Brahma Chicken: The Most Comprehensive Guide to this Giant Breed

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

Last Updated: 09 July 2020

brahma chicken

Table Of Contents

INTRODUCTION
   CHAPTER 1: Frequently Asked Questions
        Common Questions about the Brahma Chicken
   CHAPTER 2 : Characteristics
        Brahma Chicken Colors 
        Brahma Facts Chart
        Brahma Chicken Owners Feedback and Reviews
        Brahma Characteristics
        Size and Weight
        Temperament
    CHAPTER 3: Eggs
         Brahma Chicken Eggs
         Egg comparison [Chart]
         Feeding and Nutritional Needs
    CHAPTER 4: Brahma Chicken Health  
    CHAPTER 5: General
         Brahma Chicks
         Brahma Chicken for Sale
         What is the largest chicken breed?
         How to choose a healthy Brahma chicken 27
         Top 10 largest chicken breeds (with pictures)
     CHAPTER 6: Origin, Background & History
         Origin, Background and History of the Brahma Chicken

 
INTRODUCTION

We know you’re here because you’re looking for information on the Brahma chicken. Well, stick around, because between myself and my poultry peeps, we collectively have over 30 years’ worth of first-hand Brahma-keeping experience and this took us months to develop and put together for you!

You’ve probably seen all the viral videos of giant Brahma roosters strutting their stuff, showcasing their size and stately figures and you’re not the only one – millions of people are in awe of these gorgeous guys!

But if it is Brahma facts you want, then this is the most informative source for Brahma chicken enthusiasts on the web! 82% of Brahma chicken owners surveyed said they would get them again and recommend them to others!

This article will answer all your burning questions, including: Is the Brahma really a ‘Giant Chicken’? How big is a Brahma rooster? And, what is the largest chicken breed?

We will also discuss the differences between the Light Brahma chicken, the Buff Brahma chicken and the Dark Brahma chicken and compare the Brahma chicken size against standard and bantam hens and eggs (because we know you’re just itching to see that)!

By the end of this article we will leave you wanting Brahmas, or wanting MORE, because there is just so much to adore!

While I will explain all the different reasons Brahmas are such fabulous pets, I am also going to cover the top 8 questions I frequently get asked from people all over the world about the Braham breed!


Your Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Brahma chickens live?

    Brahmas chickens live on average 5 to 8 years depending on the care they receive, just as any other breed of chicken. According to Guinness World Records Matilda was the oldest living hen at fourteen years of age. You can extend your Brahmas’ lifespan by ongoing attentive care.

    • How many eggs does a brahma chicken lay?

    The average Brahma hen lays 3 to 4 medium-to-large eggs per week which amounts to approximately 150 eggs per year. Although not considered one of the most prolific egg laying breeds, a small backyard flock of four Brahma hens will still yield a dozen eggs per week.

    • How big are Brahma chicken eggs?

    A Brahma chicken egg weighs 2oz or 56 grams. They lay medium to large eggs, so the bigger the hen, doesn’t mean the bigger the egg. Brahma hens are 66% larger than a standard hen but their eggs are 17% smaller than an average X-large egg of 2.2oz or 68g.

    Egg Size Chart

    Ounces

    Grams

    King size

    2.6 oz

    73 grams

    Jumbo

     2.5 oz

    70 grams

    X-Large

    2.2 oz

    63 grams

    Brahma Egg Size

    2 oz

    56 grams

    Large

    2 oz

    56 grams

    Medium

    1.7 oz

    49 grams

    Small

    1.5 oz

    42 grams

    Peewee

    < 1.5 oz

    < 42 grams

     

    Brahma Chicken Egg Size Comparison Chart

    • How big is a Brahma chicken?

    The average Brahma chicken stands 18 inches or 45cm tall with the hens weighing in at 8 pounds or 3.6kg. The roosters can be up to 30 inches or 76cm tall, although this is rare. On average, they are 10 pounds or 4.5kg and are the second largest chicken breed in the world!

    • Are Brahma chickens friendly?

    Yes! Gentle Giants! Brahma chickens are friendly, docile, calm and easy to handle. Although they are physically large and can appear intimidating, they are not aggressive at all and do well in mixed-breed flocks and as backyard additions for families with small children or other pets in the household.

    • What color eggs does a Braham chicken lay?

    Brahma chickens lay eggs that are caramel brown in color and of medium to large size. The good news is that unlike some other breeds, Brahmas are also known to lay right through the winter, so you are sure to have a gorgeous supply of golden eggs all year round.

    • What is the biggest chicken in the world?

    Merakli, a Brahma rooster who lives on a farm in Kosovo, is 3ft tall or 91cm and weighs 7.7kg is believed to be the biggest chicken in the world. The Brahama comes second to the Jersery Giant, which is the biggest chicken breed in the world, standing up to 26 inches or 66cm.

    • Are Brahma chickens aggressive?

    No, the Brahma chicken is not aggressive towards either people or other chickens. They are physically large and can appear intimidating especially to small children or people, however, despite their huge size, the Brahma chicken breed is non-aggressive and very friendly, docile, calm and easy to handle, even called “huggable”.

    Brahma Chicken Colors

    Brahmas come in a variety of exciting colors, so let’s talk about their appearance. The first thing to know is that all Brahma chickens have dense body feathering as well as impressive feathering all down their legs and feet.

    Brahmas have broad large bodies with relatively small heads and prominent eyes. Their beaks are short and strong and they have a pea comb. Brahma roosters are significantly larger than the girls by approximately 25%.

    There are three recognized color varieties where it concerns the Brahma chicken and these are Light Brahma, Dark Brahma and Buff Brahma. The three varieties are quite different from one another and easy enough to discern with beautiful and intricate patterns on the plumage.

    Although the Light Brahma chicken was the first to make its appearance in the US, the Buff Brahma chicken is nowadays one of the most popular Brahma chicken colors around!

    These gorgeous chickens sport stunning layers of caramel-colored plumage featuring black detailing in the form of a neck scarf, mostly concentrated on the back of the neck, and at the tip of the tail. They are an absolute delight on the eyes with their warm coloring, making them a firm favorite strutting around the backyard. The Buff Brahma is essentially a color copy of the Light Brahma with the Buff coloring, that delicious shade of caramel, taking the place of the white.

