Brahma is a breed of hen native to Asia first exported to the United States in the mid-19th century and then to Western Europe, and more specifically to England and France. Massive, this giant hen is among the biggest in the world, but there is also one dwarf variety. Brahma was once bred for its particularly prized abundant flesh. This giant hen was a delight for foodies since it was cooked during festive meals (Christmas, Thanksgiving). As for his feathers, we filled them with duvets and pillows. Spotlight on this giant gallinaceous animal that has become a pet.
Brahma hen: main characteristics
Fairly borrowed in the way she moves, she adopts a nonchalant approach. As for its physical specificities, they are as follows:
- A voluminous body with a broad chest,
- A rounded head, quite small compared to the body,
- A yellow beak sometimes with a dark end,
- From the feathered paws to the tarsi,
- Yellow tarsi,
- Short wings,
- Red mumps,
- Eyes of a red tending to orange,
- A curly crest,
- A little dewlap on the throat,
- Prominent eyebrows.
The color of his plumage comes in many varieties such as silver or gold mesh partridge, cuckoo, black or blue herminated fawn, black or blue herminated white, blue columbia also called blue tail fawn and many others. All these colors are found in Brahma dwarf hens.
Some of these giant birds do not quite correspond to the standards of the breed, especially when they are equipped with these famous vulture boots, considered a defect for a Brahma hen.
The large-breed Brahma rooster is at least 60cm tall and weighs between 4-5kg, but some specimens can blithely reach 7.5-8kg. The Brahma hen still has a weight of between 3 and 4.5 kg or sometimes even higher. As for the dwarf variety, it weighs no more than 1.2 kg for the male and 1 kg for the female.
Many breeds of French hens have been created from crossbreeding with Brahma.
Brahma hen: a docile and easy to breed gallinaceous
Today, the Brahma hen and rooster are especially sought after for their balanced character and their calm, and are raised as ornamental hens and even like pet. With its large size, it is also one of the largest breeds of chickens in the world, which does not fail to interest breeders. In addition, the beauty of its plumage appeals to young and old.
The Brahma is a peaceful gallinaceous species that does not have a wandering soul like certain breeds of runaway hens. She is easily approached and even hugged. Roosters are generally quiet too. Life in chicken coop is perfect for this type of hen. Plus, she’s not as loud as other breeds. It is therefore a backyard poultry perfect for families with children even if the neighborhood lives in the immediate vicinity.
Contrary to what her large size suggests, the Brahma hen lays small eggs with a maximum weight of 55 g. Outside of the winter season, it is a rather poor layer. On the other hand it is a excellent incubator and she has the reputation of being a good mother. Many duck and turkey breeders have the eggs of these farmyard animals hatched by the Brahma. But it is also used to hatch large turkey eggs and sometimes even those of peacocks.
You can buy a Brahma chicken from breeders, at certain garden centers or during exhibitions. The budget for a rooster or a hen of this giant breed is around thirty euros.
Choosing the right pen for raising Brahma chickens and roosters
Very heavy, the Brahma hen and rooster do not fly. It is therefore not necessary to provide them with an aviary-type enclosure. But if the fence can be low enough, the space to be reserved for them must be large enough since it takes at least 20 M² per large breed Brahma hen, but an area of 40 M² per specimen is preferable. In other words, for four hens and / or Brahma roosters, it is better to provide an enclosure of 160 M².
Generous dimensions allow these birds not to exhaust all of the grass after just a few months. However, it is possible to enlarge the space or quickly create a new well grassed enclosure with a chicken net that you can move around. This accessory is perfect to promote the rotation of the courses which the hens need crucially because they must never run out of grass.