The Buff Brahma chicken is a good bird to add in your flock. This huge chicken breed is calm, cool and outgoing. They make good pets and awesome moms to their baby chicks.
These awesome fluffy chickens are good in confinement and also do well when allowed to forage on their own. Brahmas are faithful layers of brown eggs and will offer enough meat for a big family.
In this article, we are going to cover everything you need to know about these giant chickens. This will help you know whether this is the right breed for you or not.
History of the Buff Brahma chicken
Buff brahma chicken is a giant breed that traces its origin from Asia. Some sources say that these cool chickens originated from China while others say they came from India.
In the 1800s, the history of this large chicken breed kicked off. Few sources available from that time say that Chinese merchandise ships brought these chickens with them to the United States.
Buff Brahma chickens were originally known as Shanghai before being changed to Buff Brahma. There are several Brahma chicken color varieties like light, dark and buff.
Brahma buff chickens are gaining popularity and fame in the United States because of their calm nature. These cold tolerant chickens are also easy to raise in the cold North where very few chickens can adapt.
Features of Buff Brahma chicken
Buff Brahma chickens are large bodied birds. Their body size will easily intimidate and scare away young children or those who are afraid of chickens.
Looking at these chickens from the back, they tend to form a V- shape because they are wide from the back and narrow gradually to the front.
Their bodies are deep feathered making their plumage dense and fluffy with feathers growing even on their legs making them admirable to handle. Having well feathered bodies makes them an ideal breed for cold climate areas.
The American Poultry Association recognizes three color varieties of the Buff Brahma breed. These are light, buff and dark varieties.
The dark variety has a visible difference between hens and roosters. Dark Brahma hens have a dark grey with a penciled coloration and a light hackle.
The dark brahma roosters have black and white hackles and saddle with a black base and tail feathers.
For the light Brahmas they are normally white in color with black hackles edged in white and a black tail. Light Brahma cocks have their saddle feathers stripped in black.
These chickens exhibit a rose comb which is red so are the wattles and earlobes. The legs and skin are of a yellow color. Legs and feet are fluffy and fully feathered.
On each leg there are four well spaced toes with short claws. Eye color may vary but it is mostly bay while the beak is dark or of a horn color.
Although these chickens appear intimidating due to their large size, they are docile with a calm temperament and can be very friendly to anyone around them.
The large body size ranks them top in the pecking order as other chickens fear them due to their big bodies. These birds are not bullies and will do well when integrated with other hen breeds.
Egg laying and uses
Female Buff Brahma chickens are good layers of 3 large eggs in a week. These eggs have a rich brown egg shell color almost similar to those of Cuckoo maran chickens. In a year they will lay a clutch of 150-180 eggs.
Buff brahma hens are not overly broody although when they get a chance to sett on the eggs they will hatch well and make good mums.
Their large sized body makes them pretty heavy birds offering much meat. Being able to lay eggs well and produce good quality carcass has made their popularity go high as they are domesticated as dual purpose chickens.
Buff Brahma chicks feather very quickly making brooding an easy task for you as they will take a short time in the chicken brooder.
Chicks and chickens for sale can be bought from reputable chicken hatcheries like McMurray or any tractor supply store near you. These baby brahmas can also be bought from dedicated breeders and poultry enthusiasts who raise these chickens.
Pros of Buff Brahma chicken
Although they do well when raised in confinement, the Buff Brahma chickens are very good at foraging. Letting them out will help them supplement their diet with leafy vegetation, grubs and insects because they are heavy feeders.
Free ranging is a cheap method of raising these birds because it will help bring down the cost of feeding them. Additionally, it will help control insects and slugs that damage food crops and animal fodder.
Buff Brahma chickens are ideal birds for both meat and eggs. Mature roosters will weigh 9lbs while hens weigh 7lbs. With this weight, they are preferred for meat and will offer enough for a big family.
A bunch of three eggs is a good number especially if you have several girls. They will ensure you have enough eggs for breakfast.
They are hardy chickens that have deep fluffy feathers that makes them suitable to cold climate areas. Additionally, these birds continue laying even during winter when other hen breeds have taken a break.
Brahma bantams are docile, calm and are among the friendliest chicken breeds that can be raised as pets. They will allow you to hold them and even sit on your lap.