    The Buff Brahma chicken also has the characteristic foot feathering, red comb, wattles and yellow legs of the breed standard.

    The Buff Brahma rooster looks very similar to the hen albeit larger in size with a longer tail and a more upright stance.

    Buff Brahma Chicken

    Light Brahma Chicken Feathers

    A strikingly beautiful specimen, the Light Brahma chicken is a monochrome contrast in black, white and grey.

    The feathers on the body of the Light Brahma chicken are primarily white with a gray undertone and they have black feather detail at the back of the neck. Their tailfeathers are black, linking the tail and body, which are also called the covert feathers, edged in white. The Light Brahmas often have black feather detail on their wingtips and foot feathers as well.  

    The Light Brahma rooster looks very similar to its female counterpart, although larger in size with more prominent leg and tail feathers.

    As with all Brahma chickens, they have red combs and wattles and yellow legs and beaks.

    Light Brahma Chickens

    Dark Brahma Chicken Feathers

    Last but definitely not least, the Dark Brahma chicken is a striking chickens featuring exquisite penciling on their plumage. The penciling means that their feathers are decorated with concentric lines almost resembling a “magic eye” work of art.

    The hens are predominantly grey with penciling on their body feathers and black lacing on their hackle, or neck, feathers. Their heads are lighter than their bodies almost approaching white and their tailfeathers are inky black.

    The Dark Brahma rooster is quite the handsome chap and looks very different from his female counterparts. Standing loud and proud, the Dark Brahma rooster boasts a striking white head, neck and back that stands in sharp contrast to the inky black of his upright tail, belly and impressive leg feathering. The Dark Brahma rooster sports lacing on his covert and hackle feathers and also has the red comb and wattles and yellow legs as per the breed standard.

    So, now that you know all there is to know about the three recognized Brahma color varieties, we’ve put together a short fast-facts chart to summarize what you can expect from a giant Brahma chicken.

    Dark Brahma Chicken

    Brahma Facts Chart

    To give you the facts, fast, I have put some of the primary characteristics into a table, so you can assess this beautiful beauty at a quick glance.

    Brahma Chicken Rooster and Hen Colors Compared

    The Brahma

    Size

    Large – Extra-Large

    Origin

    US

    Rarity

    Rare

    Purpose

    Dual-purpose

    Colors

    White with black detailing on the hackles, feet and tailfeathers, white lacing on black feathers on covert feathers.
    Buff (caramel) with black detailing on hackles, feet and tailfeathers.
    Hens: Grey with black penciling

    Roosters: White heads and backs with black bellies, foot feathering and tailfeathers.

    Other color varieties you may find

    Black, blue-columbian, buff-columbian, dark, gold, light or white

    Great with Kids

    Yes

    Egg Laying

    150 – 200 per annum

    Egg Color

    Brown

    Egg Size

    Large – Extra-Large

    Cold Hardiness

    Yes

    Heat Tolerance

    Fair

    Personality

    Inquisitive and friendly

    Temperament

    Calm and docile

    Positives

    Good foragers

    Negatives

    More expensive to keep than regular chickens

    Lifespan

    5 – 8 years

    Countries Available

    UK, US and Australia

    Recommendation Score

    9/10

     

    Now that you know what to expect from the breed in general, why don’t we take a look at what real-life Brahma parents have to say about their favorite feathered friends.

    Brahma Chicken Owners Feedback and Reviews

    #DIDYOUKNOW: 82% of Brahma chicken owners surveyed said they would get them again and recommend them to others!

    Pro

    My Brahmas really are huggable. All those feathers make for a nice squishy cuddle, for me and the kids! Plus, they are truly calm by nature!

    Con

    “Bigger than I thought! I love my Brahmas but my coop was way too small. The door entry was only suitable for smaller breeds and the clearance from the perches to the roof line was too short. I had to upgrade my coop which cost a lot of money.” Anita S – USA

    According to our Brahma chicken breed review system, the average score was 4.8/5 for recommending the Brahma chicken as a pet – so what are you waiting for?

    If you’re still on the fence as to whether or not the Brahma is for you, why don’t you have a look at what the other surveyed Brahma owners and enthusiasts had to say? Read all the reviews here.

    Brahma Characteristics

    The Brahma chicken comes highly recommended as a backyard flock addition or even just a cuddly pet, but how big are they really? And how will their temperaments mix with your other chicken children? Let’s find out.

    Size and Weight

    If you are already familiar with the Brahma chicken, you will know that they are very large birds. Their size is perhaps their most distinguishing feature, apart from the feathered feet.

    A fully-grown Brahma rooster can stand up to 30 inches (75cm) tall. However, this is rare, only applicable to roosters and will depend on the breeder. Your average Brahma chicken will most likely be around 18 inches (45cm) tall.

    Giant Brahma Chicken Size Comparison Chart

    The Brahma hens weigh around 8 pounds (4kg) when fully grown and the Brahma roosters reach up to 10 pounds (5kg). The eighteenth-century Brahmas were said to be heavier birds with the hens weighing 13 pounds (6.5kg) and the roosters 19 pounds (9.5kg)!

    The average Brahma is around 33% heavier and 66% taller than a standard hen and 233% taller than the average Bantam hen.

    Giant Brahma Rooster Size Comparison Chart

     

    Temperament

    Brahma chickens can be intimidating due to the sheer size of them, especially to children or people who are naturally a little apprehensive of birds. However, they are not at all aggressive and are actually very people-friendly and docile.

    The Brahma chicken is calm and easy to handle and due to the weight of their large bodies, they aren’t particularly good fliers which means that they are well-suited to small backyards as well.

    They aren’t bullies to other chickens, so do well in mixed breed flocks and will happily forage around the garden if you let them. Although they are very large and in charge, they will be quite content in an adequate-sized coop and will tolerate children faffing over them (I know from experience).

    So, I know that you’re already sold on the Brahma, but it is only once you get them that the fun really starts. And the first thing you’ve got to do is pick out a name.

