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Brahma Chickens | Your Complete Guide

Brahma chickens are the perfect addition to every backyard chicken keepers coop! Continue reading to learn why I believe they are one of the best backyard chickens!

A Light Brahma hen

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Over the years of raising chickens, there have been some breeds I love and others that I’ll never raise again. However, Brahma chickens are a breed that I’ll continue to keep forever.

The very first time I bought Brahma chicks was because I was searching specifically for “sweet and gentle” breeds. At the time, I had a flock full of “peckers” literally, haha, and so all I wanted was nice breeds going forward.

And these gentle giants have been the perfect addition to my flock!

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Brahma Chicken Characteristics and Facts

If you’re considering getting some Brahma baby chicks I’d say you’re making a great decision. But these chickens may not be for everybody and so below we’ll cover all that you need to know.

Appearance

The Brahma chicken breed is a feather-footed breed with a pea comb and comes in a few different colors.

  • Light Brahma – The Light Brahma chicken is definitely one of my favorites! They have smokey grey, black, and white feathers. They are also one of the first varieties of the breed recognized by the American Standard of Perfection along with the Dark Brahma.
  • Buff Brahma – This type is very rare with beautiful black and buff-colored feathers.
  • Dark Brahma – The roosters have silvery-white and black feathers and the dark Brahma hens have steel grey feathers.

Of all the above types, the Brahma roosters have the most color and beauty but the hens are very pretty too!

A flock of Brahma chickens outside

Size

They are definitely large birds! They are one of the largest chicken breeds along with Cochins, Jersey Giant, Cornish, and Orpingtons.

Temperament

Their temperament is one of my favorite features! They are an extremely gentle and docile breed which makes them the perfect beginner breed or pet chicken for kids.

They are also very quiet which is nice behavior especially if you live in town.

It is likely for the hens to get broody and sit on eggs and so if you’re looking to hatch your own chicks, they make great mothers.

When Do Brahma Chickens Start Laying Eggs?

You can expect them to lay their first egg around 25-28 weeks of age. Because they are such a large breed it takes longer for them to mature, making them one of the latest layers.

For some people, this may be a deal-breaker which is completely understandable.

I love fresh eggs and so I always make sure to get great egg-laying breeds as well, so I am not fully depending on my Brahmas.

However, Brahmas are great layers during the winter months when many other breeds are not.

Egg Size and Color

Once they do start to lay eggs you will get 3-5 large brown eggs a week. They are not the greatest breed for egg production but they are great egg-layers in the winter months when many others are not, so this is a huge plus!

Weather Tolerance

Because of their large bodies, feathered legs, and feathered feet, they are one of the best for tolerating the cold weather.

If you live in the northern climates or have an extremely cold winter season this is a great breed to raise.

But on the other hand, they are not the best breed for extremely hot weather. They are good at tolerating the summer heat because we have hot summers averaging 95-105 degrees F and my Brahmas have done just fine. But I do make sure to help them stay cool!

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Brahma Chicken Care

Just as you would care for any of your chickens, Brahmas need proper feed and clean water. But there are a few things that make them a bit different which I’ll go over below.

Feed

Due to their large size, they require more feed. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because larger-bodied animals obviously need more food, but it is something to consider if you’re trying to raise chickens more affordably.

If you’re looking for an easy keeper breed with the best feed to egg ratio, I recommend the Pearl-White Leghorn. They are awesome layers and do not require as much feed.

I recommend free-feeding Brahmas so that they can eat as much as they need. I have always kept food in a large feeder for my chickens and I’ve never experienced chickens overeating.

In fact, I believe giving them the choice to eat as they need helps to keep them healthier and helps with their behavior.

I’ve heard some say that Brahmas will start picking on other flock members if they get hungry and so keeping food available for them is an easy solution.

Another thing to consider is that this breed is not an ideal breed for 100% free-ranging. You can let them free range while also proving chicken food for them but since they are such large chickens they need additional feed available.

They also can’t fly well to get away from predators.

Space

Brahmas do need a bit more space than other breeds. You should plan on about 5-6 square feet per bird inside of the coop, 10-12 inches of roosting space per bird, and a nesting box with an opening of at least 12×12 inches.

Then be sure to have some sort of roost lower to the ground, about 18 inches or so, that they can use to get into their nesting box and onto the roosts.

They can’t fly well and so if you don’t have something lower for them to more easily get up and down, they’ll likely struggle, or worse, injure themselves trying.

Be sure to also provide them with lots of space outside in the chicken run to roam around or give them the option to free-range.

Pest Checks

As far as mites and lice go, they are not more susceptible than other breeds. Just be sure that you have a dust bath for them to bathe in and then if you do happen to find any mites of pests, treat them with diatomaceous earth.

However, since they have feathered feet they are more prone to scaly let mites. So be sure to watch for that and treat if necessary.

Possible Bathing

Another thing that comes along with their feathered legs and feet is that they attract dirt and mud.

If the run of your coop is grass, sand, or gravel you likely won’t have any problems, but if it gets really muddy you may find sticky clumps of mud drying on their feet and in between their toes.

If this happens just wash it off with warm water. The main concern with the mud is if it ends up freezing on their feet which can cause frostbite.

A Light Brahma hen

Special Charcteristics

Of all their characteristics, I just love how sweet and gentle they are. There has never been a time when I disliked raising chickens except for when I had a flock full of mean ones.

So filling my coop with breeds known for being gentle and docile has been wonderful!

Another unique trait of Brahmas is that they are a dual-purpose breed. Meaning they can be used for egg and meat production. I don’t personally eat our laying hens, I’d rather raise Cornish chickens for better meat.

But it is nice to know that they are suitable for both purposes if desired.

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Summary of Brahma Chickens

  • Brahma chickens are a large feather-footed breed with a pea comb.
  • They are very sweet and docile which makes them the perfect breed for beginners or kids.
  • Brahmas start laying eggs at about 25-28 weeks of age which is longer than most breeds, but once they do they’ll lay large brown eggs.
  • Brahmas also prefer laying in the cooler weather so you’ll continue getting eggs from October to March when many other hens stop.
  • Because of their large bodies, they require a bit more food and space.
  • I’ve had Light Brahmas in my flock for years now and I can honestly say they are one of my favorites! It’s the exact reason why I’ve put them on my list of 5 Best Chicken Breeds for Beginners.

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Brahma chickens roaming around outside

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