Day Old Black Jersey Giant Baby Chicks
Hatching February to October.
The largest of the domestic chickens, Jersey Giants are impressive. At full maturity, they make an excellent roasting bird.
Production: Jersey Giants are generally raised as meat birds, because of their large size. Compared to other heavy breeds, they are also considered good layers. You can expect about 150 eggs per year from a hen.
Temperament: Black Jersey Giants are calm, docile, and not particularly flighty. They don’t mind containment and are friendly.
History: An American breed, Black Jersey Giants were developed by brothers, John and Thomas Black. The brothers were from New Jersey, as the name “Jersey Giant” indicates. The brothers original intent was to develop a breed that would rival the turkey as a roasting bird. At that time, the Broad Breasted varieties of turkeys did not yet exist.
The breed was used for commercial production for a short time, but the fact that it takes longer than some other breeds to reach maturity made it impractical for industrial use. In reality, Jersey Giants grow at about the same rate as other breeds, it just takes longer for them to mature because they are so much bigger than most other breeds. The Jersey Giant is the largest pure breed of chicken in existence.
At first, this breed was referred to as “Black Giants” to honor the brothers who created the breed, but in 1921, a club was formed, and the name Jersey Giants was formally adopted. Black Jersey Giants are so-called due to their color. There are also White Jersey Giants, and a relatively new color variety, Blue Jersey Giants.
The breed was accepted into the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1922.
Colors: Black Jersey Giants are an even black, all over, with a red comb.
Status: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy Conservation Status: The ALBC lists Jersey Giants in the Watch category.
Body Type: Jersey giants are large birds, with an upright carriage and dignified manner.
Standard Weights: Rooster 13 lbs, Hen 10 lbs, Cockerel 11 lbs, Pullet 8 lbs
Classification: American Poultry Association Class: American
Photo Courtesy of Theresa Stephens.