Type Standard and Bantam
Temperament Gentle and friendly
Heat Hardiness No
Cold Hardiness Yes
Space per bird 5-6 square feet per bird
Beginner Friendly Yes
Eggs per year 200+
Egg Size Large
Egg Color Brown
Dual Purpose Yes
Mature Weight Male: 10lb
Sex Link No
Comb Type Pea
Heritage Breed Yes
Processing Age Ready 20 weeks
Lifespan 8-10 years
The Dark Brahma was developed in the UK from the stock of Light Brahma imported from the US.
The Brahma chicken was the best breed for table fare until the advent of the newer production breeds in the 1930s.
The Brahma could not put on muscle and size as quickly as the newer birds and slowly fell from favor. The most recent listing of the Brahma in the
Livestock Conservancy directory puts it in the ‘recovering’ status thanks to its’ newfound popularity with backyard chicken keepers and homesteaders.
Brahma Chicken Breed Standard
The official Poultry Club included both the Light and Dark Brahma in the first published British Poultry Standard in 1865.
They admitted the Light and Dark Brahma to the American Poultry Association standard in 1874.
The Buff Brahma was admitted in 1924.
The Brahma chicken is a large bird – almost as large as the Jersey Giant – a Brahma will stand around 30 inches tall. It has a long, deep, and wide body.
It stands tall, giving it a narrow ‘V’ when viewed from the side.
The Brahma has a pea comb and a ‘beetle brow’ where the forehead slightly overhangs the eyes. The beak is short and strong.
The plumage is dense and tight, with a thick covering down under the feathers.
The rooster should weigh around 10lb, with the hen around 8lb. In the 1850s’ the bird was much heavier – 18lb and 13lb respectively have been recorded.
There is a bantam variety of the Brahma with five recognized colorations – Light, Dark, Buff, Black, and White, although black and white are seldom found.
Bantam roosters will weigh 38oz and hens 34oz. The bantam varieties are hard to find, with few breeders listed.
It is considered an Asiatic breed for classification.
The Brahma chicken also sports their own set of boots that can actually be detrimental to their health in cold climates (more on that later).
Yes, they have feathered feet, which give them an adorably cuddly appearance.
Brahma Chicken Size
Appearance and Feather Patterns
There are three recognized feather patterns: Light, Dark, and Buff.
The designs are very distinct, and there is no confusing one for the other. The contrasting of the patterns in each variety is quite intricate and stunning.
The male Dark Brahma should have silver hackles and a saddle striped with black.
The shoulder area should be solid silver, the tail, breast, and body solid black.
The hens’ hackles should be black with slight grey penciling, laced with white.
The body, breast, back, and wings are medium grey with black penciling.
To obtain the absolute best coloring, the birds require ‘double mating.’
We have already said that the Brahma is a large bird – it can be very intimidating to a child or person afraid of birds, but the Brahma is a gentle, non–aggressive bird.
It is a friendly, docile, and calm bird, and they are said to be very easy to handle.
They do not fly well, so they are fairly easily contained.
Although they tolerate confinement well, they do very well as foragers.
They are very suitable for cold climates with all that thick feathering.
The preference of soil/environment is well-drained soil that is generally dry and a moist, cool climate.
You should avoid having their living quarters in wet, swampy, or muddy areas since they might lead to foot problems.
They make great mothers and tend to set on the nest well, they are not overly broody, but this can depend on the line of birds you buy from.
They are usually fairly high in the pecking order since most hens seem intimidated by their size!
Brahma isn’t known as flock bullies either and can generally get along with most other chickens.
Brahma Chicken: Table Fare and Eggs
Brahma Chicken Flock
The Brahma was initially bred as table fare. In the 1800s’ the bird was, in fact, much larger, and one bird could easily feed a large family cheaply.
Between 1850 and 1930, the Brahma was the table chicken unrivaled by any other.
Even nowadays, the size of the bird is enough to feed a family of four, but if you prefer to keep your hens for eggs, the Brahma performs well enough.
A hen will produce 3–4 eggs per week – and here’s the excellent news; they prefer to lay from October to May, just when your other girls are thinking about shutting down for winter!
The eggs are medium to large in size, brown in color.
The downside is that the hens can take six to seven months before they start laying.