11 questions your kids might ask about THAT giant chicken

While the giant chicken caused some people to be scared and horrified, the Brahma is actually a placid breed.
While the giant chicken caused some people to be scared and horrified, the Brahma is actually a placid breed. Photo: Fitim Sejfijaj

By now you may have seen the viral video of the gigantic chicken emerging from its coop (and thought to yourself "What is that thing?").

While many of us will have had no experience with this intriguing breed, it turns out the Brahma chicken breed is quite the global conversation piece - the Press of the World video on Facebook has hit more than 100 million views, inspiring fascination, terror and affection in people as 'The Big Boss' goes about his way.

Ever since the latest video popped up on a Kosovo-based Facebook page, people have been speculating on whether it was image manipulation, a person in a costume, or exposure to some pretty intense growth hormones.

We bet both you and your kids have a lot of questions about it, and we'd love to dispel the myths flying around in favour of some fast facts.

1. Is that a real chicken?

Yep, it sure is. It's called a Brahma and it's one of the largest breeds in the world. There is some controversy over its origins. According to Countryside Daily, it gets its name is from the Brahmaputra River in India and comes in four colours - black, buff, dark, and white. Other sources say that that the breed was "developed in America from very large fowls imported from China via the port of Shanghai."

2. How big are their eggs?

Surprisingly, they are no bigger than a regular chicken egg at about 55 to 60 grams each.

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3. How big are they when they're born?

From a regular-sized egg comes a regular-sized chick. (See some photos of gorgeous baby Brahma chicks here.)

4. Can you have them as pets?

Yes! They are well known for being wonderful, even affectionate pets. One chicken forum user describes hers as "gentle, lovey, wants you to hold her", and another says, "I love my Brahmas. They are large, fluffy, friendly birds who lay well and get along with all my hens of six other breeds" (despite being the largest by far).

5. Can I take one for a walk?

We would say so, yes, as long as you could take it somewhere away from roads in a harness. You can buy chicken harnesses, and one commenter says the hen-size harness fit her juvenile Brahma. 

6. Can you eat them?

Yes, you can eat Brahma chickens. They were initially bred as a meat chicken and then it became known that they are good egg layers, so they're also bred for that too.

7. Will it eat me?

No, it won't. It will more likely want a pat from you, or to have a dig and a dust bath in the backyard.

8. How can you tell a boy from a girl?

You can tell a pullet (girl) from a cockerel (boy) by the tail feathers and comb. The juvenile male has a wider comb with more ridges in it, which is usually slightly redder than the female's. There is also a difference in the shape of the tail feathers - the pullet's feathers go into a point and the cockerel's are puffier.

9. How tall do they grow?

They can grow up to a metre in height, which looks to be the approximate height of the one in the video.

10. How much do they weigh?

Up to about 4.5kg. They do look like they would be heavier than that but their plumage (feathers) makes up a large proportion of their apparent size.

11. Is that the chicken Foghorn Leghorn is based on?

No, he is based on a Leghorn chicken, hence his name. But we agree he kind of looks like a Brahma!

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