The Irish Jersey & Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR)
the Irish Jersey & Belfair Cattle Registry (BCR)

Belfair Cattle:

The Belfair is a 50:50 composite, half Jersey and half Irish Dexter.

The Irish Jersey is a composition of the same 2 breeds, Dexter and Jersey, but other than the 50:50 ratio.

BREED HERD BOOKS: Practically speaking, there can be no Belfair Registry without the Irish Jersey herd book. Bulls that are 75-Dexter : 25-Jersey can be bred to cows that are 25-Dexter : 75-Jersey, and produce Belfairs. So both herd books overlap, and the same family of cattle can be registered in one or the other registry. The rules and divisions defined below will apply to either registry.


Irish Jersey bull bred by Romain LaLone, MI
an Irish Jersey bull in his work clothes; bred by Romain LaLone, Michigan

HISTORY: The name Belfair was originally coined by Tracy Teed of Washington decades ago. Another historical breeder is Romain LaLone of Michigan, who has been breeding, selecting and improving Belfairs and Irish Jerseys for over 30 years. For more breeders, visit the Belfair breeder directory (see links at bottom of page).

PURPOSE: The Belfair is a dual purpose composite homestead cow. It does not matter which parent is the Dexter or the Jersey. Belfair and Irish Jersey cattle may range in size; but most are Frame Score 00 to 2 (miniature to midsize), which is preferred for efficiency, hardiness and ease of milking. Belfairs make wonderful homestead cattle, providing rich creamy milk. Some Belfair cows have been known to produce up to 6 gallons of milk / day. The breed goal is to provide enough milk for a family while also raising a calf every year. Belfairs are designed to blend the strongest traits from each of the parent breeds. Standard Jersey bulls are known for poor temperament. Belfairs are often bred from cross Irish Dexters with American Miniature Jerseys, which have been selected for decades for gentle temperament. Belfairs eat less than standard size dairy cattle, and more Belfairs can be raised per acre of grass, than a larger, commerical dairy breed. Belfairs are bred to better resist mastitis, handle hot and cold weather, all while holding their weight during lactation, and thriving on a grass fed diet.
photo credit: Dexter X Jersey for Sale; Amlwch-Anglesey on


Belfair Cattle Registration eligibility:

Division I:

Division II Requirements:


fraction / percentage generation chart
a chart to compare breed percentages with fractions

IRISH JERSEY Cattle Herd Book: Homestead dairy cattle that are composites of Dexter and Jersey, but not half and half, may be eligible for registration as Irish Jerseys. Any of their offspring that result in the 50:50 Dexter X Jersey composition, are eligible for the Belfair Registry.

PURITY & VERIFICATION: If neither parent is registered, and the Dexter parent is believed purebred, the unregistered Jersey parent without a pedigree may be accepted if she tests and scores a minimum of 87.5% Jersey in a CDCB BBR DNA purity test. This runs about $45 (contact office). There are no purity tests for the Dexter. Crossbreds like Belfair & Irish Jersey cattle cannot accurately be tested for their (50%) percentage of Jersey, because their 50% Dexter interferes with that DNA test.

HARDSHIP CASES: Belfair or Irish Jersey cattle that do not meet the stringent Division I or II eligibility requirements above may qualify for Hardship registration or general registration in the Open Herd Book of the Homestead Cattle Association. In this way an owner can record and register their foundation animals they use to develop future generations of Belfair or Irish Jersey cattle.

MORE on DNA TESTING: parentage verification (PV) is not required for registration in the Irish Jersey and Belfair Cattle Registry, but it can be an advantage when establishing new herds and breeder confidence. It is often offered as a relatively inexpensive addon when DNA testing for other traits such as A1/A2, Horned/Polled, etc.

Distinctions between Division I and Division II are not indicators or representative of differences in quality or value; they simply document differences in verification levels of genotype and phenotype in a breeding program.

Color: Division I and Division II Belfairs and Irish Jerseys must display coat type, colors, patterns & markings expected from a pure Dexter crossed with a pure Jersey. A Belfair's base coat color may be black, wild red or true recessive red. If it inherits both a wild red and a brindle Agouti gene, it may be brindle. It may inherit paint (spotted) genetics from the Jersey. F2 Belfairs may be dun from the Dexter dun dilute gene. The light colored ring around the nose is subject to disappear in the F2 and later generations.

Polled & Horned: Heritage Dexters and Jerseys were horned. But modern Dexters & Jerseys may be horned or polled, so, Belfairs may be horned or polled.

OTHER BREED GENETICS: Homestead dairy cattle that are composites of Dexter and Jersey, but that also express breed influence other than Dexter and Jersey, may be registered in the Homestead Cattle Association general Open Herd Book. If they have a pedigree that indicates they are over 87.5% pure of a single breed, they may be eligible in that breed's herd book registry. Contact the office with any questions.

WHY Register: Registration is a small investment that can increase Belfair cattle's value by identifying their milk components, traits, ancestry as well as documenting this composite breed's development from the beginning. The Irish Jersey and Belfair Cattle Registry operate under the Homestead Cattle Association and Miniature Cattle Registry (HCA) circa 2014. HCA membership fees apply equally when registering ANY homestead or miniature breed. This keeps things simple, and allows HCA members to register all their cattle under one membership, regardless of breed. Visit the Homestead Cattle Association here.

Forms & Fees & Instructions




forms, fees, instructions  
Breeder Directory


HCA official seal

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Homestead Cattle Association
    Belfair Cattle Registry
    Irish Jersey Registry
Donna Vickery, executive director
12509 W Windsor St, Avondale, AZ 85323
406-591-6568 (call or text)