BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Jersey Giant

Jersey Giant


Pros: Docile, beautiful, very large

Cons: slower growth and slightly poorer egg production

We had Black Jersey Giants. One became our flock rooster for a couple of years. He was huge and beautiful, with solid black eyes, iridescent plumage, and a very upright "proper" stance. We could pick him up and carry him around, and he wouldn't fuss, yet we have had him jump on a hawk that had one of his hens pinned down. Harvey was our favorite chicken ever, and was only let go because so many in the flock were his offspring. Harvey moved to a nearby farm where he is still going strong, despite being 5 years old!


Very large birds that grow a bit more slowly than the other heavy fowl. Extremely docile. Hens did go broody for us some, and laid reasonably well year round. Eggs were usually large and x-lrge. They were quiet birds for the most part, and not aggressive with other members in the flock. Easy to make these into pets. They faired well in free range life, foraging well and not being plagued with any health issues. Seemed undisturbed by heat and cold. The docile temperament is evident even in crossbred offspring.


Crossbred chicks from Jersey Giant crosses have grown very fast and reached processing weights much faster than did the purebred. Carcass of the purebred is acceptable, and they picked surprisingly clean for a black-feathered breed.


A good homestead bird, but not a steadfast producer like the plymouth rock or rhode island red.


Pros: Stunning beauty, very hardy, size tends to deter predation

Cons: Those jokers can eat!!

Recently the local dogs have made a few raids on my flock. They never mess with my jersy giant roosters, consequently the hens of smaller breeds(hamburgs and leghorns) who were part of their harems have not been effected, the rest fell victim. Though not a fool proof defense in my experience a flock with a big twelve pounder marshaling the girls is less vulnerable than one without one.


Pros: Friendly, Calm, Protective, Beautiful

Cons: Aggressive to birds they see as threats, Slow to mature

We purchased our Black Jersey Giant rooster on a whim when our other Speckled Sussex eggs failed to hatch. He has been a valuable member to our flock, always keeping an eye out for anything he perceives as a threat. He is quite gentle with the hens, even when he is seeking their "affections". While our other roosters occasionally fight, he for the most part keeps out of it, however, when I purchased a few roosters for butchering, he immediately placed himself between the flock and the new roosters, especially the new trouble makers. Now that the butchering roosters are gone, he is back to his old docile self.
My one issue is that there are plenty of hens, however he sometimes takes a fancy to our Lady Duck :S

I will defiantly be adding a few more Jersey Giants to our flock!


Pros: large, friendly, decent egg layers

Cons: maybe large for eggs alone?

    Since we live in an area frequented by predators I researched breeds before settling on Jersey Giants. We got our first ones as half grown juveniles and despite that they became very tame and friendly. They laid large brown to pinkish brown eggs.  They were large enough that hawks left them alone, but unfortunately  we had to stay one jump ahead of the foxes (One of the reasons our coop and runs now look like Fort Knox.)

    The only negative thing I can say, and it really isn't a negative is that their feed to egg ratio probably isn't as good as that of some of the smaller hens and for meat they don't grow as quickly as the meat crosses, but if you can free range your birds, you won't find a better breed.

    I no longer have pure JG's anymore, but I do have some of the grandchildren that are 1/2 to 3/4 JG, and they are still some of my favorites.  They aren't quite as big, but they are excellent layers.  I wouldn't mind having more JG's sometime.


Pros: Large, fluffy, good personality, hardy

Cons: Slow growth

I bought a Jersey giant pullet at a sale..Brought her home and fell in love with her.,. yes her breed grows slowly then other breeds, but I didnt mind, This breed is huge, They lay a big brown egg and hardy during winter. they get along with any breed,


Pros: Large Size, Gentle, Cold hardy, large eggs, slow grower

Cons: hard to find!

I live on an 8 acre hobby farm and used to have bantam chickens. Well I don't like to have my chickens cooped up all the time and with the hawks around the bantams just wouldn't do. I looked around wanting the biggest chicken I could find, just to deter the hawks. I found this in the Jersey Giant! Since I have had them I have lost 0 to hawks. It makes me feel better knowing that the hawks aren't bothering my flock anymore. I know that there is till a possibility that it could happen, just much less likely. 


