A pair of Jersey Giant pullets (young females)
|Conservation status||Livestock Conservancy: Watch|
|Country of origin||USA|
|ABA||Single comb, clean legged|
|PCGB||Rare soft feather: heavy|
The Jersey Giant is an American breed of domestic chicken. It was created in Burlington County, New Jersey, in the late 19th century. As the name suggests, it is a large breed, and is among the heaviest of all chicken breeds.
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 is a calm and docile breed. The cocks are rarely aggressive. The hens 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.
- Conservation priority list: chickens. The Livestock Conservancy. Accessed August 2014.
- Ekarius, Carol (2007). Storey's illustrated guide to poultry breeds. North Adams, Mass.: Storey Publishing. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-1-58017-667-5.
- APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
- Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Archived 12 June 2018.
- Jersey Giant Chicken American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.
- Bassom, Frances (2009). Chicken breeds & care: a color directory of the most popular breeds and their care (1. ed.). Buffalo, N.Y.: Firefly Books. pp. 142–143. ISBN 978-1-55407-473-0.
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