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Jersey Giant

Average User Rating:
4.27027/5,
  • Breed Purpose:
    Dual Purpose
    Comb:
    Single
    Broodiness:
    Seldom
    Climate Tolerance:
    Cold
    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 Size:
    Large Fowl
    APA/ABA Class:
    American
    700.jpg

    The well named Jersey Giant chicken is the largest purebred breed of chicken. It was the result of a breeding program started around 1870 by John and Thomas Black in New Jersey, with the original objective of the breed being a replacement for the turkey. The resulting adult birds are massive in size with mature roosters weighing in at 13 lbs, hens 10 lbs, and capons capable of reaching 20 lbs.

    The Jersey Giant is known as a calm and docile breed with an even temperament. Adults are very poor flyers so are relatively easy to keep confined, they are fine foragers and are sometimes used as a slow growing meat bird on pasture. The hens are fair to good layers of large brown eggs and are known as very good winter layers. They will occasionally go broody. The roosters are said to have exceptionally good temperaments. They are single combed, clean legged, and recognized in three colors, black, white, and blue. The breeds used in the development of the Jersey Giant included Javas, Orpingtons, Langshans, and Brahmas.

    The breed was recognized by the APA in 1922 and is on The Livestock Conservancy's Watch list.

    chick.jpg
    Jersey Giant chicks

    juvenile.jpg
    Jersey Giant juvenile

    60df52ea_jersey_giant-4158-106673.jpeg
    Jersey Giant hen

    330fba56_P1010089.jpeg
    Jersey Giant rooster

    For information about this breed and their owners' and breeders' experiences with them, see our breed discussion here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/chicken-breed-focus-jersey-giant.1007948/
  • 60df52ea_jersey_giant-4158-106673.jpeg 330fba56_P1010089.jpeg 5948f2d5_IMG_2436.jpeg c0376a09_IMG_2368.jpeg 73ea1b1e_IMG_2520.jpeg 13129426_IMG_1792.jpeg a5a2aa2e_IMG_2685.jpeg 700.jpg chick.jpg juvenile.jpg

  • 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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    Rooster
    [​IMG]

    Hen
    [​IMG]

    Egg
    [​IMG]

    Chick
    [​IMG]

    Adolescent
    [​IMG]

Recent User Reviews

  1. ThatsneakyHen
    5/5,
    "LOVE EM!"
    Pros - Their sweet kind pretty and much more!
    Cons - Their too cute!;)
    Their perfect For my girls.They grew up together and are unseprateable! She'll peck for worms to give her family and is very sweet. They are nice and sometimes they can peck but otherwise perfect!
    [​IMG]
    BlackHackle likes this.
  2. chicken-rooquacks
    5/5,
    "Great breed, perfect for my flock!!"
    Pros - docile, calm, truly gentle giants
    fairly good layers
    Great for a self-sufficient flock that eliminates the need for day old's in a box, or an incubator
    far less health problems than other large breed/ meat birds.
    Cons - while i personally don't use them for meat, i could see this being a con for a farm that depends on the combination of a low cost with a high profit value.
    i first came across the Jersey Giant by accident, in a pile of day-old's i'd adopted from a hatchery.

    I read up on the breed and was amazed to find it not only an "ok" breed, but quite ideal for my flock. Since i am aiming at a docile, self-sufficient flock, this chicken breed is perfect for me!

    My main aim was to eliminate any aggressively-prone breeds, the need for day-old's in a box, or having to incubate the eggs, myself. I wanted a chicken who was not only a good incubator, but a good mother.

    I'm about to test out for myself their reputation as good mothers, with my first broody black JG hen. The Sire is a black Silkie rooster (another favorite breed) , so this will be interesting to say the least!
    BlackHackle likes this.
  3. ProbablyDusk
    3/5,
    "The Jersey *Giant* review"
    Pros - -Largest chicken breed.
    -If castrated, they can grow to 20 pounds.
    -Roosters normally weigh up to 13lbs, hens weighing around 10lbs.
    -Are generally docile and calm.
    Cons - -The Jersey Giant takes around 7 months to reach full size.
    -Are good layers, but are more often used for meat.
    -Slow to mature, and have a poor feed-to-meat conversion.
    To start off the review, we might as well go over the history of the Jersey Giant (or JG for short).
    JG's were initially bred by Thomas and John Black in the 1880's with the intent of replacing turkeys, meaning that they take a very long time to mature, but also have a lot more meat than other breeds, since they are the largest chicken breed.

    More often that not, JG's have black feathers due to their heritage, which consists of Black Javas, Dark Brahmas, Dark Corhishes, and Black Langshans.

    As we can deduce from the breeds used to create the gentle giants, JG's have a poor feed-to-meat conversion, they eat much more than what they give out, and are gigantic birds. The hens boast to be at least 20 inches tall, while the roosters take the cake with their height of 26 inches!

