- Breed Purpose:
- Dual Purpose
- Climate Tolerance:
- Egg Productivity:
- Egg Size:
- 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:
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.
Jersey Giant chicks
Jersey Giant juvenile
Jersey Giant hen
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/
- Average User Rating:
Chicken Breed Info:
Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Climate Tolerance: Cold
General Egg Info:
Egg Productivity: Medium
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Light Brown
Breed Colors / Varieties:
Black, White, Blue, Splash
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.
Recent User Reviews
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!
"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!
"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.chicken-rooquacks likes this.