Brahma Chicken - Breed Spotlight

One of the largest chicken breeds, the Brahma is often referred to as the "King of All Poultry" and along with the Cochin, Brahmas helped to fuel the British and American obsession with poultry "Hen Fever" of the 1850s.

Brahmas are beautiful chickens with feathered feet and legs and a gentle personality that fits the needs of a family flock.
A young Light Brahma hen.

Brahmas are beautiful chickens with feathered feet and legs and a gentle personality that fits the needs of a family flock. Brahmas are known for their winter laying abilities keeping backyard egg cartons full during the lean months. They also tend toward broodiness so they can help with breeding and increasing flock size.

Class: Asiatic
Origin: United States
Comb Type: Pea
Popular Colors: Light, Dark, Buff
Standard Size: 9.5 Pounds (Hen) 12 Pounds (Rooster)
Egg Color: Brown
Production: 3 to 4 Eggs Per Week
Hardiness: Cold and Heat Hardy
Disposition: Gentle, Friendly

The origin of Brahma chickens is greatly disputed. What is known is that Brahmas were originally shipped to the Americas in the early 1840s from China through the port of Shanghai. Fowl from India called Chittigong influenced the head and comb characteristics of the Brahma. (The wide head and skull projecting over the eyes is known as "beetle brow.")

They are said to be named for the Brahmaputra River in India. Quite a mouthful to say! However, according to The Livestock Conservancy, "Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least 12 names, there was much confusion. The credit for shortening the name to Brahma goes to T.B. Miner, publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 or 1854 did so for very practical reasons - saving space on the printed page!"

When the Brahmas made their way to America, the breed was refined. Not long after, the Light and Dark Brahmas were admitted into the American Standard of Excellence in 1874. Buff Brahmas are a more recent addition, having been admitted in 1924.

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Brahmas are beautiful chickens with feathered feet and legs and a gentle personality that fits the needs of a family flock.

Once introduced into my backyard flock, Brahmas quickly became a favorite. They are often the first chickens in the flock to greet us. Plus, they stand out with their beautiful colors and leg/foot feathering.  

Do you have Brahmas in your flock? What do you think of this breed? Do you raise them for meat, eggs or both? Let me know in the comments below. 

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