Brahmas are a great all-round bird. Their large size and fluffy plumage make them great birds for eating and show respectively. Furthermore, while they produce a moderate amount of eggs, they dominantly lay in the winter months when other breeds stop laying. Brahmas are also great family members, both to their chicks and owners.
Moderate-good egg production
High meat production
Cold climate hardy: Yes
Rare breed: No
Quantity: 3-5 eggs/hen/week
There is much controversy and confusion to the origin of the big and beautiful Brahma. The genetics of Brahmas is believed to be derived from breeds imported to America from China. Brahmas are extremely aesthetically pleasing, with their large stature and fluffy feathers covering their feet. While their size may lead you to believe otherwise, these birds are known as the ‘gentle giants’ of the chicken world, with their friendly and docile temperament making them wonderful pets that can be easily tamed and handled.
Brahmas are large birds, typically weighing between 3.5-5.0kg (hens ~ 3.6kg; roosters ~ 4.5kg). Their large size, as well as the top-quality meat, make them great meat producers. However, they have a relatively slow growth rate, so patience is key. Brahmas are also considered a dual-purpose breed, producing 3-4 large eggs of a light brown colour. However, unlike most breeds, Brahmas predominantly lay during the winter months. In terms of appearance, he most common colour variations are light, dark and buff. However, in Australia, we are likely to have more varieties, including blue, blue-Columbian, black, white and gold! Notably, their feathered feet are sure to draw eyes.
While popularity of Brahmas has decreased since the 1930s, their popularity has been steadily increasing as backyard chickens. They make wonderful mothers and tend to go broody often. They are natural foragers in the backyard and are relatively weak fliers, so high fencing is not required. However, due to their size, it is recommended that they have adequate space in coops and nesting boxes. Furthermore, it is important that they receive enough food to support their larger size, otherwise they have been observed to display cannibalistic tendencies.