Origin: United States of America
Adult male weight (lbs.): 13
Adult female weight (lbs.): 10
Recognized variety: Black
Primary use: meat
The Jersey Giant is a breed of chicken which originated in the United States in the late 19th century. Named for their state of origin (New Jersey) and their large size, Jersey Giants are the largest chicken breed.
The Jersey Giant was created by John and Thomas Black; with the intent of replacing the turkey, the kind of poultry used primarily for meat at the time. They were produced by crossing Black Javas, Black Langshans, and Dark Brahmas. The Black Jersey Giant was added to the Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1922. The White variety was added in 1947, and Blue in 2002. Black Jersey Giants are, on average, a pound heavier than White Jersey Giants. Though the breed’s present size is considerable, they were heavier in the past.For a time, they were raised as capons and as broilers by the meat industry. They grow much more slowly than today’s more common meat birds, and are thus not widely used in the industry.
A large amount of food and time are required for the Jersey Giant to reach its full size. The Jersey Giant are a calm and docile breed. The cocks are rarely aggressive. They lay very large brown eggs, and are fair layers overall, known particularly as good winter layers. The birds are robust and fairly cold-hardy. The breed’s plumage comes in Blue as well as Black and White; legs are willow in hue. Jersey Giant hens will go broody.