Brahma Bantam Chicken
Although named after the Brahmaputra in India the Brahma Bantam Chicken are accepted as being created in the USA from the Shanghais where they were crossed with Malay types which put in the pea comb and brow. The Brahma Chickens were imported into New York in 1846 and stock first reached England in 1853 where they caused a great stir.
Brahma Bantam Chicken’s were included in the first book of poultry standards issued in 1865. The name was shortened as Brahma in 1852 when a small flock was given to Queen Victoria. They were also referred to as grey Chittagongs which possible meant the present dark Brahmas. An Asiatic breed of fowl, called Chittagongs, Gray Shanghais, and Brahma Pootras, later shortened to Brahma, thought to have been a cross of the Malay and Cochin in India. Imported from Shanghai, China, in the early 1840’s, they landed in New England much later. American poultry fanciers made over and refined the original parent stock into the large stately and useful Light and Dark Brahma varieties.
Characteristics: Good Brahma Bantam Chicken are beautiful, stately birds. Their gentle nature combined with intricate color patterns makes them favorites for the country estate. The Brahma’s appearance in the showroom never fails to command the admiration of one and all. These qualities have made them a favorite with showmen and fanciers. Brahma Bantam Chicken do go broody and are fairly good mothers. Their small comb and wattles, together with profuse feathering and well feathered shanks and toes enable them to stand cold temperatures very well. The relatively slow rate of growth and long time required to reach maturity have caused Brahmas to be passed by as a commercial fowl.
- Standard Weights: Cock-38 oz; Hen-34 oz; Cockerel-34 oz; Pullet-28 oz.
- Varieties: Light, Dark, Buff
- Skin Color: Yellow
- Egg Shell Color: Brown
- Use: Exhibition
- Origin: China with development in the USA
Bantams are suitable for smaller backyards as they do not need as much space as other breeds. Bantam hens are also used as laying hens, with some breeds laying up to 150 eggs per year. However, Bantam eggs are only about one-half to one-third the size of a regular hen egg. The Bantam chicken eats the same foods as a normal chicken. In commercial situations they are fed grain-based foods because this is convenient and efficient for the producer. Chickens in the wild eat more insects and vegetation than grains.
Bantams have become increasingly popular as pets as well as for show purposes because they are smaller and have more varied and exotic colors and feather patterns than other chickens.
In contrast, the Bantam rooster is famous in rural areas throughout the United Kingdom and the United States for its aggressive, “puffed-up” disposition that can be comedic in stature. It is often called a “Banty” in the rural United States.
Many bantam hens are renowned for hatching and brooding. They are very protective mothers and will attack anything that gets near their young.
Bantams do have a higher mortality rate when they are kept as backyard pets. They are easy targets for hawks, cats, foxes, or any other small predator.