10 facts about the giant chicken that went viral

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Over the weekend, footage of an enormous chicken stumped and amazed Twitter users as they retweeted the video over 30,000 times and liked it over 43,000 times.

Many were skeptical, questioning whether or not the video was some sort of hoax and not an actual chicken at all. Others argued whether or not the chicken was a product of genetic modification to explain its enormous size. While debates raged, there was one consistency — everyone wanted to know more about the viral bird.

So here are some answers…

Class: There are six classes of large breed chickens recognized by the American Poultry Association, the chicken in the video belongs to the Asiatic Class. These three breeds are linked by their Chinese roots.

Breed: The large bird that sent Twitter into a frenzy early Sunday morning is a Brahma chicken. This breed got its name from the Brahmaputra River in India. While its ancestry traces back to China, much of this breeds development took place in the United States from 1850 to 1890.

Variety: The Brahma chicken from the video appears to be of the light variety because of its coloration. Two other varieties include dark and buff.

Weight: The standard light variety is generally the largest as cocks grow to about 12 pounds and hens reach about 9.5 pounds at full maturity. The standard weights for the dark and buff varieties are slightly smaller as cocks grow to about 11 pounds and hens reach about 8.5 pounds.

Characteristics: Brahma chickens are characterized by their large size, feathered legs and brown eggs. These qualities make them a very hardy bird through the winter months.

History: Brahma chickens were the principal meat breed in the United States from the 1850s through the 1920s.

Growth rate: Brahma chickens are known for a relatively slow rate of growth. They have been passed by as commercial fowl because they take so long to reach maturity.

Uses: Today, Brahma chickens are used for the production of large roasters or capons because they are a very heavy fowl. They are also decent egg layers.

Past names: Before the Brahma chicken was called the Brahma chicken, it had a variety of names. The most common names include Chittagongs, Gray Shanghais and Brahma Pootras.

APA recognition: The light and dark varieties of the Brahma breed were admitted into the APA Standard of Perfection in 1874. The buff variety was admitted in 1924.

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Sara is Farm and Dairy’s online content producer. Raised in Portage County, she earned a magazine journalism degree from Kent State University. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling, writing, reading and outdoor recreation.

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