Light Brahma chicken is one of the majestic variations of the “King of Chicken Breeds” — the Brahmas. It’s hard not to fall for this bird’s charm due to the striking contrast of black and white in its hackle feathers and tail and its immaculate, elegant overall look.
But will this giant bird make an excellent addition to your flock?
The best way to answer this question is to get a background and personality check on this breed.
So, in this guide, we’ll take you through their world to discover these fluff balls’:
- Origin and history to get a grasp on why this breed was developed
- Personality and temperament to know how it reacts when other chickens are around
- Egg-laying and meat production performance to know if you can make profits from these birds
We’ll also add some care tips as a bonus to ensure you can raise Light Brahma in the best possible way and environment. So, let’s dive right into it!
Light Brahma Chicken’s Background and History
The historical background of these archaic feather-footed chickens with conspicuous feathering patterns is controversial since concrete facts about this breed are limited.
But since Brahmas were once called ‘Shanghai’ during the mid-1800s, many believe this breed standard from Asia.
It’s believed to be a cross between a Malay and Cochin bird. However, thanks to US sailors, the birds arrived in the Chinese city of Shanghai. That’s why the breed was named after the city.
Years later, when the bird made its way to the US, they crossed it with an Indian Breed, Grey Chittagong, which significantly influenced Brahma’s stamped head and comb.
These features are what sets them apart from the Shanghai chicken Breed Cochin.
Sadly, Indian and Chinese breeders neglected the breed despite North Americans’ fondness for them.
The breed has many variations and names, and it wasn’t until 1852 that poultry judges finally decided on what it should be called.
At a convention in Boston in 1852, poultry judges chose the name “Brahmaputra” to pay homage to one of the species’ origins, the River Brahmaputra in Assam. And it was later shortened to “Brahma.”
The Rise of Brahma
In the same year, George Burnham, a chicken breeder, brought nine ‘gray Shanghaes’ to Queen Victoria.
The queen was charmed by the beauty of this breed and adored it. And this resulted in the rise of Bharma chicken’s popularity and an increase in its price from $12–15/pair to $100–150/pair.
Light Brahma is one of the original breed variants approved by the official Poultry Club in 1865, along with Dark Brahma in its first publication of the British Poultry Standard.
The American Poultry Association then admitted the Light and Dark Brahma in 1874.
Brahma Chickens Downfall
These birds became popular in the United States and earned the title of a heritage breed. However, they lost their flair during the 1930s when prolific meat producers and egg layers dominated the market.
Fortunately, heritage breeds have been making a comeback that helped the Brahmas climb out of the “watch” list. And it’s now one of the “recovering” species.
Light Brahma Chicken’s Characteristics and Appearance
When we say Light Brahma chicken’s face, your card never declines! Trust us, we mean it! This Brahma variation has top-tier visual characteristics and here are the proofs.
Light Brahma baby chicks are usually smokey grey with a hint of yellow on their heads. Their legs are also yellow, and the photo of a Light Brahma hatching eggs below shows how adorable they are.
These sedate birds have broad, deep bodies with full breasts and long powerful legs. Their feet are covered with many soft feathers, making them appear big and floppy.
Their feather boasts a beautiful contrast of black and white, but it’s primarily white with an elegant grayish undertone. Other Brahma chicken colors include buff and dark ones.
Light Brahma’s hackle feathers feature a striking black striping. They also have a minor striping on the saddle area. Their tail is black, but it comes with covert feathers laced with white.
The pea comb, beetle brow, and short and robust beak finish their striking, immaculate look.
Light Brahma Chicken Size
We said earlier that they’re considered gentle giants. But you may wonder and think, “how much do light Brahma chickens weigh?”
Like other Brahmas, this variation can grow up to 30 inches tall. A Light Brahma rooster weighs around 10 pounds while a Light Brahma hen averages 8 pounds.
On the other hand, Light Brahma Bantam roosters weigh around 38 oz, while hens are a bit tinier because their average weight is 34 oz.
Light Brahma Chicken’s Personality and Temperament
Light Brahmas are easygoing chickens, calm and docile. That’s why they’re considered gentle giants.
What makes them even more adorable is that they’re friendly toward their humans, and you can train them to be comfortable around other people.
Brahmas may be intimidating at first due to their giant size, but you can tame them with the help of treats! They’ll learn to love you in no time.
