Brahma Chicken Characteristics

Brahma Chicken Breed Characteristics

The Brahma originally named Brahmaputra (Brahmapootra) after a river in India, is an American Chicken Breed, developed from birds that had been imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai. 

In the chickens giant hall of fame, the Brahma chickens sit up there, together with other giant breeds like the Jersy Giant,  with Brahma cockerels weighing up to 12 pounds and hens weighing 10 pounds. 

Developed to be a meat chicken, Brahma chickens yield large capons that are ideal for roasting. 

Historial records show that some Brahma chickens have weighed up to 18 pounds for cockerels and 13 pounds for hens. 

History of the Brahma Chicken Breed

The origins of the Brahma chickens are not very clear, but it appears to have been developed in the United States of America, using chickens imported from the port of Shangai, China.  This led them to be originally named “Shanghai” Birds or “Shanghaes”. 

The Brahma gets its head shape from the grey Chittagong chickens of the Malay type. There existed many strains, with multiple names for the Brahma and there was a need for standardization. In 1852, poultry judges decided to name the bird Brahmapootra, which was later shortened to Brahma. In the same year, Geroge Burhan gifted Queen Victoria with 9 Brahmas (Known as Gray Shanghaes) at the time. This gift led to the debut of the Brahma in England. English Breeder developed dark Brahma and exported it back to the United States. 

In 1865, the Poultry Club of Great Britain included the light and dark Brahmas in the British Poultry Standard. The same birds were included in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection in 1874, with the buff variety being added in 1924. 

Brahma Chickens Breed Profile

Conservation Status:Recovering
Origin:The United States of America
Climate:Hardy. Lays throughout Winter. Brahmas can withstand both hot and cold climates, making it an ideal chicken for northern climates.

Varieties of Brahma Chicken Breeds

The American Poultry Association recognizes both the Large Fowl (Standard Size) Brahma chickens and Bantam Brahma Chickens. The standard size Brahma chickens are classified as Asiatic, while the bantam Brahma chickens are classified as feather legs.

The recognized varieties of the Brahma Chickens are:

  • Buff Brahma
  • Dark Brahma
  • Light Brahma 
  • White Brahma
  • Blue-light Brahma
  • Gold Partridge Brahma
  • Buff Columbian Brahma
  • Blue Partridge Brahma

The buff, dark and light Brahma chickens are the only varieties recognized by the American Poultry Association (APA). The British Poultry Standards add the white, blue-light, gold partridge, buff Columbian, and blue partridge Brahma chickens to their list of recognized varieties.

Bantam Brahma chickens are recognized by both the American Poultry Association (APA) and in the British Poultry Standards as miniature sizes of the standard size breeds. These include:-

  • Bantam Buff Brahma
  • Bantam Dark Brahma
  • Bantam Light Brahma
  • Bantam White Brahma
  • Bantam Blue-light Brahma
  • Bantam Gold Partridge Brahma
  • Bantam Buff Columbian Brahma
  • Bantam Blue Partridge Brahma

Dark Brahma

From a distance, the dark Brahma looks gray, but a closer look reveals the intricate mosaic of black and silver-white feathers. 

The head of the Dark Brahma has silver-colored feathers. This silver color flows to the neck and saddle, but with black color at the center of each feather. 

The breast, thighs, and underbody are covered with black feathers. The back has silver-colored feathers, and the shoulder black feathers are laced with white. 

The tail feathers are black in color while the hackle feathers have an alternating pattern of white and black feathers. 

The legs are covered with black feathers but sometimes have a mixture of black and white feathers. 

With its large size and color, the dark Brahma is a warm bird to behold and of course, to hold.   

Bantam dark Brahmas share the same color patterns as the standard size dark Brahma. 

Buff Brahma

The buff color variety of the Brahma chicken is characterized by golden buff feathers. The golden buff feather pattern is broken by black feathers on the hackle and tail, creating a beautiful pattern of black and golden buff feathers. 

If you would like to add a large chicken with striking colors to your flock, then the buff Brahma will suit you well.  

Bantam buff Brahmas share the same color patterns as the standard size buff Brahma. 

Light Brahma

The Light Brahma’s body is covered with white feathers, with a pattern of black and white feathers at the hackle and tail, just like the buff Brahma. This simple black and white combination makes the light Brahma a beautiful bird to behold and have in your backyard. 

Photo of a Light Brahma Chicken

Bantam light Brahmas share the same color patterns as the standard size light Brahma. 

White Brahma

The white Brahma is covered with pure white feathers throughout its entire body. 

Blue-light Brahma

The blue light Brahma has the same feather patterns as the light Brahma but differs in the color of the hackle and tail feathers. The body of the blue light Brahma is covered with white feathers, with blue-pigeon and white feathers at the hackle and tail feathers. 

Brahma Chicken Breed Profile

  • Brahma Chickens Egg Shell Color: Brown
  • Egg size: Large
  • Egg Productivity: 150 eggs per year
  • Skin Color: Yellow
  • Brahma Chicken Breed Standard Weight.
    • Rooster: 12 lbs
    • Hen: 9.5 lbs
    • Cockerel: 10  lbs
    • Pullet: 8  lbs
  • Purpose: Meat
  • Temperament: Calm and Friendly 
  • Size: Large
  • Broodiness: gets broody and is a good sitter
  • Comb: Single 
  • Climatic Tolerance:  Hardy. Lays throughout Winter.
  • Varieties: Light, Dark, Buff
  • Color Description: Different colors depending on the variety. 
  • Conservation Status: Recovering
  • Country of Origin: The United States of America

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About James

I grew up on a small farm. My parents used to grow food and keep animals for our sustenance. They would sell the surplus to make an extra coin to supplement the income from their jobs. I am taking the same path. I have over 40 chickens for eggs and meat. I also grow vegetables in my backyard

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