Jersey giant chickens: characteristics, features of breeding at home
The breed of chickens, the Jersey giant, undoubtedly stands out among its relatives, being the most massive meat breed in the world. It appeared almost 100 years ago, but in our area has not yet received its proper distribution. Let's get acquainted with this not very ordinary and extremely successful variety of chickens and the rules of its maintenance.
The history of the breed
The history of the Jersey giant began in 1915 in the state of New Jersey (USA), where it was obtained by breeder Uham Dexter. The breed was formed by crossing chickens of Brama, Black Java, Black Langshan and Orpington. According to some assumptions, breeders Thomas and John Black worked on it a little earlier, crossing massive hens of dark colors.The result of all the work was the largest meat breed of chickens today. The first representatives of the Jersey giant were black in color, but from the moment they got to England in 1921, European experts began work on a variety of colors. The result of which was the appearance in Britain of white individuals, and in Germany - blue framed.
The Jersey giant does not stand out with its striking exterior, but it is often in the center of attention due to its noticeable massive addition.
|Crest||large, upright, six-pronged, red|
|Earrings and earlobes||large, rounded, creaseless, red|
|Beak||medium, strong, curved, black or yellow (for white)|
|Housing||firmly knocked down|
|Back||broad, almost parallel to the ground|
|Chest||strong, wide, protruding forward|
|Wings||medium adjacent to the body|
|Tail||magnificent, from crescent feathers, at a cock at an angle of 45 ° to a back; the chicken is slightly shorter and more magnificent, at an angle of 30 ° to the back|
|Paws||four-fingered, black or gray; muscular hips and legs|
|Plumage and color||shiny, well-fitting to the body, black, white or ash blue|
Did you know? Chickens are the most common birds on Earth. Their images are found on coins of 16 countries, and the rooster is unofficially considered the national bird of two countries - France and Kenya.
Representatives of the breed grow quite quickly, their most active development occurs in the first 5-6 months of life. If the chickens are bred for meat, then they are usually slaughtered in the sixth month, otherwise the content of birds becomes disadvantageous.
Despite the presence of fighting roosters among the ancestors, the Jersey chickens are quite balanced and flexible. Unlike most other breeds, they are not shy, calmly tolerate stress, and do not lose egg production.
Giants are quite active, mobile and like to walk outdoors, despite their impressive weight. At the same time, large dimensions and some slowness do not allow them to fly beyond the boundaries of the aviary.
Advantages and disadvantages
- The Jersey giant has many undoubted advantages:
- accelerated weight gain;
- a large yield of meat;
- good offspring survival;
- unpretentiousness to external conditions;
- good resistance to ailments;
- good egg production;
- good instinct of incubation;
- peaceful disposition.
- The main disadvantages of the breed are associated with the impressive weight of the birds:
- increased feed consumption;
- the need for a vast living space;
- damage to eggs under the weight of laying hens;
- tendency to excess fat;
- deterioration in the taste of meat in individuals older than a year.
Did you know? The longest documented chicken flight was as long as 13 seconds. And the chicken champion among the centenarians boasts its record 14 years of life!
Features of keeping at home
Jersey giants are quite unpretentious and care for them is available even to beginners in poultry farming.
For representatives of this breed, it is necessary to arrange a clean, bright and very spacious chicken coop. Its size is taken depending on the number of chickens in the herd, with 1 square. a meter of area can be no more than two birds. The most comfortable temperature in the room for birds is + 10 ... + 12 ° C, its drop to +5 ° C is permissible, but not for long.
In the chicken coop organized natural and artificial lighting at the rate of 10 square meters. meters of area should be served by at least 1 medium-power bulb. Windows, in addition to glass, are equipped with a lattice with medium-sized cells.The room provides good exhaust ventilation for the removal of ammonia released by droppings. A soft litter of straw, hay and sawdust with a height of 15–20 cm is laid on the floor. To maintain this level, it is necessary to periodically add material to the litter. And regularly clean to maintain cleanliness and comfort.
Perches and nests are located low above the floor (about 40-50 cm), so that accidentally falling, this fairly massive bird does not get injured. In the nests, slopes for eggs are arranged so that heavy hens do not crush them with their bodies.
