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The Brahma Breed

Alan`s Brahmas

My first Brahmas

My second attempt at hatching was much more sucessful. Thanks to the Octagon incubator and hatching advice I hatched 11 chicks from the batch of 12 eggs and was now the proud owner of 6 Buff Columbian and 5 Blue Light Columbian Brahma chicks. The hatching bug had set in and I promptly purchased another batch of 24 eggs and my Brahma story began.
As spring turned into summer and my Brahmas were growing it became obvious that my garden was not going to be big enough to cope with the number of birds I had. A phone call was made to the council and I was put on the waiting list for an allotment. About a month afterwards I was able to take an overgrown allotment just a 300 yard walk from my house.

Joinery had never been a strong point of mine but the growing brahmas needed a larger home and so I set to build a shed for my growers. The previous owners of our house had built a large decked area about half way down the 150 foot garden and with its raised floor and decorative post and rope surround we likened it to a boxing ring! The decking had to go and on a weekend off from work it was dismantled and provided me with a lot of raw material for my growers shed. Using the 12 ft lengths of decking I was able to build a 12x6 shed and this became the home for my growers.

As summer arrived I had gold partridge, blue partridge, buff columbian, blue buff columbian, light and blue light brahma bantams running round the garden. The beauty of keeping brahmas is that with their feathered legs they tend not to be so destructive in the garden. On the flipside it is best to have a covered run for them when it is particularly wet.




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Blue partridge, gold partridge, blue buff columbian, blue light columbian pullets.

 The stock that I hatched in the first year all came from Paul at Cleulow Brahmas in Cheshire. In the early days I had no thoughts of showing my brahmas and with hindsight a lot of the birds I hatched from Paul would have done really well in the show pen. Because I live in a built up area the idea of keeping cockerels was a nono and so as the male birds got to the crowing stage I would pair them up with a pullet and sell as a pair or trio at the weekly poultry sale at Melton Mowbray. As I have now learnt the brahma is a slow maturing breed particularly in the large fowl and a lot of the birds I sold as youngsters would have been better kept longer.

 My allotment agreement said that I was allowed to keep a dozen fowl and as it didn`t state whether these were male or female I decided to grow on a few cockerels for breeding and to sell in the Rare Breed Sale at Melton Mowbray in the spring. I still hadn`t decided which of the colours of brahma to go with and so I kept a cockerel of each colour along with half a dozen of each colour female. Another good thing about the brahma breed is that the cockerels will live together without fighting and so a bachelor group was kept on the allotment and the females stayed at home.

 Spring 2008 arrived and I started my 1st season of breeding my own birds. The cockerels I had kept on through the winter had grown from gangly teenagers into imposing cock birds and I must admit to feeling sorry for the hens when the boys hit town!!!
In no time at all I was counting the days down in the incubator and by the end of February the first brahma bantams hatched.

 My birthday in March 2008 is a day I won`t forget in a hurry. The Melton Mowbray Rare Breed Sale happened to fall on my birtrhday and I had 4 pens entered in the sale. I had been to both the spring and autumn sale the previous year and was amazed at the amount of breeds there. On the morning of the sale I boxed up the birds early and drove the 40 miles or so to Melton. The birds I had entered were a pair and a trio of buff columbians a pair of blue light columbians and 3 blue light columbian pullets.th_100_0152.jpg 
The pair of buff columbians sold for £15 followed by the trio for £25, it was then the  turn of the blue light columbians. These birds had all been hatched in August and so were probably just coming into their prime. There had been a lot of people looking at the birds and when the pair came to sell there was a flurry of bids and they had sold for £110. Two minutes later and the 3 pullets had sold for £130 you could have knocked me over with a feather.

Brahmas the gentle giants of the poultry world