Posted Jun 06, 2013
We ordered about five Brahmas from a hatchery, and they arrived in great health as chicks. They were well-fed and grew to become sturdy egg-layers. Their laying was dependable and they produced big, quality eggs. They were probably some of the best layers I've had. Unfortunately, several of them died after living one year or less. We're not sure of the cause. They always seem perfectly healthy and happy, then one morning we find them dead in the coop with no injuries or signs of illness. My theory is that it is due to stress on their heart. They are quite a heavy and large breed, and these factors may pose some problems relating to circulation. The number of deaths we've had outstrips any from other breeds, leading me to think that this may be a defect in the breed.
That said, the surviving chickens are still great layers. They also seem to be reasonably good brooders. In terms of temperament, they have great friendly personalities. They're not as flighty as other breeds and will sometimes let you pick them up. Their coloring and feathers are beautiful, and they're especially soft. The only problem is with the feathers on their feet- sometimes these can get really messy!
Pros: Friendly, great layers, decent brooders, large and meaty
Cons: Early deaths, messy feet