Jersey Giant ChickensFebruary 8th, 2011 at 10:25
Jersey Giant Chickens, Are They The Worlds Largest Chicken?
Jersey Giant Chickens Background & Appearance.
This bird was developed in New Jersey USA around 1870 as a dual purpose bird. It was originally known as the Jersey Black Giant, not because of any colouring but simply to acknowledge the Black brothers, John & Thomas, who developed this fine breed.
They are thought to have been developed from crosses of Brahmas, Langshans and Orpingtons. At a later stage Australorps were introduced to the strain with the result being that apart from the size difference, they look remarkably alike.
These birds are remarkably heavy with the cocks weighing in at about 13lbs and the hens 10lbs. Bigger Jersey Giants are produced when the stock is bred earlier in the season allowing the chicks the best of the summer months in which to develop.
In earlier times it was not unheard of for the cocks to reach 20lbs, this was achieved by caponizing (castrating) the birds. So they really lived up to their ‘giant’ name.
The black variety originally produced was followed by the white later in the 1950′s. The blue laced variety is a more modern introduction. They are known as a ‘brick shaped’ bird with a long deep chest. The eyes are dark brown and they have a single bright red comb, long wattles and ear lobes.
Caring For Your Jersey Giant Chickens.
The hens are very docile and are easily tamed. They make great pet chickens and will quite often run to greet you and eat corn from your hand. They don’t mind being petted by children either.
The cocks are either docile or aggresive, guarding their girls, they also have a powerful crow, so think of your neighbours.
You’ll need to bear in mind that these big chickens require more space and remember to take into consideration your coop size, the entrance hole needs to be bigger than normal. Also the perches and nesting boxes need to accommodate your giants.
You don’t have to worry about big fences as these birds don’t fly, so a couple of feet high runs are adequate.
Jersey Giant Chicken Eggs & Broodiness.
The Jersey Giant is a good layer of extra large brown eggs and you can expect on average 3 – 4 per week, they also lay on late into the year.
The hens do get broody, but due to their large size, they may not be the best incubator and brooder of eggs and chicks, because it is not unknown for them to accidently break the eggs or squash very young chicks.
However once the chicks are up and about they make very good mothers. The chicks are not the fastest growers and don’t start to develop the large frame until about 6 months old.
Jersey Giant Chickens Are A Joy To Keep, They Make Great Pets And Are Easily Tamed. What Could Be Better Than Your Girls Rushing To Greet You When You Arrive Home?
Heres a Jersey Giant Rooster strutting his stuff…
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