Brahma Chicken: Are They Great Egg-Layers?

Brahma chickens are really big but super friendly. They are one of the largest types of chickens but they are very calm and easy to handle.

These chickens were first bred in the United States around the mid-1800s and they originally came from Asia. They were mainly raised for their meat because of their large size.

Brahmas are also decent at laying eggs, and even though they are big, their eggs are of average size. Despite looking tough, they are actually very gentle.

Brahma Chicken Are They Great Egg-Layers
OriginUnited States, with ancestral roots from Asia
Average Lifespan5-8 years
Average WeightRoosters: 10 lbs, Hens: 8 lbs
Egg ProductionGood; 3-4 medium to large eggs weekly
Egg ColorLight brown
TemperamentFriendly, calm, and gentle
HardinessVery good in cold, struggles in heat and wet conditions
BroodinessModerate; more likely in warm months
Meat QualityFlavorful and tender, popular historically as a meat bird
Recognized VarietiesLight, Dark, Buff, (additional colors in Australia)
Start Laying AgeAround 6-7 months
AppearanceLarge with a broad body, feathered legs, small pea comb

History And Breed

Brahma chickens have a complicated history with unclear origins. They used to have many different names like Gray Shanghai and Chittagong. The person who first bred Brahmas wanted to make foreign chickens seem more exciting to sell them for more money.

Brahmas as we know them today started in the US and came from chickens brought over from Shanghai, probably Cochins. There are also claims that Chittagong chickens from Bangladesh and chickens from China were mixed to create Brahmas. Malay chickens might have been part of their ancestry too. 

After they arrived in the US, they were quickly recognized as a standard breed. In Boston, a group of poultry judges named them “Brahmaputra,” supposedly after a river in Bangladesh where they might have come from. A writer named B. Miner shortened the name to “Brahma” to save space, and the name stuck.

The first type of Brahma was the Light Brahma, which became an official breed in the US in 1874. After George Burnham sent some to Queen Victoria in England, British breeders developed the Dark Brahma, which she really liked. This boosted Brahma chickens’ popularity in England. The US soon accepted Dark Brahmas as a breed too, in 1874.

Originally, Light Brahmas were heavier and bred mainly for meat, while Dark Brahmas were bred more for their looks, especially their attractive silver patterns. Both types were officially recognized in 1874, and a third type, the Buff Brahma, was recognized in 1924. 

Despite being very popular in the past, Brahmas became less common as new chicken breeds emerged. However, they are now coming back as a heritage breed and are gaining popularity again. 

Today, the American Poultry Association recognizes three types of Brahmas: Light, Dark, and Buff, and they come in various other colors too.

Egg Production And Color

Brahmas were originally raised for meat, but nowadays, they’re known for laying eggs, especially in winter. A Brahma hen lays approximately three to four medium to large eggs weekly.

Brahmas start laying eggs a bit later than other breeds, around 6-7 months old, because they weren’t specifically bred just for laying eggs.

While they don’t lay as many eggs as breeds that are all about egg production, Brahmas still lay a good number of eggs for their size and background. They lay most of their eggs during the cooler months, from October to May, but this can vary from one chicken to another. 

If you need a hen that keeps laying eggs even when it gets cold and darker, a Brahma might be a good choice. Their eggs are similar to those of Sapphire gems chickens, light or creamy brown, and are smaller than you might expect for such big chickens.


Brahmas are known as the “King of Chicken Breeds” and are the second largest type of chicken, only smaller than the Jersey Giant. The American Poultry Association states that a male Brahma should weigh about 10 lbs and a female about 8 lbs. 

They could grow up to around 30 inches tall. They have small, neat pea combs and deep reddish-brown eyes. Brahmas have wide heads and a bit of a brow that sticks out over their eyes, giving them a serious look. Their beaks are short.

Brahmas have a big, broad body and chest, with a body shape that slopes gently and looks somewhat egg-shaped. They are strong-looking birds with a serious presence. They have feathers all over, even on their legs and feet.

Brahmas are found in three main colors that the American Poultry Association recognizes: Light, Dark, and Buff.

Light Brahma Chicken

A Light Brahma rooster is mainly white with a gray base, but his neck feathers, tail, and lower back are striped with black. This makes for a striking black-and-white pattern. The hens are colored similarly.

Dark Brahma Chicken

A Dark Brahma rooster has a silver neck, shoulders, front of the wings, and lower back, with black stripes in those areas. The hens have a black necks with gray patterns and white edges, and their back, chest, and sides are gray with black patterns.

Buff Brahma Chicken

A Buff Brahma looks a lot like a Light Brahma but has orange-brown feathers instead of white.

