Today's post about registering your Jersey calf is the fifth post in a three-part series that I am writing about tattooing, tagging, and registering your calf with Jersey Canada.
Register Your Herd Prefix
Before you start doing any registering, you are required to register your herd prefix with Jersey Canada for $5 plus tax. The name of every calf that you register will begin with the breeder's herd prefix. If you are the breeder of the calf, her name will begin with your prefix. For example, my herd prefix is Birdsong, so the names of all the calves that I breed and register start with Birdsong: Birdsong Shirley Rose, Birdsong Princess Alexandra, Birdsong Golden Buttercup. But if you buy a bred cow and register her calf, her name will start with the prefix of the previous owner. For example, I sold Birdsong Summer Blossom as a bred cow on July 23, 2012, and on October 19, 2012 she gave birth to a beautiful heifer calf. Blossom's new owners named the calf Copper Penny, and she was registered as Birdsong Copper Penny because I was her breeder.
Often farmers will register their farm name (or part of their farm name) as their herd prefix. For example, my farm name is Birdsong Farm, and I registered my prefix as Birdsong; Neil and Melanie Hunter from Hometown Jerseys registered the prefix Hometown, and Walter and Tracy Howe from Mooshine Farms registered the prefix Mooshine. But a herd prefix is not limited to your farm name--I've found herd prefixes like Tazo (after the breeders, Taya and Zoey) and Milkmaid. You can choose any name you want for your herd prefix, if it's not registered by another Jersey breeder, or too close to another registered prefix (but I did find the prefixes Buttercup with a 'C' and Butterkup with a 'K').
When choosing your herd prefix, keep in mind that a calf's registered name is limited to 30 characters, and every space is counted as one character. I recommend keeping your herd prefix fairly short--10 or fewer characters--so that there is plenty of space left for your calf's name. For example, my herd prefix, Birdsong, is 8 characters, so there are 22 characters left for the calf's name.
Name Your Calf
Next you need to choose a name for your calf.
The standard naming pattern for Jerseys is the breeder's herd prefix, followed by part of the sire's name, and finally the calf's name beginning with the letter for that cow family. Take my first purebred Jersey, Gaymar Just A Princess, as an example: her breeder is Gaymar Jerseys, her sire is Rapid Bay Just Wait, and she is from the 'P' cow family. Princess' dam is Gaymar Jester Palm (sire: Cloverholm C Top's Jester 99D), her granddam is Gaymar Knight Palmy (sire: Spruce Vine Surv Knight), and her great-granddam is Gaymar H G B Palmeda (sire: Hetherington Golden Babe).
Mooshine Farms names their calves with the tattoo year letter. So all the calves born in 2015 will be given names that start with the letter 'C', and in 2016 all the names will start with the letter 'D'.
I choose a theme for my cow families, and do not add part of the sire's name to the calf's name. For example, the cows in my "Blossom" family are named after flowers: Birdsong Summer Blossom, her daughters Birdsong Blossom's Daisy and Birdsong Autumn Aster, and her granddaughters Birdsong Shirley Rose, and Birdsong Golden Buttercup.
The cows in my "Princess" family are named after royalty: Birdsong Princess Sonja (after Princess Sonja of Norway), Birdsong Princess Diana (after Princess Diana of Britain), Birdsong Princess Grace (after Princess Grace of Monaco), Birdsong Princess Alexandra (after Princess Alexandra of Britain), and Birdsong Princess Isabella (after Princess Isabella of Denmark).
As you can see, there are several options when choosing a name for your calf, and while you are welcome to stick with the "tried and true", don't be afraid to get creative!
Registering Your Calf
Now that you've registered your herd prefix and decided on a name for your calf, it's time to fill out the registration application. Please click here to print off a registration application.
I've filled out the registration application above as a guide:
~ Start by filling out your name, address, and membership number. When I registered my herd prefix, I wanted my farm listed as the breeder; that is why I've filled in the name as Birdsong Farm instead of giving my name. Your membership number is the 7-digit number listed after your name on your cow's registration papers.
~ Is the calf the result of an embryo transplant (ET)? (yes/no) If yes, enter the embryo number.
~ Fill in the dam's name and her registration number. You can find these details on her registration papers.
~ Fill in the sire's name and his registration number. You can find these details on the breeding slip.
~ Is the calf the result of artificial insemination (AI)? (yes/no)
~ Enter the breeding date. (dd/mm/yy)
~ Jersey Canada requires you to tattoo or tag your calf before registering. If the calf is tattooed, enter the right ear and left ear tattoos; if the calf is tagged, enter the identification number followed by the herd management number. I choose to tattoo and tag all my calves, so I've entered the details for Alexandra's tattoos as well as her tags.
~ Enter the calf's birth date. (dd/mm/yy)
~ What is the sex of the calf? (male/female)
~ Was the calf a twin? (yes/no)
~ Is the calf polled? (yes/no) A polled calf never grows horns; a horned calf can be disbudded or dehorned and as a result will not grow horns, but is still registered as horned.
~ Enter the name of your calf, remembering to list her herd prefix first, followed by the name you've decided on for her. Remember that you are limited to 30 characters! Remember as well that if you buy a bred cow and are registering the calf that was born, your calf's name will begin with the breeder's prefix instead of your's.
~ If you are buying a bred cow and registering the calf that was born, enter the breeder's name and membership number in the blank box on the right-hand side. You will find the name and number on your cow's registration papers.
~ Review everything you've entered, and then sign and date the registration application.
Mail the registration application to Jersey Canada (350 Speedvale Avenue West, Unit #9, Guelph, Ontario, N1H 7M7) with the required fees. The earlier you register your calf, the cheaper the fees are, and Jersey Canada members receive a discount on their registration fees as well.
This is the first post in a two-part series about how to register your Jersey calf; the second post, about how to register your calf online, will be published next month.
I love to share stories and tips from living on my farm in Enderby where I raise Jersey cows and Nubian goats and make cheese. I work part time at the Enderby Museum, and enjoy reffing minor hockey, teaching cheese making workshops, and reading. Click here to read my bio.