When a Jersey calf is born, (s)he has solid brown coloring (almost always very close to the shade of brown in the photos below) with no white ring around the nose or eyes and no black markings. The exception – a broken colored calf with pure white as part of her coloring will be born with the white markings.
Coloring develops slowly over the first few months as the calf ages:
By weaning age, she should have the typical Jersey markings. Most have white around the nose and eyes, a black mask on the face (tends to show up on older heifers), a white underbelly, and some markings on their legs (black above the toes, sometimes black along the knees):
Sometimes a cow’s color changes significantly as she ages, as she sheds or grows a winter coat, and around calving time.
Below are photos of the same cow illustrating how she changes colors over time:
WINTER (also happens to be just before she calved):
AFTER CALVING: Sometimes, around the time a cow calves and for a month or two after she has calved, a cow will “lose” the white rings around her nose and eyes. In the photos below, notice Rosebud has no rings around her eyes and the ring around her nose looks like she got smudged with ash!
Don’t worry, in a couple months, it’ll fade back to white!