While these are the three colors recognized in the US, in Australia, there are also Brahmas in other colors like partridge, blue, black, creole, and barred.


Like other chickens such as Speckled Sussex, Brahmas usually live between 5 to 8 years, but this can vary based on how well they’re taken care of.


Brahmas look impressive but are incredibly gentle. Their size makes them calm and not easily scared. They are calm and sure of themselves, and their friendly personality makes them ideal for families.

Brahmas aren’t the type to run around wildly. They actually have a hard time flying and won’t usually jump over fences, so they handle being in smaller spaces pretty well (though it’s always good to give them plenty of room, especially since they’re so big).

Brahmas aren’t very noisy, although the males will still crow like any rooster. They are very affectionate towards their owners—if you have Brahmas, expect them to come up to you, especially if you bring treats! They’re known as gentle giants and are usually peaceful with other chickens. They don’t get bullied because of their size, but they also don’t start trouble.

Can Chicken Eat Grapes


You can eat Brahma chickens. They are big and have a lot of meat on them. From the 1850s to the 1930s, they were the most popular type of chicken to eat.

Brahmas are good for meat, but they grow slowly. They grow fully in about a year. These days, most Brahmas are butchered when they’re about 8-10 weeks old, which is before they’re fully grown. Their meat is tender and tasty.


Brahmas can get broody and like to sit on their eggs. They have a moderate interest in hatching eggs. They tend to get more broody in warmer months.

If you want a Brahma hen to hatch eggs or look after chicks, just remember they are big. Sometimes they might accidentally hurt a chick or crack an egg because of their size.


Brahma chickens are strong and can handle cold weather well. Their small comb helps prevent frostbite, and their large size and thick feathers keep them warm. Brahmas lay eggs even in the winter when other chickens might stop, making them good for year-round egg production. However, like all chickens, they need a dry, warm place with good insulation during cold months. They don’t do well in wet conditions.

Brahmas handle cold better than heat. In hot and humid weather, ensure they have plenty of shade and water.

Moreover, they are big, so they’re not usually targeted by flying predators like hawks. However, they are slow and can’t fly well, making them easy targets for predators on the ground.

Health Concerns

Common health issues for Brahmas include parasites and bumblefoot, but they’re generally a healthy breed.

Brahma chickens have lots of feathers on their legs, which can attract mites, lice, and ticks. It’s hard to spot these pests because of the dense feathers, so you should check their legs often. Depending on the type of mite, you might need special treatments or medicines to get rid of them and to heal any wounds caused by the parasites.

Feathered legs mean that wet conditions can lead to frostbite on their feet in the winter. Make sure their living space is dry and dry their feet if they get wet.

Brahmas are prone to bumblefoot, an infection in the foot pad caused by bacteria. This can happen if they step on something sharp like a splinter, rock, or wire, which cuts their skin. A hard lump can form on the foot pad. 

If not treated, bumblefoot can become very serious. Brahmas are especially at risk because their heavyweight puts more pressure on their feet, making injuries more likely.

  • Brahmas are one of the largest chicken breeds.
  • They lay light brown eggs, about three to four per week.
  • Brahmas are known for being friendly and calm.
  • They can survive more in cold than heat.
  • Brahmas were once the most popular meat chicken from the 1850s to the 1930s.

Black Copper Marans lay dark chocolate-colored eggs.

The temperament of a Cuckoo Maran rooster is generally calm and docile.

No, they don’t really get broody and aren’t great moms, often ignoring their chicks. If you want to raise baby chickens, you’ll likely need to use an incubator. After the chicks hatch, you’ll have to take care of them yourself or find another breed’s hen to adopt them.

The Buff Orpington is widely regarded as one of the calmest chicken breeds due to its gentle demeanor and friendly disposition. With their docile nature, Buff Orpingtons make excellent additions to backyard flocks, as they are known to be tolerant of handling and interaction with humans. Their peaceful temperament makes them ideal for families and beginner poultry keepers alike.

The Cornish Cross is renowned as the fastest-growing chicken breed, prized for its rapid development and efficient meat production. With their impressive growth rate, they are favored by commercial poultry producers for their ability to reach market weight in a relatively short time

Male chickens grow faster and are more efficient in their feed conversion than females. Due to their faster growth, the male birds reach broiler weights about 7 to 10 days sooner than the females. 

In my backyard, Brahma chickens have been a joy to raise. They’re friendly, low-maintenance, and great with kids, making them a favorite for any family. 

Their ability to lay eggs through winter is a big plus. Despite their size, they’re gentle and manage well in different weather, though keeping them dry and cool in the heat is essential. Overall, Brahmas are a reliable and enjoyable breed to have around.

Similar Posts