Brahma Standard Chicken
Although named after the Brahmaputra in India the Brahma 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 Chickens 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 Brahmas are beautiful, stately birds. Their large size and gentle nature combined with intricate color patterns makes them favorites for the country estate. The Brahma Chickens 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. Brahmas 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 (Light): Cock-12 pounds; hen-9-1/2 pounds; cockerel-10 pounds; pullet-8 pounds.
- Standard Weights (Dark and Buff): Cock-1 1 pounds; hen-8-1/2 pounds; cockerel-9 pounds; pullet-7 pounds.
- Skin Color: Yellow.
- Egg Shell Color: Brown.
- Use: A very heavy fowl for the production of heavy roasters or capons. Fair egg layers.
- Origin: The ancestry of the Brahma traces back to China although much of their development took place in the U.S. between 1850 and 1890.
Interested in raising chickens, but not sure which breed might be right for you?
Things to consider:
Geography: Consider geography when selecting a breed. In cooler areas of the country, consider raising heavier birds. In hotter areas, consider lighter weight birds. Some birds have been specially breed for cold climates. Consider these birds if you live in a cold-climate area.
Space: Where will you be raising these chickens? Do you have a lot of farm land for the animals to be raised on, or are you planning to raise them in your backyard? If you have a small space in which to raise the birds, choose breeds with a calmer temperament and avoid birds that are listed as active. Active birds will not be happy in close confinement.
Temperament: When choosing a breed, consider temperament. Some breeds are calmer than others. If raising chickens in a backyard or in the city, you may prefer a calmer breed.