A Guide to Chicken Breeds: Jersey Giant

One of the most aptly named chicken breeds; Jersey Giants are well known for their very large stature and rarity. Jersey Giants are the product of selective breeding that took place in the state of New Jersey in the lead up to the start of the 19th century. They were bred to be both large meat birds as well as excellent layers.

The Jersey Giant is known for being… well, giant. Though they can grow to a weight of almost 13lb or 6kg, it can take over a year to reach this level of maturity. As well as growing to a fantastic size for meat production; they lay very well too. A Jersey Giant will average around 3 or 4 very large eggs a week in a brownish colouring. This makes them very popular as a dual purpose breed.

Beyond their productivity, Jersey Giants are gentle giants. They are a very docile and calm breed; they are friendly towards both people and pet with the cockerels very rarely getting aggressive. Jerseys are also very good mothers though due to their size, they can have trouble in properly brooding their eggs. It’s recommended that you incubate their eggs for them to avoid accidental breaks. Not surprisingly, Jersey Giants are very hardy birds and will cope well in wintery weather.

With their great nature, size and egg production values; the Jersey Giant is an ideal dual purpose breed. It is quite a shame these birds are such a rarity in the UK.