Cons of Buff Brahma chicken
Buff Brahmas do not tolerate moist, wet and muddy surfaces. They will do well in areas with soils that are well drained because they are susceptible to foot problems and mud balls.
In winter, don’t allow them outside as their feet will get lumps` and suffer from frostbites. When confined, make sure the coop floor has a thick layer of day beddings.
Get rid of any moist litter by replacing it with dry pine shavings or chopped straw. In addition to that, get a chicken coop heater to keep them warm.
When keeping the Buff Brahmas, be sure that they feed a lot and you will have to dig deeper in your pocket to ensure their stomachs are always full.
The dense plumage of these fluffy chickens makes them prone to external parasites like mites and lice that easily hibernate in the birds feathers.
It takes around 7 months for these chickens to reach maturity and lay their first eggs. This demands little patience compared to other industrial breeds of chickens that take about four months to lay.
Hardiness and temperament
Buff brahma chickens are cold hardy and do well in areas that receive long winters just like Orloff chickens. These birds have a dense plumage that is fluffy and thick keeping their bodies warm even when temperatures plummet.
They have huge bodies that are covered in fat which acts as an insulation when the temperatures are extremely low.
These chickens are calm, sweet and docile just like their cousins Serama chickens. They are cuddly and make good pets especially to small children.
When hand raised, they get used to humans and will follow you around offering company as you go on with your daily chores.
Call your brahma chickens for treats like peanuts, popcorn or boiled onions and they will come running to you. Brand them cute chicken names and take them out to swim on a hot summer day and they will bond with you.
Buff brahma chickens have a lifespan of 5 to 8 years. However, this period may lengthen and your chicken may live longer if they get the best care they deserve.
Those raised for meat, may not enjoy life for long because they will be butchered the moment they attain the right market weight.
However, chickens raised as pets may live for more than 10 years because they are not meant for sale or meat but rather for prestige. These birds may eventually succumb to ill health or old age.
Buff brahma bantams raised as pets enjoy good care where they are well taken care of and have chicken diapers put on.
They enjoy the best chicken scratch and have houses with chicken coop heaters to keep them warm during winter. The chicken coop floor has some of the best bedding to make sure they are comfortable at all times.
When it is hot, they are taken to swim with their masters to keep their thick bodies cool. All this is done to lengthen their lifespan by ensuring they get the best comfort and care.
Buff brahmas are robust, healthy and strong chickens. These birds are cold hardy and can do well in areas where temperatures plummet and experience winter.
However, their dense plumage will make them suffer from heat stress especially during hot summer months. At this such season, provide enough shaded areas to shelter against direct sun.
When it is hot, buff brahmas will tend to drink much water to keep their bodies cool. Ensure you provide multiple chicken waterers where they will have access to clean drinking water all through.
Buff brahma chickens are also infested with internal parasites like thread and gape worms. These worms for chickens can be controlled by use of the right chicken wormer as recommended by a qualified bird vet near you.
Between 1850 and 1930, the Buff Brahmas were very popular meat birds in the US. They were bred extensively for over 40 years and ensured that the high demand for white meat was met.
This breed is very common among many for their egg laying and meat production. They are able to offer much meat enough for a big family just like a small turkey would do.
Being hardy makes them easy to raise as they can tolerate adverse cold. They are also able keep the egg supply constant even during winter.
Their ability to forage makes keeping them cheap as you will only supplement them with little feeds. However, watch out for chicken predators because these chickens are not very predators savvy.
Common questions people ask about Buff Brahma chicken
Are Buff Brahmas good layers?
Buff Brahmas are good layers as a bunch of 3 eggs per week is a guarantee. They will continue laying even in winter when other breeds stop laying.
How big do Buff Brahmas chickens get?
Buff Brahma chickens are big birds that are excellent meat producers. Boys can weigh up to 9lbs while girls reach weights of up to 7lb.
These chickens make excellent meat birds because of their size. When butchered, they will offer enough meat for a big family just like a small turkey.
Are Buff Brahmas friendly?
Though they may intimidate those who have a phobia for chickens and kids, Buff Brahmas are docile with a calm temperament and are very friendly.
How long do Buff Brahma chickens live?
When allowed to free range and graze on their own, Buff Brahma chickens can live up to 8 years. Those raised in c0nfinement, can live longer