Offer of Jersey Giant Roo to go with DP hens. Good idea??

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Carolyn, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    My goal is to have a sustainable flock of DP birds and I currently have 8 hens, BO who will sit, Rocks and one wellie. Plenty of eggs. I added a BR roo early this month. They free range. Free cycle had 2 jersey giant roos about 6 months old. My son got them to process but will give me the larger one who is already larger than my BR and the owner said they had a lot of growing left. He raises them for meat and his free range.
    I can either add some more hens if needed or process my current roo.

    I know nothing about Jersey Giants except they are large, feed conversion ratio is not good and they are slow to mature. Can a 6 mo old roo breed my hens? Is there an advantage to having birds this large in relation to predators (fox, hawk, coons, opossum and dogs)? (haven't lost one in a while but did have a dog incident recently). What is their general temperment?

    Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I will check elsewhere online for info but I want the voice of experience from my BYC friends. Thanks.

  2. partsRheavy

    partsRheavy Songster

    Jul 28, 2011
    Jersey Giants are friendly and docile. I can't really answer the other questions as mine are only 3 months old and I haven't been through the worst part of predator season (June-August when raccoons have their young) with them.
  3. luvmyEs

    luvmyEs Songster

    Dec 9, 2011
    North Carolina
    I haven't gotten my chicks yet, so I'm not a wealth of info:D! I read on mulitple sites that JG were pretty docile and take awhile to mature. We ordered a roo so hopefully he will get big and deter predators. [​IMG]
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Crowing

    Feb 12, 2009
    I have had JG's and.they are sweet. Yes they take along time to grow. It will mate with your BO's at that age. As for predators I don't think any roo can protect against foxes,racoons or dogs. They will warn the flock that there is a hawk about, but that's no promise that your birds won't get killed. Dogs are fast and even before any one is aware, they are all gone. Racoons attack at night, when everyone is asleep. I believe fox do to, but could be wrong. A jersey could take up 9 months to be ready to eat. My GJ would protect me against mean roos.
  5. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    My birds are behind an electric fence at night; have lost a couple to hawks inside it and to opossums once when it was grounded out in dry weather. I have had coons and fox attacks during the day. A good roo will let you and the hens know something is wrong. I just wondered if the size would make it harder for hawks especially. I did decide not to get the JG roo. It would probably have meant having to decide between him and my BR who hasn't fully adjusted here yet. I may try adding some JG, hens and roo next spring. I can probably get them from the same individual. Thanks for your help.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011

  6. smcmanus

    smcmanus In the Brooder

    Oct 1, 2011
    We raised 20 Jersey Giants this year. Very good survival rate with 18 to maturity and no meds. They love to forage so we let them out in the day and back in the chicken house and run at night. We had a lot of predator problems with other breeds but not the JG. They are good eaters and taste great including the roosters. At 7 months they dress out over 10lbs. I stuffed and roasted a rooster last night. Yummy; his carcass is now in the soup pot.. They are not reliable layers and not broody at all. Eggs are good with very thick yolks.

    I highly recommend them

    Good Luck
  7. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    In my opinion, there most definitely is an advantage to having larger birds when it comes to some predators. For instance, after trying once, no hawks in my area ever give my Orps a second glance. And once I got some breeder quality birds that are even bigger, well, we have something that is much larger here than the hawks we had before and it doesn't seem to be too interested in them either. Though my flock is very watchful for it and do have lots of places to hide. Still, I don't think it's tried even.

    Opossums don't bother them either, but I think that's because they already have a nice supply of squirrels and other things to munch on. So yes, large is good, the bigger the better in my opinion. Besides, you want lots of meat.

    As to when to process them, any time they're big enough. Most dual purpose breeds get processed starting around 16 weeks, or 4 months for people like me that can't make sense out of how many weeks means what without counting on our fingers haha. They are reported to be tougher the older they get of course, but I've personally never dispatched one that was over a year old.
  8. Carolyn

    Carolyn Songster

    Apr 6, 2008
    Thanks galanie and smcmanus for the thumbs up on JG. I am thinking they will definitely be part of my flock next year. My son was very pleased to have them to process. I am really glad to hear that bigger birds do discourage some predators and that they free range well.

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