Are you looking for a large chicken breed that is gentle with cute plumage and suitable for novice chicken owners? You will love the Brahma chicken.
The Brahma chicken is one of the best breeds, like the Wyandotte, that are best suited for chillier climates of the northern states. These pretty birds are characterized by a huge size, feathered feet, and a range of color hues including light, dark, and buff. You will love their unique appearance.
Brahma chickens are calm, good with kids, and get along just fine with kids as well as other birds in your homestead. Thanks to their huge size, they look so intimidating that kids and other chicken never bothers them. That being said, Brahmas are people-friendly and will like it when you give them treats. Overall, they are healthy and do not have high maintenance needs.
A video showing all you need to know about the Brahma chicken breed
Table of Contents
Brahma Chicken Breed History
The Brahma chicken origin, like with most birds of the 1800s, is not clear. However, these lovely birds are likely to have been bred from Chittagong, Malays, and Shanghais. As the name spells, the Shanghais come from China while Chittagongs hailed from eastern India, modern-day Bangladesh.
Commonly known as the King of All Poultry or Fowls, Brahma chickens first came to the US in the 1840s. The breed was developed and given a number of names. After poultry judges settled on the name Brahmaputra and it was later shortened to Brahma.
The popularity of the Brahma chicken breed had grown remarkably such that 9 of these birds were sent to Queen Victoria in 1852. It was from this stock that British breeders created the dark Brahma variety and exported it back to the US. In 1874, both the light and dark Brahma types were included in the first Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association. The buff variety was added later.
Brahmas are huge birds, and this made them a popular source of meat for most people in the US. Respected as a heritage bird, Brahmas lost popularity, primarily due to their slow growth rate compared to others that came later.
Thanks to the Livestock Conservancy, the breed is regaining its status gradually.
A table for the Brahma Chicken Breed
|Good for Beginners?||Yes|
|Weight||Hen (8 lbs.), Rooster (10 lbs.)|
|Egg Production||3 to 4 weekly|
|Color Variety||Light, Dark, or Buff|
|Good with kids||Yes|
|Are they Broody?||No|
|Price||$5 per chick|
One of the most distinctive features of the Brahma chicken is its huge size. And although feathers have an impact on the bird’s size, the breed is heavy. These birds have a long, deep, and wide frame with strong wings but can’t fly because of their weight. The eyes of the Brahma chicken are reddish-brown in color, and the feet and shanks are yellow and have short tails.
The Brahma chicken’s tightly-held feathers make them look compact but hardy enough to withstand cold weather. Expect the feathers to extend down the legs plus a large head with a brow that hangs slightly. These birds have a pea comb with a beak that is short and powerful. Male Brahmas tend to have a bigger comb and wattle.
Brahma Chicken Dark
The dark Brahma chicken is a huge bird that comes in a range of sizes. A dark Brahma hen and rooster are pretty distinctive. On the one hand, a dark Brahma hen is dark gray in color while the rooster is black. These birds have white-shouldered wings with feathers that are decorated with white.
Brahma Chicken Light
Light Brahma chickens usually have white feathers and a hazy gray hint. The feathers on the saddle area feature black feathers and the tails are often black with some white feathers. These birds tend to be heavier than the dark Brahma variety.
Size & Weight
Brahma chicken height: how tall does a Brahma chicken get?
The Brahma chicken breed sports a huge size that seems daunting at first sight despite being calm in nature. And while males tend to be taller than female Brahmas, these birds can stand up to 30 inches tall. Expect male Brahmas to be approx.. 12 lbs. in weight while females are 10 lbs.
Bantam Brahmas tend to be smaller than the other three varieties in terms of weight with hens being lighter than roosters.
Biggest Brahma chicken
The largest Brahma chicken is a rooster from a farm in Kosovo that is also thought to be the biggest globally. According to sources, this Brahma stands 3 feet tall (91 cm) and weighs 7.7 kg.
Check out this buff Brahma chicken images:
Brahma Chicken Growth Chart
How long do Brahma chicken take to grow?
As mentioned earlier, the Brahma chicken once held the crown for the trendiest chicken breed in the US until other breeds that grow fast were developed.
The Brahma chicken is a species that grows slowly as it can take up to 18 months to fully mature. Its large size is the main contributor to the slowed growth rate when compared to the average chicken breed. Brahma chicks are robust, hatch fast, and feather in quite rapidly.
Check out the growth chart for the backyard chicken breeds below:
Some keepers report that Brahma pullets can even take more than 12 months before they start laying.
Brahma Chicken Colors
There are 3 official colors that are recognized for the Brahma chicken breed that include light, dark, and buff. Since we described the first two above, in the opening of the appearance section, let us talk about the buff variety.
Buff Brahmas have white feathers with a brown hint, but the feathers on the saddle have black stripes with black tails that have a few white feathers like those of the light Brahma variety.
What is it like owning a Brahma chicken?
Having the Brahma chicken breed in your flock and homestead is fun. These birds almost never rest and will always spend most of their time wandering. Brahmas are foragers that will make your homestead pest-free. They have no problem being confined even though they would choose to roam around the compound.
Even with its powerful wings, you do not expect the Brahma chicken to fly as high as Bantams or other breeds that are notorious for flying. This means that you will not need a high fence to confine them within the designated area. Because of their big size, however, you will need to seclude a big space for the coop and roaming.
When summer comes, Brahma chickens will need good clean, fresh drinking water and a shade to hide from the sun as they can’t put up with the high degrees.