    Common Brahma Chicken Names

    One of the most eggs-citing parts about getting a new pet, is choosing a name! All the things we consider from their size and color, to temperament and personality, and yet, half the time we end up with something completely non-related that just makes us smile every time we say it!

    After all, this decision is for life, so you are going to want to pick names that you love.

    To get you going, I have listed out a few of my favorites, and some that were sent to me by other Brahma mamas. 

    Brahma Rooster Names Brahma Hen Names
    Axel  Amelia Egghart
    Bear Eggspresso 
    Bigfoot Elektra
    Birdzilla Feather Locklear
    Brue Almighty Gwyneth Poultry 
    Bulky Hulky Hen Aniston
    Chew-Pecka Hillary Fluff
    Cluck Norris Lil’ Peep
    Duke Lindsay LoHEN
    Gigantor Margaret Hatcher
    Godzilla  Meryl Cheep
    Henrique Egglecias  Omelette
    Hercules Pegasus 
    Maximus Popcorn
    Mr. Feathers Princess Layer
    Sir Clucks-A-Lot Yolko Ono
    Tyrannosaurus Pecks Your Egg-cellency

     

    Brahma-Chicken-Names

    By now you not only know all the characteristics of the Brahma breed, you even know what you’re going to call yours! But this breed’s benefits don’t stop there. Did you know that Brahmas aren’t just giant feathered beauties? They’re fairly good egg layers as well!

    As with most backyard flocks, one of the most egg-citing aspects is of course the bountiful fresh eggs you’ll get – and the Brahma is no egg-ception.

    Brahma Chicken Eggs

    How many eggs does a Brahma chicken lay?

    Depending on your expectations for eggs, Brahmas can be considered not to be one of the most prolific layers. The Brahma chicken will yield on average 150 eggs, annually, which equates to approximately 3 eggs per hen, per week. So, if you are looking to have at least one dozen eggs per week, you are going to need to keep a minimum of 4 Brahma hens.

    If you’re interested in knowing which breeds lay the most eggs or where the Brahma falls on the scale, be sure to check out Chickenpedia, they have an Ultimate Guide to Eggs course – it is the most comprehensive guide to eggs and the chickens that lay them on the internet. Click here to view it now!

    What size eggs do Brahma chickens lay?

    A Brahma hen will lay large to extra-large eggs (52g – 66g+). This is around the same size as the average layer hen like the Rhode Island Red or Golden Comet. But it is 17 - 23% larger than a Bantam egg on average.

    Brahma Chicken Egg Size

    What color eggs do Brahma chickens lay?

    There are chickens that lay the rainbow – from hues of blue to gorgeous greens, chocolate brown eggs, shades of lilac, pink and cream. If you are interested in chickens that lay colorful eggs, check out the Eggs course on Chickenpedia – you won’t be sorry.

    Our beautiful Brahma however lays eggs of a caramel brown color – and the good news is that they lay right through the winter!

    What age are Brahma chickens when they start to lay eggs?

    Brahmas mature slowly due to their size and as such, should you get chicks or pullets, you will have to wait until your girls are six to seven months old for them to start laying (compared with the average hen at 4 months). After that – they’ll regularly produce your breakfast for up to two years when their production will naturally start to decline, the same as any other layer hen.

    However, I have heard from numerous Brahma parents that some of their girls have been known to still produce eggs for up to 5 years.

    Brahma Care

    The good news is that Brahmas are relatively easy to care for and can adapt to most climates. However, because Brahmas are rather special, it is best to study up on some of their particular requirements.

    Many people love the Brahma specifically because of their size and foot feathering. This is, of course, quite understandable but these characteristics do mean that they have slightly different needs than other chickens may have. I will now take you through the specific care Brahmas need, so that you have all the information you need in order to succeed with your fantastically large feathery friends.  

    • Feeding and Nutritional Needs
      • What do they eat?
      • What are their favorite treats?
    • Coop Requirements
    • Brahma Chicken Health
    • Grooming and Care
    • Get Expert Help for your Brahmas

     

    Feeding and Nutritional Needs

    What do Brahma chickens eat?

    As all chickens do, Brahmas require daily feeding and fresh, clean water that is available at all times.

    If you are getting your Brahmas as chicks, provide them with a chick starter feed that is 18% protein and clean water reinforced with a vitamin supplement or apple cider vinegar to promote good gut health.

    If you have Brahma hens in your yard, offer them a good quality commercial-grade layer feed that is at least 16% protein. Brahmas need protein to grow and build their significant body mass and muscle. Therefore, it is a good idea to supplement their feed with protein like mealworms or crickets.

    It is also highly beneficial to add a calcium supplement in the form of oyster or shell grit in a separate bowl to ensure your chickens never run the risk of soft-shelled eggs. If you’re interested in the causes of soft-shelled eggs or how to prevent egg- and hen-related problems, be sure to visit our friends over at Chickenpedia! They have an Ultimate Guide to Eggs course; it is the best source on the internet for anything egg-related. Click here to view it now!

    As Brahmas are large chickens, they tend to eat more than regular chickens. An average Brahma will consume about a third of a pound (170g) of commercial feed per day. However, Brahmas are excellent foragers, so if you have a garden, let them scratch around for additional nutrients from the earth.

    Do you agree with the above? How much do your Brahmas consume – more or the same as your other chickens? Let us know in the comments!

    What are their favorite treats?

    Brahma chickens are like any other chicken – they love a good snack. We have constructed a list of chicken treats that you can have a look at to decide which is best for your chickens. This is a list of almost everything you can and can’t feed a Brahma chicken.

    However, keep in mind that each individual chicken has its own tiny brain full of likes and dislikes just like you and me, so while one person's chickens may come running for pumpkin or watermelon, another person's chickens may turn their pointy little beaks up at it.

    Top-Treats-For-Brahma-ChickensTop-Treats-For-Brahma-Chickens

     

    Due to their size, Brahmas eat a little more than your average chicken, and that means that you can up their treat quantities as well. Just make sure that they don’t get so many treats that they have no room left for their commercial feed!