Furthermore, they tolerate confinement pretty well because of their calm personality. Like Brahma’s Cochin ancestors, they can thrive even in small yard spaces.
They’re also not flighty and can hardly fly over structures and low fences.
These birds can be pretty good at cuddling too! They’d even love to sit on your lap. So, if you’re looking for a beautiful chicken breed that can be sweet pets to your kids, look no further than Light Brahmas.
However, like other birds, Brahma cockerels crow too! They’re moderately noisy, but their noise level is more tolerable than other breeds.
If you want your Brahma flock to be less noisy, we suggest keeping Light Brahma chicken hen only.
Light Brahma Chicken’s Egg Laying Capabilities
These chickens are good egg layers for their size and superior winter layers to other breeds.
But how many eggs does a light Brahma lay?
A Brahma hen can produce 3 to 4 eggs per week. And this breed usually lays its eggs from October to May, just when other breeds are shutting down for winter.
They’re well known for being broody in the early summer and for remaining relatively unconcerned about the condition of their eggs throughout the rest of the year. They frequently perch as a broody hen between April and June on their eggs.
Light Brahma chicken eggs are brown with medium size. However, the downside is that Light Brahma hens can take 6 to 7 months before they reach maturity and start laying.
You can find Light Brahma eggs for sale online and through local poultry farms.
Egg color: Brown
Egg size: Medium
Starts laying at 6 to 7 months
Light Brahma eggs produced/week: 3 to 4
Total eggs produced/year: 150 to 200
Light Brahma Chicken Meat Production
Light Brahma chickens are prized for their meat, especially from the 1850s until 1930, the peak of their popularity.
These chickens are harvested as early as 8 to 10 weeks when used as a broiler. Since they’re large and fully grown at such age, they can already feed a moderate-sized family of 4.
That’s why they became a favorite meat bird among farmers and homesteaders.
Light Brahma Chicken’s Common Health Issues
Light Brahma chickens are generally healthy. But like other Brahmas, they can be prone to the following:
Lice and mite infestation
The dense and tight feathering of Light Brahma is an excellent place for lice and mites to nestle. So, keep an eye on lice and mites, especially the scaly leg mite, which can be painful and not easy to spot because of the feathers.
Hefty breeds like Brahma are also susceptible to bumblefoot caused by staphylococcus bacteria. You can usually find it on a chicken feet’s toes, hocks, and pads and is generally characterized by a pus-filled abscess covered by a black scab.
Bumblefoot signs include lameness, swelling, and reluctance to walk.
Giant chickens sometimes land on something sharp when they jump from their roosts. Since they’re hefty, that foreign object might be pushed into their foot, making them prone to infection.
Another health problem of Light Brahma chicken occurs during winter. Their feet can be wet or muddy during this season, leading to frostbite.
Tiny mud balls may develop on their toes; if not taken care of immediately, they can cause severe damage to their skin and tissue.
Is Light Brahma the Right Chicken For You?
This variant may be the right one for you if you’re into large, fluffy-looking hens with elegant white feathering and a calm temperament.
It can make a great addition to your flock and a sufficient table bird for your family. But Light Brahma chickens are pet material too!
Their sweet, endearing personality and ability to lay eggs even during the winter are also significant assets.
However, you have to ensure you have sturdy roosts, large nest boxes, and comfortable home for them before purchasing.
- Immense size and sufficient meat
- Tolerant to confinement
- Gentle with children
- Lay eggs throughout the winter
- Not flighty
- The unique, striking appearance
- Cold hardy
- Can’t escape predators easily
- Prone to frostbite, lice, and mites
- Consumes lots of feed
- Takes 5 to 7 months before starting to lay
Where to Find Light Brahma Chicks for Sale
You may have a hard time looking for Light Brahma pullets and Brahma chickens for sale because they’re rare. Good thing that these hatcheries offer Light Brahma chicks at a price that won’t break the bank.
- Cackle hatchery
They offer affordable Light Brahma chicks and ship them to your doorstep. And the best part is the minimum required for orders is at least three chicks.
- McMurray hatchery
One of the exciting things this hatchery offers is the freedom to mix and match for a minimum order of 6 chicks.
- Towline hatchery
This hatchery allows you to add special services such as beak trimming and Mareks vaccine. And the more chicks you order, the lower the price will be.
- Purely poultry
They also offer quality day-old chicks at a reasonable price, both male, female and unsexed.
