Day Old Dark Brahma Baby Chicks
Hatching March to September.
Brahmas are big chickens - one of the biggest. Brahmas are also extremely winter hardy and strong, vigorous fowl. They have ample fluffy feathering with lots of down, displaying how closely related they are to the Cochins. Dark Brahma Chickens are colored in the classic Silver Penciled feather patterning. Male Dark Brahmas have a silvery-white head, neck, breast, and back, while their tail feathers, tail sickles, and covert feathers are black with some white edging. Wings have black penciling. The hens have solid white heads, and penciling begins on the neck and spills over the rest of the body. The penciling coloring is black over a silvery-white. Both sexes have ample down which is dark slate in color.
Brahmas have a large skull that acts as a brow over the eyes; this is called a "beetle brow." It gives these birds a kingly presence; they tend to look quite serious. Comb, face, and wattles are bright red, and beaks and legs are a dusky yellow color. Eyes are reddish bay. Legs are well-feathered and are stout and strong.
Dark Brahmas do very well in winter weather as long as they are not in standing water or high mud, as the feathering on their feet can freeze and cause frostbite. Other than that, their short pea comb, thick feathers, and overall chunky bearing make them very hardy birds. They are not the best choice of breed for very hot areas though.
Production: Brahmas have a long history of use as meat birds, and were considered the leading meat bird from the mid-1800s to about 1930. Their meat was reported to remain quite tender even up to 8 - 12 months of age. Skin color is yellow. Although most Brahma roosters reach 12 or so pounds, in the early 1900s, birds weighing 18.25 pounds were documented. Usually, Dark Brahmas are a bit lighter than the Light and Buff variations.
Currently, Brahmas are mostly being raised as egg layers and for their unusual appearance. Dark Brahma hens can be expected to lay 180-240 brown eggs per year. They are great as winter layers - laying most of their eggs between October and May.
Brahmas are considered great family homestead birds as they are easy to manage and keep, feed the family as a meat bird, and can provide a nice number of eggs as well.
Temperament: Dark Brahmas are calm, friendly, and docile birds, usually not minding being picked up. They make good pet chickens and are easy to handle. They get along with other birds and do fine in confined situations as well as out on forage. Hens can go broody, usually in early summer, and are devoted mothers. Brahmas do not fly and can be easily contained with simple fencing.
History: Brahmas are an ancient breed originating in Asia, most likely India. There is a lot of controversy about the exact origins, much of which is due to the number of different names. The name Brahma was officially finalized in 1853 by the publisher of The Northern Farmer, T.B. Miner, who condensed all the names into simply, Brahma, for the practical reason of saving space on the printed page. Brahmas played a big part in the "Hen Fever" that struck America and Great Britain in the 1850s. Despite the Asian origins, the Brahma breed was developed in America. After Queen Victoria was gifted with nine of the world's finest Brahmas, the cost per pair in 1953 skyrocketed from $100 to $150. Both the Light and the Dark Brahma were accepted to the American Standard of Perfection in its first printing in 1874. Brahmas slowly began to fall out of favor as the fast-growing high production meat breeds became more available. However, Brahmas remain a favorite American heritage and dual-purpose bird today, especially as homesteading becomes more and more popular.
APA Class: Asiatic
Conservation Status: Recovering
Weight: Cockerel 10 lbs, Pullet 8 lbs