The ancestors of the Brahma chicken breed came to America around 1840. Together with Cochin, another giant chicken breed imported from the far east, it immediately raised a great attention because of their unprecedented size. The rooster could reach a weight of 7 kg and a height of 70 cm and the hens a little less. Until around 1930 the Brahma was the most used chicken breed in the US meat industry and many newer chicken breeds contains Brahma genes to some extend.
One of the poultry breeders behind the development of the pure Brahma breed, is Mr. George P. Burnham who in 1852 send 9 of his finest Brahma chickens to the English Queen Victoria as a gift. From these birds ascends the light coloured type which together with the dark type is the two original types. The birds used in the breeding program came from Asia and carried names like “Shanghae”, “Chittagong” and “Brahmaputra”. The recent name Brahma is a short form of Brahmaputra and was introduced by an agriculture magazine to save space on the pages.
The Brahma was originally used a meat producing breed, but was eventually overtaken by other breeds and hybrids with a much faster growth and a better meat quality. Brahma is still an interesting acquaintance though due to its impressing size and calm temperament. Todays Brahmas does not get as big as the original ones but with a weight on almost 4-5 kgs it is stil a remarkable breed.
In colder areas it is a breed worth considering for many reasons. The small rose comb and feathery feet gives both the young chickens and the adult birds a good protection against frost and cold and the Brahma is renowned for its ability to lay many eggs during the winter season. The Brahma should be protected from mud and moisture on the ground though as it can stick to its feet feathers and lead to frostbites in freezing weather.
The brahma tends to start hatching early in the spring, but because of its heavy size there can be is a risk of eggs and small chickens being crushed under the hen.
Light , Dark, Buff, Black, Blue , Partridge, Crele, Barred
Weight hen: ca 3,75 kg
Weight rooster: ca 4,75 kg
Egg: ca 57 g, light brown
Eggs a year: ca 180
Also found as a bantam.