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.
Brahma Chicken Characteristics
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.
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.
|Other Name||Brahma Pootra, Burnham, Gray Chittagong, Shanghai|
|Breed Purpose||Dual Purpose|
|Breed Temperament||Calm, Friendly, Bears Confinement well, Easily Handled, Docile, Quite|
|Breed Size||Very Large (4.5 – 5.5 kg)|
|Climate Tolerance||All Climates|
|Egg Color||Light Brown|
|Varieties||Buff, Blue, Blue Columbian, Black, Dark, Light, Gold and White|
- 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
- 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.
Brahma Chicken Facts
Brahma chickens are a large breed of chicken that are known for their impressive size and distinctive appearance. Here are some interesting facts about Brahma chickens:
- Origin: Brahma chickens originated in the United States in the mid-1800s. They were developed by crossing various Asian breeds of chicken, including the Cochin, Malay, and Langshan.
- Size: Brahma chickens are one of the largest breeds of chicken, with roosters weighing up to 12 pounds and hens weighing up to 9 pounds.
- Appearance: These chickens have a distinctive appearance, with their large size, feathered legs, and prominent breast. They come in a variety of colors, including black, white, and buff.
- Temperament: Brahma chickens are known for their gentle and docile temperament. They are easy to handle and make great pets.
- Egg production: Brahma chickens are not known for their egg-laying abilities. They typically lay around 150-200 eggs per year, which is lower than many other breeds.
- Broodiness: Brahma hens are known for their broodiness, or their tendency to sit on their eggs and hatch them. This makes them popular for raising chicks.
- Meat quality: Brahma chickens are known for their flavorful meat, which is tender and juicy. They are often used for meat production in the United States.
- Cold hardiness: Brahma chickens are highly cold hardy and can tolerate extreme temperatures. This makes them a popular breed for cold climates.
- Feeding: Brahma chickens require a high-protein diet to support their large size and muscle development. They should be fed a diet that includes a balance of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
- Housing: Brahma chickens require a spacious coop and run to accommodate their large size. They should have plenty of room to move around and stretch their legs.
- Health: Brahma chickens are generally healthy and hardy, but they are prone to certain health issues, such as bumblefoot and respiratory problems. It’s important to keep their living environment clean and provide them with a balanced diet to prevent health issues.
- Breeding: Brahma chickens can be bred for various purposes, including meat production, egg-laying, and show purposes. Breeders should select birds with desirable traits, such as size, color, and temperament, to produce healthy and high-quality offspring.
- Show quality: Brahma chickens are a popular breed for poultry shows. They are judged on various criteria, including size, feather quality, and color.
- Lifespan: Brahma chickens have a relatively long lifespan, with some birds living up to 8-10 years.
- Popularity: Brahma chickens have been a popular breed for over a century and continue to be a favorite among chicken enthusiasts. They are known for their size, beauty, and gentle temperament.
- Dual-purpose: While Brahma chickens are not known for their high egg-laying abilities, they are considered a dual-purpose breed, meaning they are suitable for both meat and egg production.
- Parent breed: Brahma chickens have been used to develop other breeds of chicken, such as the Jersey Giant and the Australian Langshan.
- Feathers: Brahma chickens have a unique feathering pattern, with feathers that extend down their legs and cover their feet. This makes them well-suited for colder climates, as the feathers provide extra insulation.
- Egg color: Brahma hens typically lay light brown eggs, although some may lay white or even blue-green eggs.
- Historical significance: Brahma chickens played a significant role in American poultry history. They were one of the first breeds of chicken to be exported from the United States to other countries and were highly sought after for their size and meat quality.
- Conservation status: Brahma chickens are currently listed as “watch” by the Livestock Conservancy, meaning they are not at immediate risk of extinction but are still considered a rare breed.
- Personality: Brahma chickens are known for their calm and friendly personalities. They are social birds that enjoy the company of both humans and other chickens.
- Training: Brahma chickens can be trained to do various tricks and behaviors, such as coming when called or walking on a leash.
- Suitable for small farms: Brahma chickens are well-suited for small farms and homesteads. Their large size and gentle temperament make them easy to handle and care for.
- Color variations: Brahma chickens come in a variety of colors, including dark, light, and buff. There are also several rare color variations, such as the blue and splash varieties.
- Rooster aggression: While Brahma chickens are generally docile and friendly, roosters can sometimes become aggressive towards humans or other birds. This behavior can be managed through proper training and socialization.
- Feather quality: Brahma chickens have high-quality feathers that are used in a variety of industries, including the fly-tying industry and the fashion industry.
Tips for Raising Brahma Chicken
Here are some of the best tips for successfully raising Brahma chickens:
- Provide adequate space: Brahma chickens are large birds that require plenty of space to move around and exercise. For adult birds, a minimum of 10 square feet of space per bird is recommended. For chicks, a smaller space is fine, but they will need more space as they grow.
- Create a suitable coop: The coop should provide shelter from the elements, as well as protection from predators. The coop should also have roosting bars and nesting boxes for the birds to sleep and lay eggs in.
- Offer a balanced diet: Brahma chickens require a balanced diet that includes a mix of grains, proteins, and vitamins. Commercial chicken feed is a good option, but you can also supplement with fresh vegetables, fruits, and insects.
- Provide clean water: Chickens require clean water at all times, so make sure to change their water regularly and keep the water source clean.
- Allow for free-range time: Brahma chickens enjoy spending time outside and foraging for food, so allowing them some free-range time is important for their health and happiness.
- Keep the coop clean: Regularly clean the coop to prevent the build-up of waste and bacteria. This will help keep your birds healthy and prevent the spread of disease.
- Monitor for signs of illness: Keep an eye out for any signs of illness, such as a lack of appetite, lethargy, or abnormal behavior. If you suspect that one of your birds is sick, isolate them from the rest of the flock and seek veterinary care if necessary.
- Socialize your birds: Brahma chickens are social birds that enjoy the company of both humans and other chickens. Spend time with your birds and offer them plenty of opportunities to interact with each other.
- Handle your birds gently: Brahma chickens are gentle birds, but they can become skittish if handled roughly. Handle your birds gently and calmly to build trust and avoid stressing them out.
- Manage rooster aggression: Roosters can become aggressive towards other birds or humans, so it’s important to socialize them and manage their behavior. Consider castrating or rehoming aggressive roosters.
- Watch for feather damage: Brahma chickens have long, beautiful feathers that can become damaged if they’re not properly cared for. Keep an eye out for feather damage and provide your birds with a dust bath to help keep their feathers clean.
- Monitor egg production: Brahma chickens are not known for their high egg-laying abilities, but they can still be productive layers. Monitor egg production and make sure your birds have access to nesting boxes and a clean, comfortable environment.
- Provide appropriate lighting: Chickens require natural light to regulate their internal clocks and stay healthy. Make sure your coop has windows or skylights to let in natural light, or provide artificial lighting if necessary.
- Monitor temperature: Brahma chickens are well-suited for cold climates, but they can still be affected by extreme temperatures. Make sure your birds have access to shade and shelter during hot weather, and provide them with extra insulation during the winter months.
- Be prepared for molting: Brahma chickens typically molt once a year, which can be a stressful time for both the birds and their owners. Make sure to provide your birds with extra protein and vitamins during this time to help them through the process.
Raising Brahma chickens can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, but it’s important to provide them with the care and attention they need to thrive. By following these tips, you can raise happy, healthy Brahma chickens