Keich did his homework and found chicks. He had saved his money to purchase them last year and began to raise them for this year’s fair.
“It took me almost a year to get them to their present size,” Keich said. “The rooster weighs around 13 pounds and the hen around 11.”
He did research on the birds prior to buying his pair, but he knew it was what he wanted to raise.
The Jersey Giant originated in the United States in the late 19th century. The breed was originally developed by John and Thomas Black from Burlington County, N.J., and was first called Black Giant. It was later renamed for its state of origin. The big chickens were originally developed as a potential replacement for turkey meat.
“Even their eggs are large,” Keich said. In fact, they are classed as extra large.
Raising the pair was fun for Keich as was showing them at the fair. Keich is a member of the Jackson Milton Livestock 4-H club. When he is not participating in a club function, he keeps busy by donating his time to his grandmother’s cause.
Keich’s grandmother is Kathy Price of Austintown, who serves as director for Mission of Love. Keich has donated many hours helping prepare supplies for mission trips around the globe. He soon hopes to take his first trip.
“I’ll be going to Guatemala early next year,” he said.
Price said it will be a great experience for her grandson.
“He’s a very smart young man,” Price said, “and he has a caring heart.”
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Edward Keich, 17, stands proudly beside his prize Jersey Giants in the Canfield Junior Fair Barn at this year’s fair.