Jersey Giants are an American breed created in Burlington County, New Jersey towards the end of the 19th century by John and Thomas Black. They were created by crossing black Langshans, Javas and Dark Brahma to develop a meat variety of chicken to compete with turkey (yes turkeys!).
They used to be called Black Giants in honor of John and Thomas. The Black Jersey Giants were accepted by the American Poultry Association in 1947.
Because of their giant size and slow growth rates, they’ll require more food and time to reach their full potential. They are a very calm and docile breed. Really they should be called Jersey Gentle Giants! They are a pretty cold hardy and robust, active birds.
Jersey Giants have yellow skin and larger, single combs. Cocks stand 22-26 inches; hens reach 16-20 inches. They have a long and wide body, but for being such large bird, they have short tails.
Black Jersey Giants have black legs with yellow soles. Their black plumes should have a beetle green sheen when the sunlight hits it. Beaks are black with a little bit of yellow on the tip.
Jersey Giants can go broody but because of their large size, they tend to break eggs. Chicks can take a few more days to hatch as they are large as well; they just need a few more days to develop fully. Jersey Giants require a minimum of 4 square foot per bird, but bigger is always better with them.
Hens will lay around 150-200 extra large eggs a year.
Cocks weigh 12-15 pounds.
Hens will weigh 9-10 pounds.