    Now that you know what to feed your Brahma so that it can grow big and strong, let’s take a look at some of the coop requirements you’ll need to keep in mind for your extra-large friend.

    Coop Requirements:

    A Brahma chicken will, of course, need a spacious coop due to their size. It is worth noting that ready-made store-bought coops might pose some problems for your Brahmas as they might not be large or strong enough. Things you will need to specifically consider are coop door sizes, perches, roosts, overall coop strength and the size of the nesting boxes.

    Generally speaking, a coop for your Brahmas will need at least 4 square feet (a third of a square meter) of space per chicken in which to roam freely. They handle confinement pretty well but because they are good foragers, it is a good idea to allow them some backyard time to scratch.

    Additionally, the coop should be well-ventilated and because of their foot feathering, the floor of the coop should be kept dry, clean and free from debris at all times.

    As with all hens, you should provide your hens with nesting boxes in which to lay their eggs. Nesting boxes can be made out of anything from wooden boxes to crates, and should be lined with a dust-free bedding that gets cleaned on a fairly regular basis. For the hefty Brahma hen, choose or make nesting boxes that are at least 20 inches (50cm) deep and have an opening of 14 x 14 inches (35 x 35cm) minimum.

    Because Brahmas are heavy birds, their roosts should not be too far from the ground. This is because, when jumping down, their weight could cause injury to their feet or drive foreign objects that might be present on the floor of the coop into their feet which can result in bumblefoot or fractures. Remember to check your coop regularly for anything that looks potentially dangerous!

    Also remember that if the coop is not on solid ground, that it needs to have enough support for the weight of the Brahma. The same applies to the roosts. Make sure that everything in the coop is the right size and sturdy enough for your big Brahma babies.

    Now that you are aware of their feeding and housing requirements, let’s take a look at the general healthcare requirements of the Brahma chicken and whether or not they’ll adapt to your area’s climate. I will also take you through how to incorporate excellent care to make sure that your Brahmas’ lives are long, healthy and happy.

    Brahma Chicken Health

    Brahmas are relatively hardy birds and adapt well to cold or hot climates. They do exceptionally well in the colder climates, of course, due to their dense feathering and down but their feathered feet make it unwise to keep them in excessively muddy or wet conditions.

    As beautiful as their foot feathering may be, it can be detrimental to their health especially during winter. If they are allowed to free-range in wet or muddy conditions, the feathers on their legs and feet will get wet and muddy and could develop caking which in turn can cause injury if not attended to.

    Additionally, the wet conditions during the winter season can allow ice and cold water to accumulate on the foot feathers and cause the Brahma chicken to suffer frostbite in near-freezing temperatures. This can be difficult to see because of their dense feathers and may result in you realizing this too late.

    Their dense feathering also makes the Brahma quite susceptible to mites and lice which can be difficult to spot due to their plumage, and like any other chicken they should be wormed regularly to avoid infestations.

    Other than the above issues, which are all easily treatable or preventable, the Brahma is a robust individual with good overall health. For a veritable mine of information on ultimate health for Brahma chickens, visit our friends over at Chickenpedia, they have a comprehensive course that covers everything you could ever need when it comes to keeping happy and healthy chickens. 

     

    Grooming and Care

    The Brahma chicken will require more grooming and care than your average backyard chickens simply because of their feathering. As stated above, wet and muddy conditions can cause caking on their foot feathers which are called mud balls. You should inspect their leg feathers for accumulation of dirt and mud regularly and gently wash it off should there be dirt or debris caught in the plumage.

    It is a good idea to confine Brahmas to a warm and dry coop for the winter season to reduce the risk of foot-related problems if you live in an area where the winter months are particularly wet or snowy. Do you live in a cold, snowy winter area? What do you do to help your Brahmas? Tell is in the comments below, as I would love to share your tips with the readers.

    Due to the robust quality of their foot feathering, the pin feathers, which are the thicker ones, can get caught on things as they walk by and sometimes these will then break and cause the bird to bleed. To manage foot injuries or the minute you spot blood on your Brahma’s foot, you should inspect their legs to determine the source. Apply pressure to the broken feather and put styptic powder on it to stop the bleeding. Styptic powder is a natural coagulant and you should be able to find it in a vet shop or pharmacy. If the bird in question is badly injured, remove it from the rest of the flock and isolate it until it is fully healed.

    Since the Brahma chicken’s feathering is very tight and dense all over their bodies, they are also more susceptible to mites and lice. Inspect their feathers often, parting them so that you can see the skin and keep an eye out for any traces of lice eggs, lice or mites on the skin or feather bases.

    To reduce the risk of external parasites, provide your Brahmas with dust baths filled with sand, Diatomaceous Earth and wood ash. This is a natural repellent for mites and lice. You can also sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth in their coop regularly to avoid infestations.

    Other than the above, the Brahma chicken will not require additional grooming other than the occasional inspection and perhaps cleaning of its foot feathers. If you notice that their plumage is looking a little dull, a little cod liver oil in their feed will work wonders.

     Well done – you now really have a solid understanding of what it takes to keep an adult Brahma chicken happy and healthy. However, what if you’d like to start off with your Brahma flock at an earlier stage of their life?

    It is one of the most rewarding experiences to raise young chicks to fully grown fowl – and it takes a surprisingly short amount of time and fairly little effort on your part.

    If you’re interested in acquiring Brahmas when they’re still babies, read on. I will take you through all the potential pitfalls and everything you need to know to raise quality Brahma chicks.

     

    Brahma Chicks:

    Brahma chicks are just as cute and fluffy as any other chick, but they will grow up to be gigantic in size with very impressive foot feathering – slightly different to your average layer hen.

    It is incredibly rewarding and beneficial in more ways than one to raise chicks in your home. And with a solid foundation of comprehensive knowledge and the right mindset, it is something we believe that any chicken enthusiast should experience at least once in their lives.

    By acquiring your Brahmas as chicks, you also have a better opportunity to bond with them should you want them to be cuddly pets when grown.

    Sexing Brahma chicks:

    Due to the fact that so many local authorities do not allow roosters in the suburbs, many people are opting for hen-only backyard flocks. And as it is cheaper and more fun to buy chicks than fully-grown hens, sexing chicks is a very important topic.

