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Poultry Profile: Jersey Giant
Jersey Giant is the largest breed of chicken that I raise at the farm. The hens can reach up to 10 pounds and the roosters a whopping 13 pounds. In comparison with the Jersey Giant, the typical weight of a Leghorn is 4 ½ pounds for hens and 6 pounds for roosters. Their hefty size demands more space than other breeds, but they are well worth including in your home flock if you have the room.
Jersey Giants were developed in New Jersey between 1870 and 1890. The objective was to produce a chicken that could replace the turkey as America's favorite roasting bird. It's a dual-purpose breed, which means they are raised for both the meat and eggs. I raise black Jersey Giants, but white and blue are also colors recognized by the American Poultry Association.
As far as temperament goes, you'll find them to be very mellow and easy to handle. Jersey Giants are adaptable to both confined spaces and free range. They produce a good amount of large, brown or cream colored eggs.
If you are planning to raise these chickens for meat, keep in mind that it takes longer for them to mature than other breeds. Plan on it take several months for a Jersey Giant to reach a big enough size for the pot or roaster.
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