Although, the name "Brahma" comes from the river Brahmaputra in India, the Brahma chicken was imported from China to New York, in 1846. At the time, the Brahma and Cochin were both called Shanghais, and it is unknown to this day, if the Brahma was an actual authentic import, or a cross of Cochins and Malays. Either way, the massive Brahma has remained one of the most popular chickens throughout the world, and has founded innumerable breeds.
Types: Bantam, Largefowl
Varieties (Pea Comb): Barred, Black, Blue, Blue Partridge, Buff Columbian, Buff Laced, Crele, Columbian, Gold Laced, Silver Laced, Partridge, Silver Penciled, White
Uses: Eggs, Meat
Bantam: 34 - 38 oz
Largefowl: 10 - 11 lbs
Personality: Brahmas are docile, friendly birds that make excellent pets.
Broody: Yes, excellent mother
Preferred climate: Cool
Handes confinement: Yes
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Large
What else you should know:
Brahmas are very fluffy, and can have troubles keeping themselves clean. They are more prone to develop mites, scaly mites, and lice. Make sure your Brahmas have a dusting hole, and check them one a month for mites and lice. If noticed, get a chicken friendly pesticide.
Brahmas can collect mud, poop and sperm near their vent. To keep it clean, their vent may need trimmed several times a year.
If permitted to play in the snow, birds may collect ice balls on their feathered feet. These ice balls should be checked for daily, and removed to prevent frostbite
excellent temperament, greatest winter fowl, Cold hardy, quality eggs, BIG chickens, dual purpose fowl
legsscalyleg mite, clumsy mothers, muddy conditions
frequent brooding, conversation starter, hatch ducks eggs, interesting color patterns, good winter layers
Small Quantities for Small Homesteads
I started off with 30 Brahmas. For a small homestead, that was a bit too many as they take up a lot of room with their size. I find it is best to give them twice the space per chicken that I would a more standard sized breed.
Oddly, I found my buffs and my lights to be extremely friendly, calm and a pleasure to own. My darks were not that friendly and aggressive with the other chickens. I really cannot imagine that had to do with being darks and honestly I chalked it up to the fact that most of them were roosters. But I have stuck with lights and buffs since that experience.
They are also beautiful. When they finally get their full plumage they are a sight to behold, especially with their penciling. My hens love to dig themselves little pits together and then they all sit there in a group talking like a group of women playing bridge and discussing local gossip.
I found the buffs to be in high demand so chicks and pullets were very easy to sell.
The only cons I found were slow growth, feeding, and nesting. Sometimes the weight of the hen would crack eggs. These cons were small in comparison with the pros and I will never hesitate to have Brahmas on my homestead, but I will definitely have them in smaller numbers for the meat and eggs for the family. This is probably not a breed you could have in large quantities and see a profit from due to how much it costs to feed them, as I find they do not forage as much as some other breeds..
From farmgirl2015 Sep 8 2014 7:30AM
A Sweet, Calm Heavyweight Breed
Of all the breeds of chickens I keep, the Brahmas are one of my favorites. They’re a heavyweight breed that makes an impressive addition to your flock, although, not necessarily an economical one.
These large birds eat proportionate to their size. Our chickens are pets that happen to also lay eggs so productivity isn’t the major concern for us. However, if you’re trying to make money from your chickens, with either eggs or meat, this is not the breed for you.
Brahma hens are decent layers of regular sized light brown eggs. They’re perfect for pet chicken keepers because they lay a nice amount without laying so much that they’re prone to the reproductive system issues of production breeds.
For production, they’re not a great choice because they eat far more than other breeds in relation to the number of eggs they lay. The same is true of meat production.
They are exceptionally large birds as adults, but they are slow to put on that weight. Compared to other dual purpose breeds, Brahmas keep that tall, lanky look for far longer before filling in.
As adults, they’re not as active as smaller breeds and are not a top choice for foraging. I have seen some people keep them free range in fields, but while mine have always liked spending their time digging through the straw, they’re just as into lounging around.
Brahmas tend to be a bit nervous when young, but are very laid back as adults with a peaceful disposition. They coexist wonderfully with much smaller breeds.
If you have been keeping primarily small chickens, these very large chickens do benefit from some coop modifications such as larger nest boxes and ramps. Their large size can make them more prone to orthopedic issues, which can be minimized by making it so that they don’t have to jump off the roosts.
Even the plainer light variety of the Bahama is beautiful and I had a buff that was simply gorgeous. All Brahmas have adorable feathered feet and rose combs. The small combs and covered legs, make them an exceptional breed for cold climates, but not for hot areas.
My only complaint about this breed is that I have not been impressed with the health of some of the birds. Maia, my current Brahma, so far has been exceptionally healthy. However, I lost one Brahma in her first year to a seizure and another in her third year to a malignant tumor - neither issue which I’ve had with other breeds.
I think they were more issues with hatchery breeding than with the breed itself. They came from two different hatcheries so if you’re planning on keeping your Brahmas as longterm pets it would be worth searching out a breeder who has been careful with their lines.
When they have good genetics, Brahmas are very hardy. They have an impressive stature, beautiful appearance, delightful personalities and are very sociable with people as well as other birds. They’re a must have breed as long as you don’t mind spending a little extra on your feed bill..
From gardenfairy Aug 23 2014 4:14PM
My Experience With Brahma Chickens
When we raised Brahma chickens we only had males. We raised them primarily as meat birds. The quality of meat is wonderful! However, I am not sure about their egg production or size as I only had males. They were great foragers and handled the cold quite well. I would prefer to have a Brahma rooster watching my flock because they are large birds but have a good temperament for a rooster.
The downside to owning Brahma chickens is they do not like heat, and they are not very pretty. They are mainly one color. Also because they are great meat birds they grow to be quite large and for that reason do require a lot of food. I would recommend Brahma chickens because they do serve multiple purposes and their temperament makes them easier to handle..
From jenlynn10 Jul 29 2015 9:54AM