    In many breeds of chickens, sexing the babies – that means being able to tell if it’s a hen or a rooster – isn’t always possible at a very early age. There are fool-proof ways of sexing chicks including vent or DNA sexing but that is often very costly and not accessible to all.

    If the hatchery or breeder is selling the chicks as straight-run, that means they are selling them unsexed and you are bound to end up with a rooster or two in the bunch.

    But sometimes it is possible, just by looking at the chick from a distance, to tell the hens apart from the roosters at a very young age. In breeds where this is possible, this is called auto-sexing. According to Science Direct, the Buff Brahma is an autosexing breed. It is possible to tell a Buff Brahma rooster chick apart from a hen because the rooster will have a much lighter coloring down than the hen. Males are predominantly cream-yellow in color and the girls are smokey-grey, even at a day-old.

    For the Light and Dark Brahmas this isn’t so easy as they mostly look the same at day-old. However, a fairly accurate way of sexing slightly older chicks here is by their wings. The sprout patterns on young chicks’ wing tips can tell you whether they’re roosters or hens if you look carefully. While gently, yet securely holding your chick, spread out their little wing tips. Male chicks will have a neat “all one length” feather pattern, while the females will show an alternating pattern of long and short feather sprouts.

    For some people though, sexing chicks isn’t that important. If you don’t mind keeping a couple roosters, it can be a very fun experience to actually have the Brahmas hatch from the egg right in your backyard! Yes, it is possible. If there is a rooster in the bunch, there is a high probability that your hens’ eggs are fertilized, which means chicks could be on the horizon.

    Do Brahma hens go broody?

    The Brahma hen is known for her gentle nature and can go broody, especially if there are other hens about that are also starting to go broody. And once one goes broody, unless separated from the others, expect the rest to also be on the nests the next morning. Brahmas are trendy brooders.

    Although not ranked as one of the broodiest breeds, it is good to know that they do have this tendency and might be more inclined to go broody than other standard breeds. If you want a broody hen, then a Brahma might take a bit longer to go broody than anticipated, but when they decide to sit on their eggs, they will do so devotedly and they make egg-ceptional mamas once the little ones have hatched.

    Do Brahma hens make good mothers?

    It is a generally accepted fact that Brahmas make excellent mothers. If you are letting your Brahma hatch her own chicks, be sure to check on them as the size of the Brahma can cause her to trample either her eggs or the chicks. Once they are stronger though, few rival the Brahma as a supermom.

    Now that you know all there is to know about this beautiful giant chicken breed, you probably want to know how to go about getting your own flock started – let’s take a look.

     

    Getting your own Brahma Chickens:

    Brahma Chicken for Sale

    By now we know that you’ve made up your mind and that the Brahma chicken is indeed the breed for you – so, you’re probably wondering where to get one. It is in your best interests to buy from a reputable breeder or hatchery to ensure that you get good quality birds. The below are just a few suggestions of reputable sources for you to have a look at.

    Brahma Chickens for Sale in the US

    My Pet Chicken

    My Pet Chicken is the top place to order your chickens from. They offer you the ability to buy live baby chicks, fertile hatching eggs and chicken supplies!

    Click here to see their Brahmas on offer!

    Cackle Hatchery

    Cackle Hatchery is a family-owned and -operated hatchery that offers more than 200 chicken breeds for sale, including our beloved Brahmas. They are located in Missouri and it is their mission to provide their buyers with quality purebred chickens.

    They have been shipping day-old chicks straight to post offices since 1936 and have a reputation as a top-notch hatchery. They ship throughout the United States and boast 80 years of focused genetic selection to produce disease-resistant and productive poultry.

    Click here to see their offerings.

    Purely Poultry

    Purely Poultry is another family-owned business that is an affordable choice that provides backyard flock owners with the selection, products, and knowledge that fulfills their fondest desires.

    They offer rare and hard to find poultry breeds in addition to the popular commercial strains and that of course includes the wonderful Brahma.

    They offer more than 300 poultry varieties and are a lifetime member of the American Poultry Association and the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities. They also ship live birds nationwide.

    Click here to read more about Purely Poultry and what they can offer you.

    Meyer Hatchery

    Meyer Hatchery prides themselves on selection, quality, and customer service. They know that their customers sometimes only want to buy a few chicks of multiple breeds. They are happy to accommodate any size order and allow you to mix and match multiple breeds of the same poultry type so you can start your mixed-breed flock right here!

    Click here to see their offering.

    Private Breeders

    There are numerous breeders across America that sell Brahmas either as fully-grown fowl or baby chicks. You should always buy from a reputable breeder and that is why we’ve included a link to the full breeder directory, all affiliated with the American Brahma Club.

    Brahma Chickens for Sale in the UK

    The Brahma Club of Great Britain

    This is your best starting point if wanting more information on the Brahma breed in the UK. They are a passionate group of people that will point you in the right direction to obtain your very own Brahmas.

    Visit their Facebook page here.

    Alan’s Brahmas

    Alan’s Brahmas was started by an individual with a passion for the breed. He currently still shows his Brahmas and they are stunning specimens. Due to the small scale of this breeder, you won’t always find live birds available, but throughout the year there are live birds and hatching eggs for sale.

    Click here to view their website.

    Brahma Chickens for Sale in Australia

    If you are passionate about Brahmas and live in Australia, your best port of call for starting your very own flock of backyard chickens is the Brahma and Cochin Club of Australia.

    Their breed directory will point you to the reputable breeders and hatcheries in Australia that might have live birds or hatching eggs for sale.

    Visit the breeder directory here.

     

    Now, these are the most common questions I get asked about when it comes to giant chickens, and all the associated general chicken keeping questions about Brahmas.

    FAQs

    What is the largest chicken breed?

    Although the Brahma is known as the King of Chickens and even earned the title of the Biggest Chicken in the World thanks to this rooster owned by a man named Fitim Sejfijaj, based near Kosovo, it might not be the largest chicken breed.

    Yes, in the eighteenth-century Brahmas might have been documented to reach 30 inches (74cm) but nowadays, there is one that outshines the Brahma.