Caring Tips for Light Brahma Chicken
Here are some tips we got for you if you’re planning to raise a Light Brahma and or other variation.
1. Provide sufficient food and complete nutrition
Your Brahma chickens can forage for food, but they can only reach their full potential if you’d support them with the right food and supplements.
2. Bond with them early on
If you want to keep them as your pet, it’d be best if you’d spend more time with your young chicks and talk to them. This way, they’ll get used to and feel secure with you.
As time goes by, they’ll learn to eat on your hand and come up to you to pick them up.
3. Give them a secure and spacious coop
Since Light Brahma chickens can hardly escape from sneaky predators due to their size, it’d be best to build or buy a secure coop.
If the coop has an attached run, you need to ensure that they can get into the house at night for an additional level of protection. They’d appreciate it if the coop had extra space to walk around too!
Since they’re larger than usual chickens, we recommend reducing the estimated number the coop was advertised to hold to ensure they won’t feel crowded.
4. Keep their coop clean
Their feather-footed legs can attract lots of dirt. So, clean and sanitize your coop regularly to keep them healthy and free from dirt and parasites.
5. Prepare a free-ranging space
Your Light Brahma chickens would love it if they could forage and explore. But if you don’t have enough backyard space, a chicken coop with an attached run will do.
Alternative if You Can’t Find A Light Brahma
If Brahma chickens are rare in your area and you haven’t found one, check these breeds’ similar feather-footed species that are equally beautiful as Light Brahma.
As we mentioned earlier, Cochin breed is one of the descendants of Brahma chickens. So, you can expect beautiful feathering and feathery foot as well.
They’re said to be one of the most gentle giants and cold-hardy, and the males are rarely aggressive.
They’re so broody that they can make excellent foster moms for hatching and brooding other chicken’s eggs and even those of ducks and turkeys!
2. Croad Langshan
This feathery-footed bird also has Chinese roots.
The black variation with an iridescent sheen of green is the most popular, but they’re also available in white.
Croad Langshan is also a large bird with a calm and gentle temperament, and its eggs are available in various shades of brown.
Frequently Asked Questions About Light Brahma
We compiled the most commonly asked questions about Light Brahma chickens to help you make up your mind and here they are.
Are Light Brahmas good egg layers?
Light Brahma chickens are good egg layers considering their enormous size. They can produce around 3 to 4 eggs per week and lay the most from October to May. That’s why they’re regarded as superior winter layers.
Are Light Brahma chickens friendly?
Light Brahma chickens are usually calm and docile and can be very friendly, especially if you raise them to enjoy people’s company.
You can make a lovely pet for yourself and your kids with a few treats and some training.
How big do light Brahmas get?
Light Brahma hens average 8 to 9.5 pounds, while Light Brahma chicken rooster weighs around 10 to 12 pounds at maturity.
You can also find Bantam versions of this incredible-looking bird. Bantam hens usually weigh around 34 oz, while roosters can reach 38 oz.
How tall do light Brahmas get?
These gentle giants can grow up to 30 inches high. So, it’s almost as large as Jersey Giant and can be intimidating to small children.
But fortunately, they’re kind towards children, and they’re not aggressive toward other chickens.
Do Light Brahmas breed true?
Light Brahma chickens don’t breed true to color if you intend to breed them. Therefore, the offspring won’t always look similar to their Light Brahma parents.
Are Light Brahmas good mothers?
These chickens make good mothers to their young chicks. They’re gentle and quiet and tend to go broody in early summer and sit devotedly on their nests.
Light Brahma Profile Summary
Color: White (with gray undertone)
Rooster: 10 pounds
Hen: 8 pounds
Lifespan: 5 to 8 years
Temperament: Calm and docile
Toleration for Confinement: High
Escape level from predators: Low
Level of Aggression Towards Flock Members: Low
Final Thoughts About Light Brahma Chicken
Despite Light Brahmas’ gigantic size, they barely have a record of being flock bullies.
These white Brahma chickens are calm and docile even with children, making them an ideal pet bird. These chickens also tick the boxes in terms of egg-laying and meat production because they deliver in these fields.
However, it may not be easy to find light Brahma cockerel and pullets since the breed is still recovering. But Light Brahma chicken is worth it and they’re a wonderful sight to behold!
Are you raising a Light Brahma chicken? Share with us your experiences and tips below to help others see the joy of keeping this breed alive.