Spotlight Breed Of The Week Light Brahmas
There has been considerable controversy over the origin of the Brahma Breed. It is believed that the Brahma Breed was developed around 1840 in the United States from large birds imported from the Chinese port of Shanghai and were known as the "Shanghai" birds. It also seems clear that Chittagong fowls were used to a very small degree which stamped head and comb characteristics onto this breed differentiating it from the Shanghai breed (now known as the Cochin). Back in those days, there were no written standards, no poultry associations, and no registries. Since what became known as the Brahma chicken was being presented under at least twelve names, there was much confusion. In 1852 a group of poultry fanciers met in Boston to declare the official name to be Brahmapootras after a river in India, which was later shorted to Brahmas. The credit for shortening the name to Brahmas goes to the publisher of The Northern Farmer, who in 1853 did so for very practical reasons, simply he needed to save space on the printing page! This unique breed, together with the Cochin, fueled what became known as “Hen Fever” – a national obsession for poultry that hit both America and England around 1850. For the following 80 years, the Brahma breed became the main source of chicken meat in this country. After 1930, other breeds were deemed more economical for massive meat production farms, and the Brahma breed declined. Now the Brahma breed is considered rare and often referred to as the “King of All Poultry”. The Light Brahma chicken is appreciated for its size, strength, and vigor. They are attractive birds with their smooth fitting full plumage, stately massive bodies and heavily fully feathered shanks and outer toes. The Brahma is an ideal bird for colder climates and is considered a superior winter-layer for their size. Brahmas make excellent mothers, are very calm, docile and are a good dual-purpose bird. The roosters can weigh up to 12 pounds and the hens close to 10. They adapt well to confinement or free range. The Light Brahma breed is truly a unique and interesting bird that will produce lots of large brown eggs and would be a great addition to any flock.
Adult Description: Light Brahmas are mainly white in color with, black-edged feathers in the neck, wings, and tail. They have heavily feathered shanks and outer toes, a pea comb and a ‘beetle brow’ where the forehead slightly overhangs the eyes.
Baby Chick description: Creamy white color with feathers on legs and toes. They have pea combs and legs and toes are yellow.
Classification Type: Asiatic Class
Temperament: Friendly, pet-like demeanor adaptable to confinement or free range
Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
Broodiness: Exceptionally make good mothers
Hardiness: Cold hardy
Maturing: 20-22 weeks Mating ratio: 8 females to 1 male
Egg color: Brown Egg size: Large
Rate Of Lay: good Eggs per year: 250-275
Weight: Hen 9.5 lbs Rooster: 12+ lbs
Pullet 8 lbs Cockerel 10 lbs
Spacing: Confined at all times at least 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird.
Roost height: 2Ft -4FT
Life Span: Of the Light Brahmas, depends on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard Light Brahma will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease every year.
Varieties: Black, Buff, Dark, and White. More often the white variety is referred to as a Light Brahma chicken.
Other facts: Brahmas were first exported from the US to England in December 1852, when George Burnham sent nine "Gray Shanghaes" now known as Light Brahmas to Queen Victoria of England – making sure the gift was much publicized. Prices jumped from $12-15 per pair to $100-150. Burnham’s stock proved of quality and formed the basis for the Dark Brahma variety – which was developed in England and later shipped back to America.
We hatch Light Brahmas February thru May.