    Standing at 16 – 26 inches (40 – 66cm) tall and weighing in at a colossal 15 pounds (7.5kg) for the roosters, the Jersey Giant is today believed to be the biggest and heaviest chicken breed.

    What are the top 10 largest chicken breeds?

    The Jersey Giant is followed closely by the Brahma, along with the Cochin, Cornish, Orpington, Maline, Malay, Langshan, Barred Rock and Langshan.

     

    How long do Brahma chickens live?

    Just like any other chicken, the Brahma can live for 5 – 8 years, depending on the quality of the care they receive. If you provide a good quality commercial-grade feed that is at least 16% protein, additional calcium and omega-3 supplements and veterinary care if necessary, your Brahma chickens will lead long, full lives.

    The best way in which to ensure proper care for your Brahma is by performing regular health checks and making sure that their feet and coop are cleaned and inspected regularly. If you would like to learn more about how to perform health checks on your chickens, be sure to check out the Ultimate Guide to Chicken Health course by Chickenpedia, which will provide all this information and more. It is the most comprehensive guide to chicken health and wellness that exists today – click here to read it now!

    Are Brahma chickens cold-hardy birds?

    Brahma chickens tolerate all climates fairly well and their thick and dense feathering make them highly suited to colder climates. They also have what is called a pea comb, which is just a very small and flat comb, which means that they are less susceptible to frostbite on their combs or faces.

    However, if the weather is exceptionally wet and their run or free-range area is very muddy, they can develop foot problems due to their heavily feathered feet. If you keep Brahmas in an area that experiences a cold and muddy winter, it is best to regularly inspect and clean their feet. Mud that cakes in the foot feathering can cause problems or infection, and snow or ice that accumulate in the feathers can cause frostbite on the foot. This can be difficult to spot from a distance due to the dense feathering, so regularly inspections are necessary.

    Are Brahmas cool chicks in summer, or do they need to lay low?

    The Brahma adapts to all climates fairly well. You might think that with their heavy body and thick feathering, they would be intolerant to heat but this is not true. With ample shade and enough cool, fresh water available at all times, the Brahma will adapt to any climate – whether hot or cold.

    How much run space does a Brahma chicken need?

    Brahma chickens need a fair amount of space due to their size. They can live in confinement with other breeds, however, having very docile, calm personalities. They don’t need to scratch or free range as often as other breeds, being very laid back.

    Due to the sheer size of them, Brahmas are also easy to contain, as they can’t fly low fences easily. This means that an average-sized run will be sufficient for the Brahma chicken. You can estimate 10 square feet (1 square meter) per chicken in the run. However, it is important to make sure that the entrances to your run or coop are big enough for Brahmas to get through.

    Are Brahma chickens noisy?

    Brahma chickens, even the roosters, tend to be very quiet due to their docile and friendly natures. This makes them a good choice for an urban or suburban setting.

    As these are very calm birds, Brahmas are among the best chickens to have in a small backyard or family setting – however, it is worth noting here that chickens have individual personalities and just because the breed isn’t necessarily noisy, it doesn’t mean that there won’t be a noisy Brahma that pops up every now and again.

    As with all chickens, Brahma roosters will crow and although they are quieter and more docile than other breeds may be, you might want to opt for a hen-only flock if you’re worried about the noise level.

    Are Brahma chickens kid-friendly?

    Yes. Brahmas are exceptionally friendly and docile creatures that can be easily trained to enjoy the company of humans. All it takes is a handful of treats and your Brahmas will soon learn to crawl into your lap for a cuddle.

    Children are sometimes intimidated by the size of the Brahma, but they are the gentlest giants you’ll ever come across. The Brahma chicken is a careful, quiet and calm bird and they make fantastic family pets.

    Do Brahma chickens mix well with other pets?

    Overall, due to their docile and easy-going natures, the Brahma chicken will get on well with most other chickens, humans and animals. As long as you introduce your pets to your Brahmas in a controlled manner as early on as possible, there should be no problems.

    Brahmas aren’t aggressive by nature, tend to be timid and don’t often stand up for themselves. However, as with any animal species, there will be exceptions. Although not common, there have been mentions of aggressive Brahma cockerels. If you want to be completely safe, opt for a female-only flock.

    But if you do choose to have roosters – introduce them to the family as early on as possible in a well-controlled and supervised environment. It is best to introduce chickens to other pets when they are still chicks. If this is not possible, let the chicks and your other pets have a good look at each other first through a gate or cage where they cannot harm one another. The next time you can let them meet on neutral ground and slowly start allowing them to spend more time together.

    Overall, Brahmas are excellent additions to any family and will most likely mix well with any other animals you may have.

    Do Brahma chickens work well in a mixed breed flock?

    Yes. Brahmas, although gentle giants, are usually fairly high in the pecking order of a mixed breed flock since most other hens seem to be intimidated by their size. However, Brahmas aren’t known as flock bullies and can generally get along with most other chickens.

    Interestingly, Brahma hens tend to be favored by roosters when they are part of a larger, mixed flock. This means that they will get more attention in terms of mating. In general, Brahma roosters won’t be destructive or threatening to your hens, but roosters of other breeds can be so it’s important that you keep an eye on your girls to make sure they aren’t hurt by the rooster.

    If you have specific questions regarding your existing flock and whether or not Brahmas are the right choice for you, comment below and we will answer because we love talking to the community and value your input, feedback and suggestions.

    The Brahma Rooster

    The Brahma rooster, like any other rooster, will be larger than their hen counterparts and will crow several times a day. There are conflicting opinions about the Brahma rooster’s crow with some saying they don’t make much noise and others saying they crow as much and as loudly as any other rooster.

    To be on the safe side, consider the Brahma rooster like you would any other rooster. They might be noisy and if you’re not allowed to keep a rooster where you live, don’t think a Brahma constitutes an exception.

    The most distinguishing feature of the Brahma rooster is that he is a gentleman that is large and in charge. They stand head and shoulders not only above their hens, but any other chicken that might be wandering around your yard as well. This means that they will require more feed, more attention and more space. Make sure that your coop and even the entrances to your coop are suited to the large stature of the Brahma rooster before investing in one.

