Throughout the years, humanity has harboured a faint fear of birds. Films like Alfred Hitchcox’s The Birds (and the less well-known Birdemic) play upon the innate anxiety surrounding our feathered friends, and the aggressive nature of eagles, owls or ostriches demonstrate that a lack of bone density won’t prevent the larger species of bird from laying waste to humanity, should they get the chance.
One species of bird that I don’t fear however, is the chicken. Standing at around a foot tall, chickens don’t have the sharp beaks or deadly talons of the falcon or the vulture and they’re not very good flyers either. The only way I would envision meeting my demise at the hands of a chicken is over several decades, when they’ve been killed, deep-fried and eaten. But then again, I’ve never met a chicken this big. Footage has emerged of a massive chicken patrolling its coop, and it really has to be seen to be believed.
If you’re a fan of the cartoon Family Guy, then you’ll be familiar with the giant chicken that sometimes attacks Peter Griffin, leading to an epic battle that spans the entirety of the fictional town Quahog. Family Guy is known for its bizarre cutaway gags; the chicken fights are but one example of the pervading weirdness that’s present in an episode. It’s ironic though, that one of the cartoon’s stranger jokes is actually rooted in reality. There exists a chicken large enough to fight a fully-grown man.
If you’re anything like me, when you saw that chicken, you questioned if this massive bird was just a guy in a convincing costume, or lamented the over-use of steroids in today’s poultry farming. You would however, be wrong on both counts. Yes, that chicken is real, and no, it’s not some horrifying genetic abomination. What you’re seeing here is the Brahma chicken; a fearsome species of fowl that was the principal source of chicken meat in America from the mid-19th Century till about 1930.
Brahma chickens have been developed in the United States, but the first Brahma chickens were imported from Shanghai. These monstrous chickens can weigh up to 8kg, with their large brown eggs weighing up to 60 grams by themselves. That’s a pretty big omelette!
If you’ve worked on a poultry farm, then there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the Brahma chicken or even come across it before. But it’s pretty understandable that the majority of the internet is freaking out over this immense bird.
Although the Brahma chicken was originally bred for its high-quality meat yield, nowadays, the majority of chicken eaten in the United States comes from the Cornish or the White Rock hen. If you come across one of these giant chickens on your travels, you can rest assured in the knowledge it’s not going to attack you, but this is certainly one bird I don’t want to fall fowl of.