My rooster isn't mean, he doesn't love to be held by any means, but doesn't attack me or my kids either. I have a couple hens that like to be held and all of them do a pretty good job laying. I'm not looking for the super egg producer and consider the egg production a bonus to keeping them. I'm very much looking forward to what the future has in store with my flock growth and will continue to learn more about the breed. 


I would recommend them to anyone looking to get into chickens as a first timer. (If you have the room.) 


Jersey Giants are very affectionate!! They merge well with other chickens!

They are very large chickens and can eat a lot. But on the plus side these chickens are good foragers!

They have beautiful peacock color plumage when reflected in the sun!!

I recommend this breed!!


Pros: Protect flock, good forager, gorws quickly.

Cons: Loud, bossy, sometimes mean

I have a 6 week old Jersey Giant named Nausicaa. Whenever i come to check on the flock she is always the first to greet me. I walked in one day to find my pet cat hissing at my Jersey with his tail between his legs, Nausicaa always stands up the smaller in the flock. i would rate this bird 5 stars, but nothing is perfect. :)


Pros: Sweet, large eggs, full bodied

Cons: only laid every other day

Loved them! They were so sweet and always ran out of the woods to greet me. They were big enough that the dogs left them alone too.


Pros: Sturdy, cold resistant, adapted to our flock easily, great foragers, affectionate and attention seeking

Cons: Can be noisy, especially when they want attention or think you have a treat for them.

We have two Jersey Giants.  Both hens, we got them together as chicks.  They have always been so interesting, not just because they are bigger than our other chickens, but, because of the vocalizations they make that are often very un chicken like.  They chortle, and warble, and coo like doves.  They have beautiful feathers and are super soft.  One of ours is more social than the other, so, as a breed standard I am not certain if they typically are more like one or the other.  Aunt Singe is our less social giant, but, she still likes to hang out and chat with us.  Wednesday is very attached, especially to me, and likes to hop up on the arm of any chair I'm in and just chats away.  She likes to be petted.  Aunt Singe will tolerate petting, They were both raised with our Golden Sexlink chick, but, they aren't necessarily attached to her as much as she is to them.  They are fine being on their own.  They are very good foragers, and get along well with the rest of our flock.  Initially, when they were just teenagers, the older girls would run them off and not let them roost with them at night, but, over time, and with their size becoming more of an asset, they worked their way into the flock and have a spot about the middle of the pecking order.  They are regular, pretty much daily, egg layers of pretty light brown eggs.  If we lived in a less populated area perhaps I would give them a five star rating, but, due to their tendency to sqwak and complain very loudly I have to rate them lower overall.  

Jersey Giant

The Jersey Giant is the largest chicken variety (roosters average 13 lbs., hens average 11 lbs.). This breed was originally called the Jersey Black Giant, being named after its developers, the Black Brothers, in the 1870s in New Jersey. The breeds used in development of the Jersey Giant were Black Javas, Black Langshans, and Dark Brahmas. These birds are rugged, and are slow growers, putting on their frames the first year and then filling out in the second. Because they are a slow-growing variety, they have lost some of their popularity. This breed is known to be very friendly and get on well with other varieties of birds and pets. Australorps are often confused with Jersey Giants, and you can tell the difference by their legs. Jersey Giants’ legs are black, the bottoms of their feet being yellow. Australorps’ legs are black, the bottoms being pinkish-white.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceCold
Egg ProductivityMedium
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorLight Brown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Calm,Docile
Breed Colors/VarietiesBlack, White, Blue, Splash
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
APA/ABA ClassAmerican
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Seldom
Climate Tolerance: Cold

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Light Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Docile

Breed Colors / Varieties:

Black, White, Blue, Splash

Breed Details:

This breed is a pleasure to have around the farm. They are gorgeous, quite large (roosters attain an average weight of 13 lbs.), the roosters have a very pretty crow, and they have very good egg production.


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