    Do you have egg-ceptionally large Brahma gentlemen? Show us your magnificent roosters or discuss them in the comments section!

    Is the giant Brahma chicken right for you?

    Once you’ve gone through the FAQs, it is time to ask yourself some questions. It is not enough to ask yourself just whether or not you’d like to have a Brahma chicken. They have some specific requirements and needs that you will have to consider should you wish to start with this breed.

    In order to help you cover all bases and make the best decision possible, I have put together ten questions that you should ask yourself before you get your very own Brahma flock.

    10 Questions to ask yourself before you get Brahma Chickens

    Do I have enough space?

    Brahmas are large, they are not called the King of Chickens for no reason. Although nowadays most Brahmas won’t reach the 30 inches (74cm) in height that the 18th century Brahmas did, they will still stand head-and-shoulders above any other chicken in the flock. This means that they need space. They need a fair-sized coop and ample run space. You can bargain on at least 10 square feet (1 square meter) of space per bird in the run. You should also make sure that the entrances and openings to the coop or run are large enough for your Brahmas.

    In addition to this, Brahmas will need a roost that is not too far off the ground. Because they are heavy, when they jump down from a great height, the weight can force objects into their feet which can then get infected and turn into bumblefoot which can cause your bird to fall ill or even perish.

    Am I financially able to take care of them?

    Brahmas are larger than your average chicken and so will eat more than your average chicken. They consume approximately 170g of feed per day and might need more in terms of protein and calcium supplements as well. Make sure that you consider the amount of Brahma chickens you want to get and compare that to the amount of feed they’ll need to ensure that you will be able to financially provide for your chickens.

    Do I already own other chickens? What types?

    Brahmas are friendly and docile creatures and work very well in mixed breed flocks. However, if you already own chickens it is wise to consider their ages and breeds when thinking about introducing Brahmas to an existing flock.

    Brahmas are large and physically intimidating, which means that they often fall quite high in the pecking order. However, they aren’t bullies by nature and therefore introducing them to your existing flock should pose no problem at all. The other hens should be intimidated by their size and back off naturally.

    However, if you have an aggressive breed you might want to keep a close eye on them for a while as Brahmas won’t stand up for themselves if bullied by other birds and in this way can get hurt.

    Do I have free-range space available?

    Although Brahmas do well in a coop or small backyard and handle confinement fairly well, they are very good foragers and enjoy scratching around in a garden. For the happiest Brahmas, we suggest letting them roam free from time to time to give them the opportunity of foraging for insects, worms and garden grubs.

    What type of climate do I live in?

    Brahma chickens are very cold-hardy birds and tolerate heat fairly well, so you should be fine wherever you live. However, if you live in an exceptionally hot area, it is wise to provide ample shade and enough cool, clean water for your Brahmas as you would for any other chicken.

    Brahmas also have incredibly dense foot feathering, which means that in wet, muddy or snowy conditions, their feet can suffer. If you live in an area where the rainfall is heavy during some months, it could be a good idea to confine your Brahmas to a coop or indoor run for this part of the year. They can get mud balls caked in their foot feathers which can result in nail or toe loss and be very painful for the bird in question. Snow or ice that accumulate in the feathers can also result in frostbite, so a careful eye should be kept on Brahmas if you live in these conditions.

    Cold and dry weather is the best for the Brahma as their dense feathering makes them exceptionally cold-hardy and their small pea combs aren’t as susceptible to frostbite.

    Do I have the time to take care of my Brahmas?

    Brahmas, like any other chicken, will require some time from you as the keeper. Although they aren’t particularly finicky birds, they do require relatively more care than the average chicken.

    You should only invest in Brahmas if you can set aside extra time every week to perform health checks on your chickens.

    Am I committed to the extra care Brahmas need?

    Brahmas don’t need intensive care or grooming, but they will require regular health checks due to their foot feathering.

    Because their foot feathering is so dense it can accumulate mud, dirt and debris and therefore should be checked regularly for signs of caking or infection.

    The quill feathers on their feet are also very hard and can get caught in things, which can result in the bird bleeding from the foot. If this happens, you will need to take action to stop the bleeding, isolate the bird and allow it time to heal before re-introducing it to the flock. Antibiotics might also be necessary to avoid secondary infections.

    As the Brahma chicken’s feathering is so dense, they are also more susceptible to mites and lice and this can be difficult to see at a distance because they are fully covered in feathers from tip to toe. You should regularly inspect your Brahma’s feathers for signs of mites and lice to catch infestations early. Providing your chickens with a dust bath filled with Diatomaceous Earth is a good way of naturally eradicating external parasites.

    Do I have small children or family who are scared of birds?

    Brahmas are calm and friendly and can be trained to love people. However, they are very large and because of this can be intimidating especially to small children or people that are scared of birds. You should consider your other family members if opting for Brahmas, and if they are intimidated by the chicken’s size, allow them the necessary time to get to know these gentle giants of the poultry world. Don’t force it as this can be stressful to both parties.

    Do I own any other pets? Which species and how old are they?

    Brahmas are calm and quiet and will do well with most other pets. If you are getting chicks, make sure to introduce them to any other animals you may have on the yard at a very early age. Brahmas aren’t aggressive or domineering and won’t fight back if attacked.

    Perform introductions between your new Brahmas and your existing pets as soon as possible, preferably when the Brahmas are still chicks. It is best if pets grow up together. If you have aggressive or dominant pets, it might be better to opt for a hen-only flock of Brahmas as there have been records of more aggressive Brahma cockerels. However, the hens are always docile and will get on well with any other pets you may have.

    What is my reason for wanting to keep chickens?

    The most important question to ask yourself when getting chickens, is why do you want to keep chickens? You should be clear and honest with yourself regarding the reason for wanting a backyard flock. Do you want to keep chickens for eggs and how many eggs do you want from your flock? Do you want to keep chickens as table fare? Or do you want to show with your chickens?

    If you want a very large chicken that is friendly and likes a cuddle and will still produce a fair amount of eggs for you – the Brahma is the right choice.

