happening. It is also a great idea to name the calf with the 'Reproduction Mix' rather than a bull’s name, so I know which sires are possible. For example, a calf could be named YOURPREFIX REPRO 13 CICILIA to indicate that 'Reproduction Mix 13' was used.

SNP testing and Parentage Verification

Many Jersey owners are quickly learning what a great management tool SNP genomic testing (GenoTest) is. Not only does it allow you to select the best replacement heifers for your herd-it can also confirm the parentage of animals. SNP genomic testing provides a distinct advantage over traditional microsatellite DNA testing for parentage verification-potential as sires do not have to be suggested. This difference arises between the two tests because microsatellite DNA confirms parentage by matching microsatellite sites on the DNA of the animal being tested and on the DNA of the suggested sire while SNP testing eliminates potential sires based the presence of particular SNP's and the likelihood that various sires could have contributed these portions of DNA.  

While it is true that most of the time Jersey owners are sure of whom the sire is, mix ups do happen. Sometimes the wrong straw is grabbed during insemination. Sometimes a cow is purchased in calf and no breeding information is supplied. Whatever the reason for parentage verification, SNP testing is a great option. If you would like to conduct parentage verification through SNP testing it is important to register the calf to be tested first.  Holstein Canada and CDN are unable to correctly label samples without a registration number. If you are uncertain of the sire, use a ‘dummy’ registration number during registration, such as JECANM99999999. This way we will know something is different and can register the calf with an unknown sire after confirming the situation with you. Eventually results confirming parentage will be available from CDN and we can adjust the sire of the calf as necessary and send out the registration paper and a certificate confirming parentage. Registration fees will be charged before testing occurs. Holstein Canada will send an invoice for the GenoTest.  After results are received, another SNP administration fee will be applied to your Jersey Canada account to cover the additional costs, including time, postage and updates to the database. This fee is only charged when parentage verification is necessary - not for every animal that SNP testing is conducted on.  

If one of your animals has been selected for a spot test, a microsatellite DNA kit will still be sent out, but you also have the option of sending a hair sample to Holstein Canada for SNP testing. If you would like to do this, simply let us know, pay the invoice and send us a copy of the invoice. We’ll add a credit to your Jersey Canada account in the amount of the test which can be used for future registrations, transfers, etc. 

Partnerships and Prefixes

The prefix on the start of an animal’s name is the breeders equivalent of an author putting their name on the cover of a book or a painter signing their name in the corner-it says “This is my work”.  But what happens when it is a team effort between two breeders in a partnership? If you look through the herd book, our breeders have found a number of solutions that work for their partnership and the 30 character limit on animal names.

-Take turns assigning each breeder’s prefix (i.e. PAULLOR GROVE JENDALL and SLEEGERHOLM NORMAN JORDAN - Bred and Owned by Paul & Lorraine Franken and Mike Sleegers);
-Use both prefixes, alternating which goes first (i.e. ST-LO DESPRESVERTS IRIA ET and DESPRESVERTS ST-LO NORA - Bred and Owned by Ferme St-Baslo & Ferme Pres Verts Inc.);
-Use both prefixes, alternating which goes first and shortening the second (i.e. SPRINGLEA SV REMAKE VISTA BELLA and SPRUCEVALE SL VANGUARD ET - Bred and Owned by Springlea Holsteins & Sprucevale Jerseys);
-Create a new prefix for the partnership (i.e. FDL CELEBRATING BELLE - Bred and owned by Groupe Fleur de Lys = Hillover, Pepin, Jobson & MacKinnon).


Calf Abnormality Report 

Keeping Accurate Herd Records

Do you have more questions? Talk to our Registrar: (519) 821-1020 ext 22 

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