Brahma Chicken Characteristics, Origin & Temperament

Brahma chicken is actually an Asiatic chicken breed. It is among the large chicken breeds which was developed in the United States from very large breeds imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai.

This breed was the principal meat chicken breed in the United States from the 1850s until about 1930. Nowadays, people raise Brahma chickens for both meat and egg production and also for ornamental purpose. There has been considerable controversy over the origin of the Brahma.

Brahma chickens were the result of limited cross breeding with Chittagong chickens which gave the Brahma the distinctive characteristics of head shape and the pea comb, and another breed that derives from the Shanghai breeds.

In December 1852, Brahmas were first exported to England. When George Burnham sent 9 Gray Shanghaes as a gift to Queen Victoria. From that stock, English breeders developed the Dark Brahma variety and later this breed were re-exported to the United States.

The American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection included the Light and Dark Brahma in the first edition in 1874 and Buff variant were added later (in 1924 or 1929).

There it is considered that Brahma chicken breed originated from India. And the name Brahma comes from the river Brahmaputra in India.

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Characteristics of Brahma Chicken

Brahma chickens are dual purpose breeds. They are very beautiful, large and hardy birds. They are stately birds with an upright carriage and a large head.

They should almost appear to form a V, when standing. They stand fairly tall, males more than the females. They have strong feet with feathers extending all the way down the middle toe.

The plumage of Brahma chicken should be held more tightly. They have pea comb and they can adopt themselves with all types of climates. They are winter hardy birds and lay large light brown color eggs.

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The eggs of Brahma chicken weight approximately 55-60 grams. Cocks are larger in size than the hens. On an average, an adult Brahma cock weights about 5.5 kg and a hen weights about 4.5 kg.


Brahmas are very large, stately, docile birds who make good reliable broodies which can cover a large number of eggs due to their size. Although the hens lay larger eggs, but it’s pretty small compared to their body size and weight.

Brahma hens also lay less eggs than other chicken breeds. The chicks grow quickly and they are cute. Brahma chickens are elegant birds with beautiful feathering. They prefer dry conditions because of their foot feathering they can develop mud balls or fecal balls on their toes. If this is not removed, the loss of nails or the tips of the toes may result.

They will stay happily behind 2-3 feet fencing. Brahma chickens are slow maturing birds compared to other breeds. They are friendly with humans and are very easy to tame. They take a lot of space because of their large size.

But they do not fly and you can let them to roam happily outside in the garden or pasture. Brahma hens usually start laying eggs after their six or seven months of age and they continue laying throughout the winter. The profuse feathering makes them very good at withstanding cold winter weather.

They are friendly and are tolerant towards other breeds. So, you can keep them together with other breeds without any problem. Even the roosters will tolerate each other. Brahma chickens are docile, calm, easily handled and they make a very little noise.

Breed NameBrahma
Other NameBrahma Pootra, Burnham, Gray Chittagong, Shanghai
Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Breed TemperamentCalm, Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Easily Handled, Docile, Quite
Breed SizeVery Large (4.5 – 5.5 kg)
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ColorLight Brown
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ProductivityMedium
Feathered LegsYes
VarietiesBuff, Blue, Blue Columbian, Black, Dark, Light, Gold and White

The Good

  • Very beautiful
  • Big placid birds
  • Calm and docile
  • Pretty good layers
  • Wonderful temperament
  • Friendly and easily handled
  • Bears confinement well
  • High meat production
  • Summer and winter hardy
  • Perfect for ornamental purpose

The Bad

  • Not the best layers
  • Consume feeds highly
  • Late maturation

Is Brahma Chicken Good for You?

Yes, Brahma chickens are good for you if you…….

  • Want to raise beautiful chickens.
  • Are thinking about raising some larger sized chickens.
  • Searching for calm, docile and friendly chickens for raising in your farm or backyard.
  • Want to produce large brown eggs.
  • Are looking for perfect chicken breeds with good temperament.
  • Are willing to raise such chicken which can adopt themselves with all climates.
  • Want to raise some chickens for high meat production.
  • Are thinking about raising some chickens in your backyard for ornamental purpose.
  • Want to raise some friendly and easily handled chickens as pets.

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