Brahma chicken breed is prevalent among the poultry keepers. These chickens are very easy to tame and enjoyable to raise. Such traits make them the kind that you should accumulate in your backyard flock.
It is the gentle giant of the chicken coop. This classic American breed is exquisite and impressive in appearance and is the most peaceful bird in the chicken breed.
In this article, you will get to know about this breed that you should know if you are thinking of raising Brahma chicken in your backyard.
Origin of Brahma Chicken
In the mid-1800s, this bird is usually known as “Shangai.” This breed fueled Hen Fever of the 1850s in the UK and the US. Though there is a controversy about the origin of the Brahma Chicken, it is widely accepted that these birds were bred in the United States from large birds with heavily feathered legs.
The name “Brahma” is originated from the Brahmaputra River, which is now a part of Bangladesh. The Brahma Chickens are the crossbreeds from the large feathered legs called Shangais from China in 1840, and Grey Chittagongs from India, which produced the pea comb and head-shaped Brahma see today.
Brahma chickens are often called the “King of the chicken breed.”
In 1930 this breed was the primary breed for meat production in the United States.
Today, this breed is considered as a heritage breed and is officially recognized by the American Poultry Association.
Appearance and Characteristics of Brahma Chicken
The Brahma chickens are giant and about 30 inches tall. This massive growth pattern is rare and relies on special brooding procedures.
Usually, the size of these chickens is variable from 8 to 18 inches in height. You can also go for Bantam Brahma that is 6 inches tall.
These birds will weigh about 12 lbs for roosters and 10 kg for hens.
Brahma Chickens are available in three colours that you can choose for your backyard flock. These colours are Light, Dark, and Beef.
These birds have feathers on their toes and legs and have impressive pea combs. Their plumage is smooth and consists of dense all over the body. The skull of these chickens is the broad and full head.
If you are choosing Light Brahma then, it will have a base colour of white with black and white feathers and a black tail.
The roosters of the Light Brahma have black stripes on their saddle feathers.
If you are choosing Dark Brahma then, it will have white-shouldered wings and primary feathers that are edged with white. And, there is a difference between the hens and roosters of this colour Brahma.
If you are choosing Buff Brahma, then the buff Brahma is similar to the light Brahma but has a golden buff base colour instead of white.
Common Traits of Brahma Chickens
Brahma Chickens has an amiable personality and can be trained to enjoy the company of humans. These birds are quiet and docile and get along with other breeds of chickens, too.
The Brahma Chickens’ roosters are very peaceful, and they don’t attack humans or any other birds from other breeds.
All you need to do is feed them lots of feasts or treats, and they’ll squirm right into your hand for a cuddle or a meal.
Male Brahma chickens tend to be taller than female chickens, but both genders have healthy feet and even stronger posture.
As both rooster and hen are very quiet and can be the best choice for your backyard flock.
The Brahma hen chickens’ broodiness depends on the bird to bird, but they usually rarely become broody.
There is an essential trait in the hens of the Brahma Chickens because they copycat another hen of the different breed if the hen has gone broody. And, this can be spread in your whole flock.
If your Brahma hen goes broody, let her hatch her eggs. You need to keep an eye on the eggs and make sure that the embryos are developing.
Brahma chickens are so giant that they often accidentally injure their eggs or baby chicks once they hatch.
Interactions with another breed:
Brahma roosters are no threat to your hens in the flock, but roosters of other races can be, so you must keep an eye on your birds to make sure the rooster doesn’t hurt them.
If your hen begins to succumb feathers due to a rooster’s chases, feed her a high protein supplement to support them to grow back.
Health and Wellbeing:
Ensure you inspect the Brahma chickens’ feet regularly as they occasionally develop mud balls or faecal balls on their toes. These are not only unsanitary, but they can be dangerous too.
These mudballs are caused because of their excessive foot feathering. These can cause the loss of nails or tips of toes.
Egg and Meat Yield of Brahma Chickens
If you are planning to raise a Brahma Chicken in your backyard flock, you should know that they are grown for multi-purposes. Although they were raised for meat purposes, in the beginning, they are now frequently raised for egg production as well.
Eggs of Brahma Chickens:
Brahma Chickens lays gorgeous brown eggs, and sometimes their eggs have a sparkled dots of white. The size of their eggs is comparatively large than other breeds. The yolks of these breeds are exceptionally large and significant for use in cooking or baking.
They also have the capability of giving you about 300 eggs per year or five to six eggs each week. You can increase the laying capacity of your flock of Brahma by providing them with secure homes and nesting boxes and quality layer feed with at least 16 percent protein and plenty of calcium.
These birds usually start laying at around six or seven months of age but can take up to twelve months to begin laying.
They flourish in cold weather and need proper living conditions to continue laying during the winter months.
The meat of Brahma Chickens:
As the meat producer, Brahma Chickens are beyond comparison in taste. You can kill a Brahma broiler at about eight to ten weeks of age, although they are most useful at eight months.
Ideal Living Condition of Brahma Chickens
- They need a fair amount of space because of their size.
- They can live with other breeds as they are docile and calm personalities.
- Brahma is also easy to contain, as they can’t fly low fences quickly.
- Brahma Chickens are the least sensitive breed to cold and exposure.
- You need to provide your Brahma chicken with plenty of shade and water during the warmer months as they got heat up in summers.
- The house of these chickens should be on dry, well-draining soil to avoid the development of the disease.
Benefits of Raising Brahma
Here are the benefits of raising the Brahma chickens in your backyard flock.
- They lay up to 300 eggs per year.
- They have a docile and a calm personality and can interact peacefully with other birds in the flock.
- Brahma chickens are adaptable to most climates, which means you can raise them no matter where you live.
- Thrive in control with minimal free-ranging.
- Their egg production rarely slows during the winter months, making it a better choice for you to raise them.
Challenges of Raising Brahma
There are a few challenges that you might face while raising Brahmas chickens in your backyard flock.
● Slow Maturation:
As these chickens grow slowly, so you have to wait for their development of egg and meat production. They won’t start laying eggs until six to seven months of age compared to four or five months of the other breeds.
● Over-friendly Roosters:
The Brahma roosters are over-friendly in personality, making them an excellent choice if you are looking for a docile flock. But if you are looking for predators protection, then they will be of no help. However, they will not protect the pack from a dog, fox, or hawk.
● Large Size:
As the Brahma are jumbo-sized, they eat a lot and take a lot of time to mature, which is not a profitable conversion for you.
It might be challenging to find a space for them in a chicken coop because of their giant size.
● Sensitive to Mud:
If you have heavy, clay soil, a Brahma chicken might not be an excellent option. These birds don’t hold up well to heavy mud, because their feathers are so dense.
So before buying the Brahma Chicken, you have to keep the health needs of this breed in mind.
Is the Brahma Right For You?
Are you ready to buy a Brahma Chicken for your backyard flock?
If you are interested in raising a Brahma Chicken as a pet, you should know that they will live for about five to eight years. You can increase their life span by providing with proper quality food, water, shelter, and veterinary care.
You can purchase a Brahma from a speciality breeder. You can also find them in several hatcheries and breeders that deal specifically with this breed.
This breed is recognized as a King of the chicken breeds. So, it will be a lovely addition to your backyard flock as they can provide with both eggs and meat.
If you have space and suitable conditions, you should raise Brahma Chicken as they will not disappoint you, Embrace them in your backyard flock.