I have been raising chickens for over five years and have worked with many breeds of poultry.
I have been raising chickens for over five years and have worked with many breeds of poultry. Most people start out in search of a good egg layer and think nothing about the personalities of the chicken.
It was the same with me. My husband brought home some chickens and I didn't know the difference between one breed or the other or the different personalities that each type may have. I learned over time as I increased my flock through gifts given by others and also through purchases I have made.
Do Chickens Have Personalities?
As with people, chickens have personalities. You will find that some poultry breeds are friendlier than others and some just have a bad attitude most of the time.
The personality usually shows up in the male chicken, the rooster. A rooster with a bad attitude or personality will most likely take his hostilities out on whatever invades his territory; this can be in the form of a human or animal. This is the reason why you want to research the different breeds of chickens before you make your decision on what chicken breed to bring home.
Brahma Poultry Breed
I was given a Light Brahma rooster twice. Because these are slow to mature, I was not impressed with his large body or clumsiness when he was under a year old.
Since then, I purchased five baby Light Brahma chicks for myself and raised them from a week old. Having raised several baby chickens from days old, I was thoroughly impressed with the friendliness of these little chickens. They were such a joy to feed and play with while I was feeding them.
As they grew older, I moved them to a larger pen with the same age of Australorp baby chicks and there was a noticeable difference in their personality. The Light Brahmas would gather around my feet as I entered the chicken pen and fly upon the roost to gain access to my arms for closer access to me. They are so much fun to raise.
Brahma Chicken Traits
- It's a dual-purpose breed, meaning it's good for eggs and meat.
- It lays a medium, brown egg.
- They're good brooders, so I can depend on the hens to hatch eggs.
- They're gentle and easily handled.
- They're very hardy in heat and cold.
- They're feather-footed (having feathers down the sides of both legs).
- It's a large breed of chicken and slow to mature.
Varieties, Color, Size, and Temperament of the Brahma Breed
Not only do Brahmas come in a light color, they are also available in:
I recently came across the Partridge variety via the American Brahma Club.
Along with a variety of colorings, you can also have your choice of Bantam or Standard sizes. The Bantam size weighs in at approximately 2 1/2 pounds and the standard size weighs approximately 9 pounds.
Both the black and buff varieties are fairly common and a source can be located for hatching eggs or livestock. I personally own both and find their temperaments to be the same as the Light Brahma.
Adding a New Breed to My Flock
When I first started raising chickens I started with Rhode Island Reds. They are also known to be a good egg layer, and you can find them just about everywhere. As I stretch my boundaries and expand my flock of chickens, I like to add new poultry breeds for variety and also to sell.
Some of the requirements I look for in adding a new breed:
- Friendliness of the breed: There is no guarantee but I read what others have to say before I add a breed to my flock.
- Size of chicken: I am partial to a dual-purpose chicken so prefer the standard size chickens.
- Coloring of the breed: I have no particular color I am partial to; rather, I enjoy having a variety of breeds.
- Popularity of the breed: On occasion, I raise baby chickens from hatch to sell to the public so keep up on the wants of the public.
- Egg coloring: I am very partial to blue/green egg breeds but also the brown.
I thoroughly enjoy adding new breeds to the flock and learning their personalities. When I come across a breed that does not live up to my expectations, (like the rooster in the video above), I do not hesitate to part ways with them. I do not want a farm animal to chase the hand that feeds him.
Other Common Breeds of Chickens
There are a wide variety of chicken breeds available. Some of the more common breeds are:
- Rhode Island Red
- Plymouth Rock
And the list goes on. There are so many breeds of chickens that I often do research utilizing Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart. It is very detailed and lists just about every breed available.
If you are considering raising chickens or if you currently have chickens and want to expand your chicken breeds, do your homework. If you bring one home, and it does not live up to your expectations, do not give up. Trade, sell, or give the chicken away and find another breed. Do not let one breed ruin your chicken-raising experience.
Chickens are so much fun and the rewards from raising chickens are great...fresh from your backyard eggs!
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
chciken girl on April 24, 2020:
Chicken lover on March 02, 2020:
I am getting some Brahmas chickens soon how much space do they need when they are fully grown?Pethelpful for all the info
Iame on January 03, 2019:
Raising chickens for 5 years does not make you an expert of any kind. There are way more than 3 colors of brahma, although only 3 are APA recognized. They are are light, dark & buff. If you bought your brahmas, or any chicken for that matter, from a hatchery or place that buys from hatcheries, you are buying junk that may or may not be the breed they are supposed to be.
