The Brahma Chicken For Homesteaders
Origination Of The Brahma Chicken
The Brahma originated from India, and was first introduced to the United States in 1846 from China, who were farming these chickens widely at this time as laying and table birds. Brahma's have a surprisingly good temperament: the cockerels are generally calm and will not attack humans or behave in an aggressive manner to other animals. Brahma's are favoured as starter birds, by those who have not kept chickens before and would like to start doing so, due to their generally placid nature (they are very tolerant of children and will even enjoy being handled if introduced to it from an early age), and their hardiness all year round.
The Brahma chicken is an extremely hardy bird, even during the winter months. This may be due to it's large size, which makes them good table birds, as well as generous egg layers (Brahma's will usually lay around 260 eggs a year, providing they are well fed and content). Brahma Cocks will usually weigh around 12 pounds, cockerels around 10 pounds, hens around 9 pounds and pullets around 8 pounds. Brahma's today are well-known to be one of the favourite breeds in most countries for all the reasons mentioned. They are used as exhibition birds, brooding birds, table birds and egg birds. They are also widely kept as pets for adults and children as they love attention, and love being handled (providing they have been handled from a young age).
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Varieties Of Brahma Chickens
Three varieties of the Brahma are recognised: dark, buff and light. Light Brahma's will usually be white all over with a black tail and a black "ring" around it's neck, Buff Brahma's are generally a brown-cream colour, but other-wise are very similar to the Light variety. Dark Brahma's generally have light coloured heads, and the become a much darker, pencilled colour further down the neck and body. Due to their attractive appearances, Brahma's make great exhibition birds as well as fantastic layers and excellent table birds! Unlike many breeds of chicken Brahma's are not spooked easily and are not jumpy or nervous, like other breeds. They are usually calm, inquisitive and friendly and seem to enjoy human company - they will come and garden with their owners, hoping their owners will over-turn some worms or grubs in the soil.
Brahma's As Mothers
On top of everything else, Brahma's make ideal brooding birds, and are known to be very good mother hens, who can easily keep a clutch of 8 chicks or more alive, well fed and warm. This is partly down to their wonderful temperament, partly down to their size and partly down to their breeding.