All About Black Jersey Giants
Today we are going to highlight one of my favorite breeds. But let’s be honest, they are almost all my favorite breeds! Haha! Except Wyandottes. I don’t particularly care for them. I had a couple of them once and they were so mean to the rest of the flock. So, while they’re pretty, I chose to admire them in other people’s flocks instead of my own!
My Experience With Black Jersey Giants
Back to the breed we are talking about today though. The Black Jersey Giants, in my opinion, should be called, “The Gentle Black Jersey Giants”. These birds are majestic, big and absolutely docile and sweet! In fact, for many years, I had “Bitty”. She was the flock boss but did it with grace. I’m not kidding! When I’d have some new teenagers to introduce to the big flock, she would make sure the others played nice. Pecking order is a real thing in backyard chicken flocks. It can get pretty nasty sometimes, but Bitty made sure no one got hurt. She was incredible and I miss her so much.
History of the Black Jersey Giant
According to Hoover’s Hatchery, in the late 1800s New Jersey breeders created a chicken designed to rival the meatiness of turkeys back then. The massive Black Jersey Giant was the result of merging the genetics of several large breeds. Later the White Jersey Giant was created.
These birds grow slowly but eventually are a third larger than most other heavy breeds. These birds are ideal for anyone wanting an impressive hen that lays about 240 extra-large eggs annually. When younger, the birds will mature relatively quickly, but they tend to reach a marketable meat weight slower than other breeds. It can take up to nine months for this bird to fill out its meat proportions.
Black Jersey Giants are cold hearty and do fairly well in the heat if there is some shade for them. All chickens struggle more in the heat due to their built in winter coat! But, of course, the BJG’s black feathers really soak in the sun. As always, make sure your chickens have access to fresh, cold water in the warmer months. I always put Chicken E-lixir in their water, but on really warm days, I use Flock Fixer to help support them in times of stress.
Traits of the Black Jersey Giant
Black Jersey Giants lay some very large eggs! They are also consistent in their egg laying. “Mrs. Fluffybum”
will almost always lay a double-yolker. She is one of my largest chickens and she’s so sweet.
Black Jersey Giants have some of the most beautiful feathers! Their black plumage is laced with an iridescent green. They have bright red combs and wattles. They stand with confidence and are fairly quiet. They do great free ranging or confined to a coop and run.
Whether you’re in the market to start a flock or expand your flock, I would highly recommend adding in a few of these beautiful chickens. I also have a White Jersey Giant. Her personality, while her own, is very similar to the Black Jersey Giants. And, she adds a beautiful pop of white to my flock.
Until next time,
The Wing Lady