The Jersey Giant was developed in the 1880s by John and Thomas Black. The brothers Black crossed Dark Brahmas, Black Langshans, and Black Javas to produce a bird for the New York City meat market. The result of their efforts is the largest breed ever developed in America, and for a few decades, was the dominant meat bird in the Northeast. At the time, consumers preferred meat birds with dark plumage – the potential buyer could easily assess how carefully a dark-feathered carcass had been plucked.  During the early 20th century, however, consumer preferences shifted, and Americans came to favor a white-feathered carcass.  Moreover, the slow-growing Jersey Giants could not compete with the newly developed Rock-Cornish hybrids, which grow so quickly that birds are ready for market just 6-8 weeks after they hatch.