This breed is an all-American chicken developed in New Jersey. With the black Jersey Giant being the first recognized variety of the breed, Jersey Giant chicken is ideal for those who want a good, large chicken to tuck into.
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New Jersey Chicken at a Glance
|Eggs||175-185 (per year)|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (dual purpose)|
|Comb Type||Single Comb|
|Weight||Male: 13 lb (6 kg) |
Female: 10 lb ( 4.5 kg)
|Country of origin||United States|
Jersey Ginat Chicken Origins
The Jersey chicken originated in New Jersey, sometime around the 1800s. The purpose of the chicken was to create something that was fairly substantial in size.
In fact, the intention of the breed was to be a bit larger than a turkey. It came close, but shortly after, larger turkeys started to be bred, and the Jersey chicken couldn’t compete with that. Today it is one of the rarest chicken breeds in US.
Not that it matters too much. This is still a fantastic chicken for those who want a decent roasting bird.
The Look of the Jersey Giant Chicken
The Jersey Giant is a substantial bird. The rooster weighs a few pounds more than the hen, but even the hen is going to be larger than the vast majority of birds you can buy. If you want your bird for meat purposes, then you need to get the white variety of the bird, which is a bit larger than the black one.
Other than this, the bird isn’t really a ‘stand-out’ in the looks department. It does have black legs and yellow soles, but a lot of birds have that. Perhaps the only other ‘major’ part of the look of the chicken will be the way in which the feathers are on the bird.
They are much more tight against the body, which does make the Jersey Giant a bit easier to clean.
Jersey Giant Chicken Size
As said earlier, they were created with an intention to replace the turkeys, so the male Jersey Giant Chicken Size on average is 13 lb (6 kg), while the female Jersey Giant Chicken Size 10 lb ( 4.5 kg).
It is an interesting fact that the Black Jersey Giants chickens are a pound heavier than White Jersey Giants.
Jersey Giant Chicken Egg and Meat Production
As stated several times on this page; the purpose of the Jersey Giant is as a meat bird. If you get one of these, then you will mostly be raising it for the meat. Sure, it is going to be giving you a few eggs here and there, but if you want an egg-laying chicken, then you will probably want to be looking somewhere else.
Remember; since this chicken is on the larger side, it is going to require a lot more food than your average chicken. This means that the cost to raise it are going to be considerably higher. This may be a problem if you have a flock of them.
This, once again, is a reason why the vast majority of backyard chicken breeders do not bother to get a Jersey Chicken chicken in their flock, let alone some of the commercial operations out there.
Despite their large size the hens are good egg layers. The Jersey Giatn lay brown-shell eggs, although their eggs may take a day or two longer to hatch than other breeds.
Jersey Giant Personality
Honestly, despite the size, the Jersey Giant chicken is probably one of the friendliest chickens that you are ever going to encounter. If you want a good ‘pet’ chicken i.e. one that you are not raising to be productive at all, then you are going to struggle to get something that is more calm and docile than the Jersey Giant.
Despite the size, it can also be pretty laid-back in the chicken coop. Sure, other chickens in the flock will know who the boss is, but it never seems as if the Jersey Giant is willing to exert its dominance.
This is an extremely cold hardy chicken breed.
There are very few health issues with the Jersey Giant chicken. Your main concern will be ensuring that the bird does not overeat. Since it has been bred for size, obesity can be an issue in some birds, so you may want to keep tabs on the high-protein foods.
You may also find that the chicken doesn’t do as well in the hotter environments because, once again, the size. If you do live in a hotter and more humid environment, then you will want to take efforts to cool the chicken down.
It is Difficult to Find Jersey Giant Chicken For Sale
You would find it difficult to Find Jersey Giant Chicken for sale. Interestingly, there are very few ‘pure-breed’ Jersey Chickens now.
In fact, it is one of only a few chickens that has been listed as critically endangered by professional associations. Part of the reason for this is that there are better meat birds out there.
It is a fantastic bird to raise, but you aren’t going to be getting much out of it apart from the meat. As a result, the vast majority of people are not going to be putting the time and effort into getting one of these birds. As a result, these birds are not bred in the same quantities as before.