THE BRAHMA

Your Chickens - - Feature | Breeds -

The Brahma is a very old breed sup­pos­edly from In­dia and early pic­tures show that it was very sim­i­lar to the Cochin from China. The name Brahma is taken from the River Brahma­pu­tra in In­dia. How­ever, it is now gen­er­ally agreed that the Brahma was cre­ated in Amer­ica from Shang­hais or Cochins im­ported from China in the 1800s and crossed with Grey Chit­tagongs (Malay type birds from In­dia). The breed was in­tro­duced to Bri­tain when a crate of nine Brah­mas was sent to Queen Vic­to­ria in 1852 from the Amer­i­can breeder Ge­orge Burn­ham.

Brah­mas have dis­tinc­tive feath­ered legs and feet and pea combs. They come in a va­ri­ety of types and colours in­clud­ing dark, buff, light, birchen and buff Columbian. They are a heavy, soft-feath­ered breed and lay tinted eggs. Brah­mas are very large they can weigh be­tween 5kg and 6kg. They have a sort of ma­jes­tic mas­sive­ness and have been var­i­ously de­scribed as ‘no­ble and com­mand­ing’, ‘in­tel­li­gent look­ing’, ‘with a neck well pro­por­tioned and finely curved as in a spir­ited horse’.

Buff Columbian Brah­mas are now one of the more pop­u­lar colours. There are new colours, which are not stan­dard­ised, such as Lemon Pyle and the Is­abella Brah­mas which are a com­bi­na­tion of light shades of grey. Large Brah­mas do need space but, be­cause they don’t fly, are easy to keep in a run. Brahma ban­tams are also avail­able and are tame and friendly. Brah­mas have been used in the cre­ation of many new breeds and in de­vel­op­ing new colours in ex­ist­ing ones.

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