Last Updated on February 9, 2021 by Pauline G. Carter
Another American chicken breed is the Jersey Giant Chicken. It was created by John and Thomas Black in Burlington County, New Jersey. As the name suggests, it is a heavy big bird that originated from New Jersey. It is the heaviest of them all.
The breeders’ purpose in making this chicken breed was to replace the turkey. Turkey was the primary poultry meat producer at that time. People were dependent on their meat. The result is this massive chicken!
Black Javas, Black Langshans and Dark Brahmas were crossed to come up with this particular chicken breed. In 1922, the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection officially recognized the Black Jersey Giant chicken variety.
It was initially called just the “Giants”, but “Black” was later added in honor of the Black brothers. In 1947, White was added and in 2002, Blue was among them too. Now it belongs to the Livestock Conservancy watch list.
Jersey Giant Chicken | Breed Profile
|Country of origin:||USA|
|Weight:||Male: Standard: 13 lb (5.9 kg) Bantam: 38 oz (1.1 kg),|
Female: Standard: 10 lb (4.5 kg), Bantam: 34 oz (0.96 kg)
|Recognized Varieties:||Black, Blue, White|
|Egg production (annual):||260|
Characteristics Of The Jersey Giant Chicken
On average, Black Jersey Giant is a pound heavier than the White one. They are the largest of the dual-purpose breeds. They were much heavier in the past that they were raised as capons and as broilers by the meat industry.
To reach its maximum size, a large amount of food and time are required. This breed’s plumages are blue and black and white. Their clean legs are willow in hue. The skin color is yellow and of single comb type.
They carry a heavy, rare and soft feather and these feathers are tighter than other poultry breeds. Cleaning the feathers is easier. It also serves its purpose during winter.
Compared with today’s common meat birds, they grow much more slowly for the Jersey giant chicken. That is why they are not widely popular in this commercial use.
Behavior/ Temperament/ Use
Though the cocks can rarely be aggressive, this chicken breed is calm and docile in general.“Gentle Giants” so they say about them. They are fairly good egg layers, especially in winter time that they are also called winter layers.
Jersey Giant hens lay very large brown eggs and will go broody. Aside from the meat, hens can lay as much as 260 large, brown eggs per year. They are good mothers to their chicks, gentle as they are.
These fowls are robust and cold-hardy but they can also tolerate hot weather. They can grow to as large as a 20-pound chicken if they are castrated.
The weight of a standard male Jersey Giant is 5.9 kilos, while it is 4.5 kilos for females. For Bantam, the male is 1.1 kilos, while for female Bantam, it is 0.96 kilos.
What We Liked/Pros
- Dual-purpose – large meat and egg producer.
- Hens are good egg layers and great mothers.
- Friendly, calm and docile birds.
- Great family pet for those who want large pets.
- Tolerant to heat and cold temperatures.
- Great winter layer.
- Clean legged. Easy to clean.
What We Don’t Like/Cons
- To reach full size, it may take seven months.
- Slower to mature.
- Not economical. They eat more than they give out.
- Not practical for commercial confidences.
- Jersey giant chickens for sale are hard to find.