One of the best chicken breeds is the Brahma. You will love their silly looks, docile temperaments, not to mention the eggs. But before you take our word for it, you should know more. Let’s look at the Brahma chicken: read this before buying.
What Is A Brahma Chicken?
The Brahma chicken is an American product using imported birds from various Asian countries. These large birds have feathers on their feet and small heads relative to their size. They originally served as meat production chickens, but over time people started to realize their potential. In more recent years, the American backyard chicken owner prefers the Brahma for their companionship.
Are Brahma chickens aggressive? Brahma chickens might be large, but they are some of the gentlest creatures on earth. Even roosters are sweet, gentle creatures. These gentle giants are friendly and docile to people and animals alike.
If your flock is all docile, the Brahma will fit in seamlessly. They don’t like to fight in the flock, and it’s not uncommon for smaller hens to pick on Brahmas. So if you have a bossy pecking order, you might want to pass on these chickens.
Are Brahma chickens noisy? The icing on the cake is that these chickens are a quiet breed, making them perfect for the backyard flock. So when looking at the pros and cons, the fantastic temperament goes right at the top of the pros list.
Let’s Talk About Eggs
Most of you keep chickens for the prospect of eggs. Are Brahma chickens good layers? Your Brahma hen will lay about 3-4 medium to large brown eggs a week. They lay the most prolifically from October to March, so they lay no more than 150 eggs per year. But you won’t mind this much considering it’s the off-season for most other breeds. With a few Brahmas to lay during winter, you could have eggs all year round.
How many years do Brahma chickens lay eggs? These hens are a little slow to mature, so they don’t start laying until they are 6-7 months old. But there is good news to this slow maturity. Your Brahma chickens will lay eggs longer than most other breeds. Most of these hens lay strong for five years before eggs become a rarity.
The Brahma chicken is the second-largest chicken in the world. And just how big is a Brahma chicken? At a whopping 10-12 pounds, these birds are perfect for roasting. But you can’t butcher them as early as other chicken breeds. Remember that these birds are slow to mature and grow. So they won’t be ready until ten months old. You won’t be sorry for the wait, though! Many breeders prefer to use capon for meat to get the juiciest tenderest dinners.
Broody hens can be a curse or a blessing depending on what you raise hens for. Brahmas start to go broody in early summer, and if allowed, they sit on their nests well. And while they mean well, they don’t always make the best mothers.
Due to the sheer bulk of these hens, they often trample their eggs and young. But it’s not out of spite. These big girls just don’t know how large they are, and accidents happen. So if you want to breed your Brahmas, it might be best to use an incubator and brooder.
But the Brahma broodiness can be negative to new owners. Broody hens that don’t have a clutch to sit on tend to have reduced egg production. Some broody hens will stop eating, lose weight, and become susceptible to disease. And breaking a broody hen is not always an easy task.
The Brahma chicken: read this before buying wouldn’t be complete until we talk about fridged winters. We already mentioned that Brahma chickens lay the most eggs in the fall and winter months. But does that mean that they are a cold-hardy bird? Brahmas do well as long as you take a few extra precautions in the winter. You have to especially be careful of their feathered feet.
The delicate feathers on the Brahma’s feet tend to hold mud, water, and ice clumps. So you will need to keep the feet clean and free of moisture to prevent frostbite. You might even find it necessary to keep them closed up when the grounds are too wet and muddy. And it’s also a good idea to check their feet daily to clear any debris.
How Long Does A Brahma Chicken Live for?
Being a giant breed, Brahma chicken looks strong and indestructible. But the Brahma can get sick with anything that standard chickens can. Without the proper care and vaccinations, your Brahmas will get sick like any other hen. But they aren’t prone to genetic defects. And that’s probably why they live 5-8 years.
All you have to do is make daily health checks, keep the coop clean, and feed them a healthy diet. And you won’t have any problems when raising Brahma chickens. You might even find that they are some of the most robust chickens you’ve ever raised.
Colors And Sizes
Everyone loves the beautiful colors that the Brahma chicken comes in. There are three recognized colors, light, buff, and dark, in America, but it’s possible to find as many as six different colors. So you could have a rainbow of Brahmas. And to make it all better, there are also bantam Brahmas. So you can have a feather-footed pint-sized chicken.
Brahma chicken: read this before buying should include all of the special care needed. And as you can imagine, a bird this big will need some notable adjustments.
You only need 2-3 square feet of space in your coop per bird for the average chicken. But Brahma chickens are monstrous compared to standard chickens. You need to have at least 4 square feet per Brahma available to accommodate their larger mass.
You should also consider getting a larger door for your coop. The standard coop door is only 10×12 inches, but your Brahmas might have a hard time squeezing through there. You might find that a door that is 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide fits them best.
Larger nesting boxes are also a thing to consider. For a laying hen, you will want a 14×14 inch opening and 20 inches deep. A roomy nesting box will reduce the risk of pushing out eggs and accidental trampling.
And finally, you will need to adjust the roosts. Brahmas have a hard time roosting too high, so a lower roost is a must. Their large feet also need a broader perch to support their weight evenly. 2x4s are a perfect solution to this problem. Just don’t forget to put the roost away from the other hens; otherwise, they will get pooped on at night.
The last thing to consider with the Brahma special care is how much they eat. Due to their size, the Brahma consumes more than smaller chickens. And they need at least 16% protein in their daily diets. In the spring and summer, your chickens will find most of their food by foraging and free-ranging.
But the summer months can be harsh, especially when they are laying more eggs then. So you will have to provide them with plenty of layer feed and high protein treats. Many owners find that this larger feeding bill doesn’t make them good meat options. But they are still beautiful pets that you won’t regret.
Pros And Cons Overview
Now that you know everything there is to know about the Brahma chickens let’s look at a few pros and cons. This quick overview is just what you need to decide if the Brahma fits well into your flock.
- Sweetest chickens you’ll ever have
- Quiet enough for urban areas
- 150 eggs a year
- Best laying times in winter
- Beautiful color possibilities
- Bantam sizes also available
- And they are healthy, resilient chickens
- They don’t lay a lot of eggs
- Small eggs compared to size
- Need attention to their feet almost daily
- Brahmas need special coop sizes and more room
- And they eat more than most chicken breeds
How Much Does A Brahma Chicken Cost?
So you want to get a few Brahmas now? Brahma chickens have become rare in the USA. It can be hard to get your hands on a good breeder, and most resort to ordering from hatcheries. When ordering online, the more you order, the more you save. And different colors will vary in cost accordingly.
You might be able to order a Brahma chick for as low as $2.50 apiece. But they can cost as much as $4.50 for a chick. Started pullets start at just $30, and the price goes up from there. And these prices don’t usually include shipping costs. But we think these chickens are worth the price.
What Do You Think?
This article _Brahma Chicken: Read This Before Buying, _is chock-full of information. You might have decided that this chicken is your ideal bird. And now that you know everything there is to know about them, nothing can hold you back.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!