Size: Standard and Bantam
Colors: Light, buff, dark Eggs: Brown Temperament: Calm and friendly Brahmas are an asiatic breed of fowls that originated in the Brahmaputra district of India where they were also known as 'Gray Chittagongs'. They are thought to be a cross between the Malay and the Cochin. After they were first imported from Shanghai, China in September 1846 to America, they were commonly known as 'Brahma Pootras'. Later, the name was shortened to just 'Brahma'.
In 1853, they made their way to England where Queen Victoria was presented with a quill pen made from a Brahma feather. This act caused Brahmas to gain much notariety. At that time, Brahmas were known for their excellent laying characteristics, however, subsequent breeding to develop the modern color patterns have diminished its economic qualities.
The Light and Dark Brahmas were first admitted to the standard in 1874. Like the Cochin, which is alledged to be the genetic ancestor of the Brahma, they have feathered feet and a massive appearance - well feathered and well proportioned.
The male and female have noticeably different appearances. The Dark Brahma being more different than the Light Brahma. In the males of both breeds, the saddle feathers are striped with black protruding tail feathers. The females do not have striped saddle feathers. In addition to other differences, the Dark Brahma male has a black breast, whereas the female has a silvery penciled coloration. All Brahmas have a light colored head. In 1924, Buff Brahmas were also admitted to the standard. These are virtually identical to the Light Brahma with the exception of a buff coloration instead of white.
The three varieties of Brahmas vary somewhat in weight and plumage patterns. Brahmas lay brown eggs and are very gentle.
Text by Dennis Hawkins
Illustrations by Diane Jacky
Photo from "Extraordinary Chickens" by Stephen Green-Armytage
Standard and Bantam Light Brahmas