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Everything You Need to Know About the Brahma Chicken

Posted by Angela Kratzert on

Important Facts About Raising Brahma Chickens

The Brahma Chicken is a majestic creature. Boasting a primarily white and black palette that’s glamorous to the naked eye, this is a popular farm chicken across the West.

It’s touted as the “king of the chickens” for its beguiling exterior, with its puffy feathers often extending to its feet. Something like the peacock of chickens, its imposing height averages 2.5 feet. The Brahma Chicken traces its origin to the United States and to an assortment of birds imported from China.

It was the principal meat breed across the nation in the past century, but it has since fallen out of favor. Today, many keep this chicken as a pet, and only eat the eggs.

Nonetheless, it is still a highly-sought-after meat breed today.

That said, here’s a closer look at a bird that rightly sits on the throne of the chicken hierarchy:

Expected Lifespan

Eight years is the typical life expectancy of the Brahma chicken. However, with care and patience, they can live a couple of years longer without high medical bills. Our large dogs struggle to live as long, even with medications and regular vet visits, because they aren't self-sufficient like this breed of chicken.

Keeping your Brahma Chicken healthy should entail some degree of veterinary attention, a warm home, clean supply of water, and a well-balanced diet.

Keep them from injuring themselves by providing a nice chicken coop that keeps them safe from harsh weather and predators.

These chickens don’t get sick easily as they have a commendable immune system. As a result, they can sometimes exceed a 12-year lifespan in complete health.

They require lots of shade and water during the summer, as the excess weight on these chickens can cause them to heat up faster than other breeds. Also, you need to clean and dry their feet during winter as these can get cold and muddy. Wet feet can lead to chicken colds, and other illnesses that spread to other chickens kept in the same area. Also, keeping dirty chickens amongst the Brahma Chicken can invite disease or frostbite. 

Ideal Environment and Climate

Their robust legs see to it that they love to forage and free-range. However, the Brahma Chicken can cope just as well in small gardens or in confinement. Just make sure you let them have free roam from time to time, as most living beings need exercise to maintain stamina. Consequently, their generous size makes it more comfortable as a free-range breed. In terms of the ideal climate, this breed can manage in virtually any climate as long as it gets ample hydration during the hot season. 

Broodiness and Egg Laying

Brahmas are rarely broody; however, they are exceptions from one hen to another.

Broodiness is defined as the action or behavioral tendency to sit on a clutch of eggs to incubate them. This makes chickens difficult to clean, feed, and maintain goo social chemistry amongst your flock. Broody chicken often come with the non-expression of other important behaviors like feeding and drinking. Thus, farmers and chicken owners really don't want to deal with breeds prone to this.

Similar to moodiness in children, this is not a desirable trait. Moody children are far more difficult to raise, socialize, and negotiate with.

It’s almost always the case though that Brahma Chicken aren’t broody birds.

With an egg production that hits annual figures of 300, Brahma chickens were made for the job. You can easily exceed 1,000 eggs annually with 3-4 Brahmas.

The egg sizes usually range between medium and large, while the yolk is big and tasty.

Egg color, on the other hand, is usually brown but could be lighter depending on the climate, the health of your birds, and environmental stress level. 

Temperament

These gentle giants rarely have a problem with other birds.

However, they'll stand up for themselves when needed. These birds get along well with others who aren’t too keen to start trouble. Most other breeds avoid drama with the Brahmas because of the size difference alone. They are quite friendly to humans and other animals as well despite their stature.

Further, Brahmas are generally calm and slow to anger. They rarely say no to cuddles or to taking treats from your palms, so they make for lovely pets. The Brahma rooster is also characteristically subtle too.

Known Predators

Most domestic animals have no qualms with Brahmas, but cats and dogs tend to get overly playful with them.

Try to keep an eye on your four-legged friends when other animals are about. make sure they are in a locked coop or cage at night, as coyotes can also be a pest when it comes to raising Brahmas.

You might also need to worry about foxes and hawks, depending on the region in which you live. If you're in Florida, beware of iguanas and opossums.

It's best to do your research before you get a Brahma because early trauma can affect their lifespan to a great degree.  You can get more insight into other threats, and communicable diseases from the local shelter or animal control. 

Do you need an exclusive license to keep the bird?

Although the chicken is considered a recovering species or one that’s under watch, you don’t need a license to keep a Brahma.

However, you can confirm if that is the case with local agricultural authorities. 

Cost of Brahma

You're in luck when it comes to the cost-effectiveness of raising Brahma Chickens. Light Brahmas tend to be more readily available and popular option.

Further, if you get them from a hatchery, it'll cost around $3 for a chick and $3-5 for a full-grown breeder.

The Brahma Rooster

A full-grown chicken can cost anywhere from $1 to $5,000 depending on the breed and sex. Chickens of unknown lineage can cost as little as $1 , even if they come from the egg-laying industry and are 12 months old.

While prized breeds like the Ayam Cemani can cost $5,000 a pop.

Dianna Mejstrik, district director of American Brahma Club, said that she estimates Brahma chickens to reach around 3 feet in height and about 10 pounds in weight.

These guys are absolutely huge! It turns out they can be very intimidating to children at first, but the Brahma is a gentle breed. They're usually friendly, and docile making them very easy to raise. 

Male Brahmas run for about the same as the chicks, and a little cheaper than the breeder chickens.

Vaccinations

Often vaccinations are very cheap. A Hatchery may charge something like a flat rate of $10.00 for a Marek’s vaccination of 1-70 chicks.

Anything over that amount may be charged at 15-20 cents per chick. This means that you could have 100 chicks and pay around $15 total for their vaccinations. Initial vaccinations must be given when chicks hatch.

However, there are many diseases and vaccinations for chickens, but a Hatchery may only offer the initial one at such low cost. 

Feeding

Typically, an adult chicken might eat 1/4 pound of feed per day. Thus, a 50-pound bag of feed that costs $35 will last for 200 days (200 servings). If you have 5 chickens, that'll last you about 40 days. So keeping chickens can cost less than $100 per month, even if you provide them with a lavish lifestyle. Here's the best chicken coop for Brahmas that are happy, and healthy. 

 


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