What is Brahma Chicken



Brahma chickens are one of the most popular and expensive chicken breeds in the Philippines. They are hard to find and cost a lot of money to get one. A day-old chick would cost around P800 to 1200 and breeders cost around P13 a pair. In this article, we are going to discuss why Brahma is such of high value.

History of Brahma Chicken

There has been controversy and confusion over the origin of the Brahma. It appears to have developed in the United States from large birds, with heavily feathered legs, imported in the 1840s from the Chinese port of Shanghai, and thus known as “Shanghai” birds. The distinctive head shape and pea comb of the Brahma probably result from cross-breeding with Grey Chittagong birds of Malay type, imported from Chittagong in eastern Bengal (now Bangladesh); these characteristics distinguish the Brahma from the Cochin, which also derives from “Shanghai” birds.

At first, there were many different strains and at least a dozen different names for the breed. At a meeting of poultry judges in Boston in 1852, an agreement was reached to name it “Brahmapootra”; this later became “Brahma”.

Brahmas were first exported to England in December 1852, when George Burnham sent nine “Gray Shanghaes” to Queen Victoria as a gift. The Dark Brahma variety was developed by English breeders from this stock, and later re-exported to the United States. Both the light and the dark (penciled) Brahma were included in the first British Poultry Standard, published by the original Poultry Club of Great Britain in 1865.

Both the light and the dark were included in the first Standard of Perfection of the American Poultry Association in 1874 the buff variant was added in 1924 or 1929.


The Brahma was the principal meat breed in the US from the 1850s until about 1930. Some birds were very large: weights of about 8 kg (18 lb) for cocks and 6 kg (13 lb) for hens were recorded.

Characteristics of Brahma

Three color varieties are recognized by the American Standard of Perfection: light, dark, and buff. The light Brahma has a base color of white, with black hackles edged in white and a black tail; the saddle-feathers of the cock are striped with black. The dark Brahma has the most notable difference between cock and hen: the hen has a dark gray and black penciled coloration with the same hackle as the light, whereas the cock has black and white hackles and saddle feathers, and a black base and tail; the wings are White-shouldered, and the primary feathers are edged with white. The Buff Brahma has the same pattern of black as the light, but with a golden buff base color instead of white

The Australian Poultry Association has accepted black, blue, partridge, crele, and barred varieties of Brahma in addition to the standard light, dark, and buff.

Weight averages about 5.5 kg (12 lb) for cocks and 4.5 kg (9.9 lb) for hens. Eggs are brown and medium to large in size.

Why Brahma is so expensive here in the Philippines

One of the main reasons why Brahma fetches such massive cost is their massive body and unique looks. The bird is raised as pets and pets value 10 times than livestock intended for slaughter. The Brahma is a massive chicken and is only rivaled by the Jersey Giant. Despite their size and intimidating appearance, they are gentle giants.

The heavily-feathered shanks of Brahma add beauty to its already elegant and massive body. Big chickens are usually expensive like Jersey Giants but Brahma’s uniqueness is on another level.

Where to buy Brahma

There are several people selling Brahma online, especially on Facebook but it will take some time to get one unless you spend a lot of time searching for these people. There is someone with a farm here in Tanauan, Batangas who sells day-old chicks for P800 but timing is always a problem. Like many other chicken breeds, looking for purebred heritage chicken is a bit of a challenge but with more effort, you can find one. You may check out the chicken farms directory.

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