Organization of walking is needed to maintain motor activity and healthy development of birds. The Jersey giant tolerates our winters well, so chickens can walk even in frosty weather. However, in the coldest weather, it is better to lubricate their paws and scallops with goose fat or petroleum jelly to prevent frostbite.
The area of the enclosure is taken at the rate of 0.5–1 square meters. meters per individual. Since the representatives of this breed are quite massive and can not take off very much, a low fence can be made in the aviary. If the farm also has smaller breeds of chickens, it is better to arrange a fence higher.In the warm season, birds enjoy eating everything that they find in the aviary - grass, insects, worms and larvae. Thus, walking significantly reduces the cost of feed and vitamin supplements.
Feeding troughs, drinking bowls, zone baths
Drinkers and feeders in the chicken coop are mounted just above the floor so that they are convenient to use, but the birds did not climb into the tank. It is convenient to place them between perches and nests a little closer to the wall in order to have convenient access to food and water from anywhere in the chicken coop.
Important! Despite the type of drinking bowl installed, it should be kept clean - periodically wash, disinfect and change water. This will avoid the possible spread of infections.
It is important that all birds can access the feed at the same time. Typically, for 20 individuals, a feeder is installed with the dimensions: length - 110 cm, width - 24 cm, height - about 13 cm. The young feeder should have lower lateral edges. Since birds love to scatter grain, the feeder should not be filled more than a third.
In addition, a separate tank is provided with mineral additives - sand, chalk, shell rock. And green food can be given in a suspended mesh bucket or a separate feeder with a wall sloping down.
Any convenient containers are used as drinking bowls, the main thing is that the chickens clog them to a minimum. For chickens, it is good to install ordinary vacuum drinkers.Also in the chicken coop you need to provide ash baths for bathing birds and treating them from pests. It can be any wide and low capacities, possibly a wooden box. As a filler, sand and wood ash are used, previously aged in a dry place for at least three months.
Season molt and egg laying break
Shedding chickens is a common and regular phenomenon that begins during a decrease in daylight hours and lasts no more than two months. During this period, egg laying is significantly reduced or even completely stopped. Since this is a completely natural process, you should not worry. At the end of the molt, the level of egg production is fully restored, and the chickens continue to lay eggs even in winter.
Age problems and herd replacement
Since the breed is usually used as a source of meat and its content over 12-18 months is unprofitable, most breeders try to breed their offspring every year. Moreover, the meat of the Jersey giant from the second year of life worsens its taste and becomes tough.As for egg production, healthy laying hens have been actively laying eggs for about three years, but productivity can be expected to decrease from fatty individuals in a year.
What to feed
The nutrition of individuals of different ages has its own characteristics.
Chickens are fed 2-3 times a day with high-quality mixed fodder with the addition of shell rock, limestone and chalk. The standard diet has the following ratio:
- corn - 40%;
- wheat - 40%;
- meal, cake, shell rock, chalk, vitamin supplements - 20%.
It is also necessary to equip separate feeders, where to pour sand or crushed limestone. They are an excellent source of calcium and have a good effect on the digestive tract. This is especially important if the birds consume whole non-steamed grains.
Important! A large amount of chalk can lead to clogging of the gastrointestinal tract, therefore it should be given with caution and not replaced with shell rock.
In the first three days of life, babies are necessarily given a crushed steep egg yolk. At first, many birds have no appetite, because some goat food from the original egg still remains in the goiter. But despite the lack of appetite, they constantly need clean and warm water (about 45-50 ° C).
From the second day, the diet is gradually expanding. Chicks are offered a mixture of finely ground wheat or corn grits along with chopped boiled vegetables. Wet agitators are also provided, consisting of green feed, vegetables and milk waste.The diet of the chicks should contain proteins (from the 4th day of life - meat or fish meal), root crops, roughage (meal and cake), calcium supplements (chalk or grated egg shells). On the first day, the feed volume is about 20 g, but gradually by the age of two months the feathered reaches a full amount - 180-200 g per day.
The Jersey giant has excellent productive characteristics, excellent stamina and a calm temperament. Today it is one of the most promising breeds for our territory, and from its representatives one can expect both a large amount of tasty meat and very good egg production.