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; Amlwch-Anglesey on


Belfair Cattle Registration eligibility:

Division I:

Division II Requirements:

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

Frame Score: All sizes are acceptable. Frame score is requested in application.

Purity: It is a reality that most Dexter cattle and most Jersey cattle (miniature or standard) are impure unless they have a verified heritage pedigree. Purebred Jerseys and Dexters are the foundation for the developing composites, Belfairs and Irish Jerseys. Absolute proof that the Jersey and Dexter genetics in this composite are heritage or 100% pure is not realistic or possible.

Color: Division I and Division II Belfairs and Irish Jerseys preferably should 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 express the Dexter dun dilute gene. Fawn highlights and a light colored ring around the nose inherited from the Jersey is typical in F1 cross Belfairs or Irish Jerseys, but may disappear in F2 and later generations.

Polled & Horned: Original (Heritage) Dexters and Jerseys are horned breeds. Modern Dexters & Jerseys may be horned or polled, so, Belfairs may be horned or polled.

Breed Composition Exclusions: Homestead dairy cattle that are composites of Dexter and Jersey, and that also express considerable additional breed influence other than Dexter and Jersey, are elibible to be registered in the Homestead Cattle Association general Open Herd Book. If they have a pedigree that documents they are over 87.5% pure of any one breed, they should qualify as a purebred in that herd book registry. Contact the office with any questions.

Why Register: Registration is a small investment that can increase Belfair cattle's value. Registration certificates provide official breed identification. It provides added proof of ownership. It provides DNA documentation of tests, that may identify dairy traits & milk proteins and beef traits. It documents the animal's ancestry as well as 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 members are entitled to discount registration fees for any homestead or miniature breed. Visit the Homestead Cattle Association here.

Forms & Fees & Instructions

Belfair Cattle Breeder Directory




forms, fees, instructions  
Breeder Directory


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HCA official seal Homestead Cattle Association
    US Normande Cattle Organization
    Belfair Cattle Registry
    Irish Jersey Cattle Registry
Donna Vickery, executive director
H.E. Ahrens, technical director
406-591-6568 call or text


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© est. 2013
Homestead & Miniature Cattle Resource Directory

part of
Homestead Cattle Association

Homestead Cattle Registry
Miniature Cattle Registry
Heritage Cattle Registry

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last updated January 2024
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