The Brahma chicken meat quality is nothing but the best and you can tell from their history. Other than their size that provides large meat quantities, most keepers say their meat is sweet.
Personality: Brahma Chicken Personality/Temperament
The Brahma chicken temperament may vary greatly from one chicken to another. However, expect this chicken breed to have a laid-back personality. These gentle giants are docile and will hardly try to fly. Brahmas are peaceful and get along with other chickens in the flock. And while they are not the cuddling type, they are friendly towards folks, happy, and trusting towards children.
Unlike some chicken breeds such as the Wyandotte which tends to be independent and reserved, the Brahma fowl species can be affectionate towards their owners. They are also known to be quiet or very low when chatting so, they make a great addition even to apartment dwellers.
Thanks to their calm nature, weight, and low odds of flying, you will have no problem keeping these gentle giants within their confinement.
The Brahma hen is a good performer when it comes to egg production. These birds will lay 3 to 4 eggs per week. Even better, they tend to lay their eggs from October to May when the other breeds are considering not to lay and be ready for winter instead.
|Eggs per week||3 to 4 eggs|
|Size||Medium to Large|
The downside of the Brahma chicken compared to other breeds, however, is that they might take up to 7 months before they begin to lay.
Brahma Chicken Eggs
Brown is the Brahma chicken egg color, and it comes in medium to large sizes.
Another advantage you have about the Brahma chicken breed is that it tends to be fairly broody. Hens tend to sit on their nests and are excellent mothers to their chicks.
Brahmas tend to be noiseless fowls that will hardly become chatty unless after they lay an egg or when trying to alert of impending danger, like a predator.
For this reason, Brahmas are an excellent chicken breed choice for folks living in the urban and thinking about keeping fowls.
Facts about the Brahma Chicken
- Brahmas are among the biggest chicken breeds that were developed by breeding Asian birds from chickens.
- They are a heritage breed (created before the mid-20th century).
- The Brahma chicken breed takes 6 to 7 months to mature and start laying or become of good weight to eat (roosters).
- Brahmas have feather feet which are good for keeping warm but can cause scaly leg mites.
- The Brahma chicken breed has a unique head shape and pea comb that makes them easy to spot and identify.
Brahma Chicken Care Guide
If you are thinking about adding the Brahmas chicken breed to your flock, there are some special things you ought to consider. From their health issues to feeding, and coop setup, these birds are not like the traditional chicken breed that some of us were used to when growing up.
A healthy chicken is strong, confident, and alert with shiny feathers, and hens will lay healthy eggs. Brahma chickens are generally healthy but prone to some health issues like any other livestock out there. Therefore, check your Brahmas regularly for worms, lice, and mites.
These birds need to be kept out of the mud to ensure that their coops are always clean and prevent build-up that would lead to frostbite after freezing. Brahma chickens can develop leg problems known as scaly leg mites, due to their feathered feet. As such, you need to check their eyes and legs regularly.
When raising chickens for eggs or meat requires feeding them the right nutrition that meets their dietary needs based on their life stage. According to an article by the University of Georgia on Nutrition for the Backyard Flock, an ideal diet should contain the necessary ingredients. These include the right calories, carbs, fat, protein, vitamins, minerals, and water, and are made for the right bird.
Like any livestock, Brahmas thrive on a high-quality diet that is designed for large birds as they tend to eat a lot. These gentle giants need to eat food that is moderately high in protein content. Allowing them to feed freely is recommended due to their high appetites and they also can’t get enough from foraging in your yard.
Brahma chicks should eat a diet that contains 18% protein while layers need commercial food with at least 16% protein, especially during the shedding season.
Coop Setup and Roaming
Due to their large size, Brahma chickens need ample space both inside the coop and outside where they roam.
Inside the coop
Make sure that the coops and runs are wide, strong, and tall enough to hold these heavy birds. They should have access to comfortable bedding that protects their feet and legs while keeping them clean. It is important to ensure that the coop offers security from predators.
That being said, one Brahma should have at least 6 square feet of space inside the coop, plus 10 to 12 inches of roosting area. These roosts should be strong enough to hold the weight of these birds, whichever the number, as they tend to cuddle a lot for warmth when winter kicks in.
It is crucial that the coop allows natural light in and provides 10 more hours of lighting to allow your Brahma hens to lay eggs.
Although Brahmas tend to move slower than other chicken breeds out there, they still need ample space to roam about and forage. Each Brahma chicken should have access to at least 8 square feet outside to wander in. In addition, make sure there is enough shade to hide from the sun, especially during summer, because Brahmas do not tolerate heat very well.
These birds are not flighty which means that confined space with a height of 3 to 4 feet is enough to keep your Brahmas contained.
Brahma Chicken Lifespan
A healthy Brahma chicken will live between 5 and 8 years.
Brahma Chicken Price: Where to buy
Do you live in Australia, the US, NZ, and the UK and are looking for Brahma chicken for sale? There are reliable and trustworthy breeders or farms and hatcheries which you can buy chicks from. Expect to spend at least $5 for a Wyandotte chick.
Should you keep this breed?
If you are looking for a large, friendly, and calm hen that can get attached to its owners, the Brahma chicken breed is the right choice for you. These birds are very beautiful as well which makes them a great addition to your home or for the show ring.
On the flip side, Brahmas tend to eat a lot so the feed bill can be high, they take their time to grow and mature and start laying eggs. So, if you are looking for a chicken breed that matures first and starts laying or for the table (roosters), check another breed.
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