saramandaljoy on October 28, 2012:
Thank you for the article. I have a question. I recently received two light brahma hens from a neighbor, to add to my little "flock" - have two rir's. I was also offered two roosters, but chose not to get those as for this winter I only have a small coop - will be building something bigger in the spring and attempting to expand the flock. An Amish neighbor took the two roosters, but asked me to come get one of them yesterday, as he was pretty sure it was a actually a hen. Noah isn't familiar with the breed - he has rir's. But he is well versed in chicken behavior, and this one behaved and sounded like a hen. It squatted and clucked when startled, was submissive to the little rir hens, no crowing or other male sounds or behavior. So I went to get the "hen" and when I got him here it was obvious he is a rooster. He is taller than the hens, more of neck waddle, longer tail feathers, and he immediately changed his behavior from submissive to dominant. He quickly began to rule the roost, and actually made a stand-off peace between my two breeds - who had been quite unhappy with each other. The rir's were the original inhabitants of the coop, and were more assertive than the light brahma, so they would run the larger birds off. I actually had to make a separate sleeping space for the "whites", as the "reds" wouldn't let them into the coop at night. The coop is up two feet, but the underneath area is fenced as an extension of the run. I surrounded it with straw bales (on the outside), put in a deep bedding, and covered the front with a tilted board, giving them free access. They liked their separate quarters. But last night the rooster shooed all of them into the coop. End of squabble. At this point I'm glad to have the rooster, even if we have to build expanded quarters sooner than I had planned. My question is - is this common behavior? The roo is a little over a year old. Maybe his development was just delayed? Or it was a protective move? His former home, before the Amish place, was in a 20 by 20 cage, 2 feet tall, with 40 chickens, 5 of which were roosters. Maybe it wasn't safe to develop his "manliness" in that environment. (The previous owner was a new chicken owner and was on a learning curve - future generations will be raised differently.) And his submissiveness followed him to the Amish place where he still had a brother to deal with, and fifty some rir's bossing him around. But now he has his own little roost and is coming into his own? Just seems really unusual for him to act like a hen on one day, and in new environment become true to his nature. Sara (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vicky on May 19, 2012:
I have Road Island Reds, Silkies, Batams chickens and have been doing research on Brahmas, as serveral of my friends are raising them. Because of the economy we are expanding our egg output as we use them to barter with. After reading your information I am now on the hunt for the Brahmas, If any one has an idea where I could start looking for babies, as there are none around here, please let me know at my email address. email@example.com. Thanks.
Shelley on April 06, 2012:
I have a small flock of Plymouth Barred Rocks, Black Sexlinks and 4 banties. I am going to add a couple of Light Brahmas to my backyard flock very soon! Can't wait!!!
jayde on March 06, 2012:
chickens are so cool
Devin Erickson on January 14, 2012:
I have 7 eggs in my incubator and they are suppose to hatch on monday i am so excited!
Devin Erickson on December 21, 2011:
I am just starting out and i have 22 chickens and hoping to breed them i love the light brahmas they are a very loving chicken!
tan on November 20, 2011:
hi there, ive just hatched a "pure white" brahma, is this normal ? its by light brahma hen and roo, cheers
Misty Papineau on November 06, 2011:
I enjoyed this info. i have a brahma chicken light and she is free reign and thinks that she is human. If you want a good animal that gives back and have a awsome personality get a brahma hen... they are great with kids
Stephanie on October 27, 2011:
I have a light brahma rooster that looks like the babies you have pictured. I have seen some that are very yellow. I was just wondering how those babies look today. Do you have a recent photo of the light brahmas? Thanks!
Mary on September 15, 2011:
I have bantums and one hen is trying to set. I am wondering how long she needs to set to hatch the eggs.
If someone can answer this question I will check back tomorrow to this site. thanks.
hanwillingham on August 08, 2011:
Informative and very useful article.
Darren (Green Change) on June 18, 2011:
I wouldn't say Brahmas are good for eggs and meat. They aren't the best layers around, and they grow much too slowly to be good for meat (although they do give a lovely large carcass, and are very tasty). They are OK for both.
Where my Brahmas have come into their own is in raising chicks. They go broody fairly reliably, and because they're so large they can hatch a lot of eggs at once (12-18). Mine have been excellent mothers, and it's way easier than raising chicks yourself using an incubator and brooder box.
Lucy on May 14, 2011:
I just bought two light brahma poulets for my back yard flock because I heard they are friendly. I really should have researched more because I am now reading about muddy feet and the importance of cleaning off mud balls. I call my home "Soggy Bottom" because it rains and we have mud 6 to 9 months a year. Is it possible to trim foot feathers to keep their feet cleaner during muddy season? I can only spread so much mulch and these girls will be free range most days. Any advice?
Sandra Akins from Georgia, United States on March 05, 2011:
I used to raise Rhode Island Reds and Dominiques and LOVED my chickens. They were both good layers and were not mean chickens either. One of the Dominiques would meet my daughter at the school bus every day when she came home. Needless to say, everyone thought that was really amazing but I know that chickens respond to love just like anything else. I plan on getting some more chickens and think I would like these Brahmas, a friend has some and they are wonderful!
Bonita okla on March 02, 2011:
just got my babies this week. I am building them a nice house. I'm going to enjoy them. mad dog thinks she's there mother
Christy on February 28, 2011:
I am trying to find a breeder in Indiana. Any thoughts out there where I could look?
Dinah Joy on June 29, 2010:
I love my light Brahmas also. I have found that the Speckled Sussex is a great addition to my group. I hang out with all my two month old chickens(Salmon Faverolles, Sussex, and Brahmas) in the early morning and late evening. The Sussex are not afraid to jump up on me while I set with them.
Love your info.
Michael Shane from Gadsden, Alabama on March 22, 2010:
There common & probably the easiest for beginners but not me! Great hub & I recommend for amatuers!!!! Very informative!
Crazy Chicken Lady Wyoming on March 16, 2010:
I thought I was the only one who loves her chickens! Its great to beable to find information on line.
Montana Farm Girl from Northwestern Montana on June 17, 2009:
Loved your hub! At last count, we had 60+ chicks... no doubt our coop expansion came at a good time!! We have been raising for about 2 years now, and got our first hatching this spring (a mama banty hatched out 6 chicks) and what a thrill it was!!! All other chicks were purchased at the feedstore or given to us by various local folks who raise chickens. We have 6 brahmas, and as they mature and feather out, oh my, what lovely hens they will be!!!! I look forward to your future hubs!!!!
buildchickencop on June 03, 2009:
Thanks for this useful info!