    There are other chickens out there that are more prolific layers or better suited to table fare. However, the Brahma is a family-friendly favorite and they produce approximately 150 eggs per year. Therefore, if you simply want a gentle giant that will make a good addition to your family or backyard flock – the Brahma is for you.

    If you have answered all of the above questions and still think the Brahma is the right breed for you – then congratulations! That is fantastic news!

    So, without further ado, let’s have a look at how you can be sure to pick the best Brahma in the bunch to join your little feathered family.

    How to choose a healthy Brahma chicken

    Whether you are getting day-old chicks, pullets or POL hens from a breeder or hatchery – it is important to know how to select the healthiest Brahmas in the bunch.

    A good breeder will most likely specialize in only one or two breeds and should be able to show you the parent stock of the birds you’ll be buying. Have a good look at the chickens you’re buying and make sure to check for the following signs to ensure that you’re getting good quality, healthy fowl to take home. 

     

    8 key things to look for when getting your Brahmas

    Active: Your prospective chicken should be moving about, curious and inquisitive, scratching around and on the move. Avoid chickens that are hunched or spend too much time sitting in one spot.

    Bright Eyes: Hold up your bird and check their eyes, they should be clear and bright without malformations, cloudiness or tears.

    Healthy and Strong Legs: Your prospective chicken should be walking around easily without limping about or kicking their legs. They should also have straight legs with even coloring and no extra (or missing!) toes. Make sure that their foot feathering is healthy and clean as well.

    Clean Bum: A chicken’s vent area should be clean and dry. If it is clogged or messy, keep away.

    Shiny and Full Feathered: If your chicken already has their feathers, check that they are all present and shiny. Ruffled feathers could mean disease and if there are feathers missing that might be an indication of an external parasite or stress. If they preen themselves, that’s a bonus! Only healthy birds will preen their feathers.

    Scratching: It is one of the chicken’s most natural behaviors to scratch. If the chicken you’re interested in is not scratching or pecking around at the ground, that could be an indication of illness in the bird.

    Bright Red Comb: If your chicken is old enough to have their comb, check for a bright and even red. Combs that are blue, purple, tinted or pale are an indication of severe illness.

    Vaccinations: If you are buying from a breeder, ask them if they have a record of the chick’s vaccinations and ask to see a certificate. There are some chicken diseases and illnesses that have no cure and can mean the loss of your entire bird stock if they get it. However, these are easily prevented with proper vaccinations. The most important vaccinations any chicken should get are Marek’s Disease, Newcastle Disease, Fowl Pox, Infectious Bursal Disease, Avian Encephalomyelitis (AE), Laryngotracheitis and Avian Rhinotracheitis.

    Coccidiosis is a big killer of baby birds and chicks can be vaccinated for it. If they haven’t, they might be on medicated starter feed, which is fine. However, if a chick has been vaccinated for Coccidiosis, it is important to make sure that their feed is not medicated since medicated feed along with the vaccination cancels out the effects.

    The Brahma is indeed a fun and fascinating breed and a firm favorite with many chicken keepers – myself included. But just who do we have to thank for bringing this giant ball of love into our lives? The Brahma has one of the most controversial histories of all the chicken breeds and it is also one of the oldest breeds still available today.

    Let’s take a look at where the Brahma started its journey and just how it came to be such a big family favorite.

    Origin, Background and History of the Brahma Chicken

    The Brahma is chicken renowned for its gigantic size. According to Christie Aschwanden in her book Beautiful Chickens the Brahma is often hailed as the King of Poultry and single-handedly responsible for what they deemed the “hen fever” that struck the UK and US in the 18th century. This “hen fever” was a previously unseen obsession with poultry as backyard ornaments.

    Despite its considerable proportions, the Brahma chicken is docile, calm and friendly – a true gentle giant.

    According to the University of Illinois, this larger than life bird is an old breed and its roots can be traced as far back as China in the mid eighteenth century. However, the Chinese version of the breed was first called a Shanghai due to the fact that they were brought to the US and UK by sailors who had visited the city of Shanghai. These birds were also most likely a cross between a Malay and Cochin.

    The Shanghai was then crossed with the Grey Chittagong, a breed native to India but specifically an area near the Brahmaputra River in what is the currently Bangladesh.

    Although these names all sound foreign, it is noted that the Shanghai and the Grey Chittagong was crossed in the US and the development of the Brahma breed subsequently occurred primarily in America from these imported birds.

    The Brahma chicken was refined over 50 years in the US and bred to the standard we know and recognize today.

    Today there are many Brahma varieties around, and it is interesting that although the Light Brahmas were the first cultivated in the US, the Dark Brahma was developed in the UK from Light Brahmas that they imported from America.

    Up until the 1930s these giant chickens were used for table fare due to their size, but they were quickly replaced with new broiler type birds once it was discovered that they couldn’t put on size and weight as quickly as regular-sized chickens. Nowadays Brahmas are kept as pets and egg layers in backyard flocks – although there are still those that use them for table fare.

    But if you’re interested in birds that are large and in charge, the Brahma is but one of many giant chicken breeds. If you would like to read about the Top 10 Giant Chicken Breeds that exist, we have put together a fantastic article that compares the biggest of the bunch. The article goes into detail on each and every one of the gigantic chicken breeds that exist and provides a wonderful comparative guide so that you can decide which ones interest you the most, which are the most impressive or simply, which ones you’d like to make a part of your happy backyard flock. Click here to read it now.

    So, there you have it. That’s everything I know about this giant chicken breed. And by now you are probably wondering why you should take my advice instead of any other? Well, why don’t I tell you exactly why I am such a trusted expert in the chicken community.

    A bit about me

    As a long-time chicken keeper, my experience has led me to be able to help thousands of people all over the world on their chicken-keeping journeys. 

    So, do you agree with our findings, experience and reports? Do you have any other questions about this stunning gentle giant? Or perhaps you have your own Brahma story you’d like to share?

    Please leave us a comment below, ask any question you may have in your heart, or share your own Brahma stories and reviews.

    We love reading your input and feeding back our expertise to make every chicken keeper’s journey a happy one.