    While JG's lay a fair amount of eggs, they run the risk of being broody, which halts their egg-laying period for a spell. Overall, JG's are also fairly cold-hardy and calm, leading them to have a decent temperament.

    To recap, if you are looking for a meat bird, this is definitely your type of bird if you are willing to spend more time and money on it, they make great mothers and good layers, and have a decent temperament of being calm and docile, often times being called "Gentle Giants."

    If you are looking for a cost-efficient bird, then this bird is not the one that you should be looking for.Cornish or Delaware breeds give less meat, but cost less than the JG's diet would cost your wallet, and grow faster than them, since an average JG takes approximately 7 months to grow to full size.
    Purchase Price:
    N/A
    Purchase Date:
    N/A
    chicken-rooquacks likes this.

User Comments

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  1. adgcountrygirl
    After 7 years of chicken keeping, I would say this is one of the hardiest breeds I've had the pleasure to keep! Texas heat and drought, they beat it. Crazy cold freezes in the winter. No problem. Easy to introduce to an established flock. They are not aggressive, but they aren't easily pushed around either! I'm so glad I have them! I hope to add more someday!
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos likes this.
  2. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
    Huge brown eggs!!!
  3. moco27
    I have had hundreds of Jersey Giants for several years and have found the usual information about them false. First myth to clear up, they don't need a bigger nest box than normal chickens. I have had them lay in a 6 inch wall cavity so a 12 inch standard nest box would be spacious. They don't eat more than other chickens. I have had them in small groups for breeding and they eat at the same rate as every other breed I raise. About 15 breeds all together. I had a 22lbs rooster that was a beast. Very gentle but huge. I have a video of him and a normal sized buff orpington could almost walk under him. He was almost 30 inches tall. They are slow to grow and it seems that is the secret to large size, they don't stop growing like most breeds at about 6 months. My largest bird kept growing and reached his peak at about 18 months. Some of them stopped growing a little sooner. My average was about 16 lbs for the roosters. I didn't weigh the hens. They lay well in the winter without artificial light. I didn't notice any drop off in egg production in colder months. My hens during breeding laid on average 5.7 eggs per week or almost 300 eggs a year. That was more than they are supposed to lay. I have had some of my prized hens lay well for 3 years.
    1. Thomas Lamprogiorgos
      Greetings from Greece. I bought my first black giant pullet about 2 weeks before. She is so beautiful!
      Are they hardy and robust?
      Thomas Lamprogiorgos, Feb 10, 2018
  4. Farmer Connie
    WE have several.. they get big fast... gentle nature.. social skilled
  5. TheCochinMomma
    My last flock I had, we couldn't step outside without some form of protection because he was very mean. However, we got another JG rooster this new flock, although he's timid and does not approach, he doesn't show any aggressive traits
    1. TheCochinMomma
      Take this back he's terrible now
      TheCochinMomma, Oct 7, 2017
    2. ProbablyDusk
      If he is bad to the point that he is rushing to you every chance he gets, I recommend that when he attacks you, scoop him up and hold him against your side, clamped under your arm, no matter how much he squawks and flops. You can continue to do whatever really, just hold him until he’s calm, afterwards, set him down. If he squawks or kicks as you release him, pick him up again and repeat the cycle until he walks away peacefully when you set him down.
      ProbablyDusk, Nov 13, 2017
      GoofyNewt likes this.
  6. HortaChickenist
    HAVE R.I.R and THE JERSEYS ARE BY FAR SO MUCH SWEETER...THEY HAVE PERSONALITY!!!

    I have a mix of the RIR and Jersey Giants and the Giants are so much friendlier...easy to handle...come when I'm around the coop...let me treat them when they need treated...My first time with chickens...I'm sold on this breed...no contest...
      GoofyNewt and Henrik Petersson like this.
  7. chicknmania
    Actually, she was not done laying...she jrecently hatched a beautiful bright silver chick for us who looks exactly like her except for the coloring. Hopefully baby will have her personality, though it is a mix breed. Flossie has been an excellent momma, very attentive and patient with her baby.
  8. bluenosechicken
    My Jerseys are some of the best birds I have ever had only fault is they tend to waste alot of food but if I miss a feeding they quickly clean up their mess. I have a Big Blue Rooster and a Big Black one. The Black is the ladies man sleeps with 3 hens close to him. while the old Blue tends to sllep by himself in one of the nest boxes. Chicks are moving to the big brooder today once it stops raining
  9. scandiafowl
    Tough lesson to learn, I went through the same experience. If you are interested in breeder quality I can provide you with good sources.
  10. dolldee13
    It should stop after pecking order is established but I would remove her from the coop for a week or so to make sure she stays at bottom of order

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