Jersey Giant vs Orpington – What is the Difference?

Any chicken keeper with intentions of rearing chickens for either eggs and meat should consider raising either Jersey Giants or Orpington chickens at some point. These chickens replace the turkey and other high-egg laying and meat production breeds. They are large-sized birds suitable as pets and for table meat.

What are Jersey Giant Chickens?

Jersey Giant chickens are native to the US, specifically in New Jersey. The chicken breed became popular in the US in the fall of the 19th century. Thomas Black and John introduced these chickens in the US.

The main reason for breeding this giant chicken species was to replace the turkey, which is more aggressive and slow-growing. The Jersey Giant chicken is a hardy chicken breed that can withstand many climatic conditions, including rain and snow.

What are Orpington Chickens?

Orpington chickens are a popular breed of chickens prevalent in the UK. From Kent Town in the southern-eastern part of the UK, William Cook bred these chickens before they became popular in the Americas and Europe.

Jersey Giant vs Orpington Chickens

Both Orpingtons and Jersey Giants are among the largest chicken breeds. It is easy for many people to confuse Jersey Giants with Orpington chickens due to their massive size. However, there are palpable differences between the two breeds.

– Appearance

The most notable attribute of the Jersey Giants lies in their large size. These are among the biggest chicken breeds in the world. Chicken enthusiasts describe this chicken breed as statuesque. Jersey Giants have the largest combs of all chickens, and they have distinct u-shaped bodies. Roosters have a more upright stature than hens.

Jersey Giants have tight feathers and a light plumage. Roosters have larger combs than roosters from various chicken breeds. They also have red ear lobes and red wattles. Roosters are usually black, and their eyes can either be black, orange, or brown. Hens come in different color options, although most hens are either black or red. Jersey Giants have a whitish or yellow foot color.

Orpington chickens are also large birds. They have broad, heavy bodies and fluffed-out feathers. They have pinkish-white shanks and feet. These chickens are distinct due to their curvy short backs. You can identify an Orpington chicken from its heavy plumage. They have the biggest color variation of all chickens since they can be white, red, or black.

– Size & Weight

Jersey Giants roosters weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. They stand between 23 and 25 inches tall. Hens are also bigger, unlike most hens from different chicken breeds. They weigh between 12 and 15 pounds. Hens stand between 15 and 20 inches tall.

Orpington chickens appear huge due to their heavy plumage. These chickens are, however, not as large as Jersey Giants. Roosters weigh around 10lb, while hens can weigh approximately 8 lb. Some cross-breed Orpington chickens can weigh more than ordinary Orpington chickens.

– Temperament

Jersey Giants are docile chickens that are pretty friendly. Roosters are also calm, unlike most roosters from different chicken breeds. Most people keep these chickens as pets rather than table birds, courtesy of their social nature.

While the large size of these chickens can seem intimidating, Jersey Giants get along well with their owners, including kids. Although hens from this chicken breed seldom go broody, they also go broody as most hens do.

Orpington chickens have a gentle and calm personality. Due to their docile disposition, these chickens are subject to bullying by other aggressive chicken breeds. This chicken breed is an active fowl, and it can thrive well, whether confined or free-range. Orpington chickens are quite calm, unlike most species. They seldom get cranky, and they aren’t bad-tempered.

– Egg Production

The Jersey Giants are fairly decent layers. Hens from the Jersey Giant chicken breed can lay between 150 and 200 eggs yearly. Due to the huge size of their eggs, hens can take longer to hatch than other hens from different chicken breeds.

If you are looking for a chicken breed that lays plenty of eggs, you can’t get wrong with the Orpington chicken breed. This breed is a terrific layer since it can lay 200 to 280 eggs a year. Some Orpington hens can lay around 300 eggs yearly.

Orpington hens also lay huge, light brown eggs. Hens go broody frequently, which is a great advantage for chicken keepers who want more chicks in their flock.

– Meat Production

Jersey Giants are perhaps the best meat producers of all chicken breeds. They can produce around nine pounds of meat at six months old. Jersey Giants grow quite quickly compared to lots of meat breed chickens. These chickens are usually ready for butchering when they are between 5 and 6 months old.

Orpington chickens are more dual-purpose birds, unlike Jersey Giants, which are terrific meat producers. However, Orpington chickens are also decent meat producers, although they don’t produce large meat chunks like Jersey Giants.

Furthermore, Orpington chickens can take longer to mature compared to Jersey Giants. These chickens are ready for slaughtering when they are around eight months old.

– Care & Housing

Jersey Giants require bigger living spaces than ordinary chickens. Although these chickens are quite hardy, they need to live in a spacious coop that allows them to move around freely. Ideally, Jersey Giants need about 12 square feet of living space.

Jersey Giants also eat more than other chickens. Their ideal diet consists of a blend of protein, vegetables, and high-quality feed. They also drink plenty of water hence a steady freshwater supply is essential for these chickens.

Orpington chickens are also huge birds, and they need at least 10 square feet of living space. If you have around 5 Orpington chickens in your flock, for instance, your chicken coop should be around 60 square feet.

Since Orpington chickens are great layers, hens require a protein-rich diet and calcium to help them lay more and bigger eggs. Orpington chickens also thrive well in a clean and parasite-free environment. However, their heavy plumage can harbor parasites like mite lice and mites.


Both Jersey Giants and Orpington chickens are excellent choices of chicken breeds. These chickens are great for the average chicken keeper who wants a great bird for meat and eggs. Their docile and friendly behavior also makes the two breeds awesome for chicken keepers.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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