From sneezing pandas to cantankerous kitties, the Internet has given plenty of animals their 15 minutes of fame. The latest animal to become Internet-famous is a massive rooster of the Brahma breed that swept across social media in March. Brahma chickens are known for being larger than many other breeds, but this guy is big even by Brahma standards. He’s so big that some commenters speculated that the video might be a fake. But rest assured, this rooster is very real.
In fact, chickens like this one were once far more common than they are today. Until the 1930s the Brahma was actually the most popular meat breed in the United States. The origin of the breed is the subject of some debate, but it’s generally believed that the Brahma was developed from birds imported from Shanghai during the 19th century.
Despite the breed’s popularity, the Brahma was eventually replaced by the Cornish cross, which is smaller in stature but has a large, meaty breast. As commercial farming became more sophisticated and widespread, the Cornish cross replaced nearly every other meat-producing breed in the country. Today, it’s estimated that there are only about 7,500 Brahmas left in the U.S.
Fortunately, there are still hobbyists who raise Brahmas and other rare heritage breeds so that they can be preserved for future generations. In fact, you could even raise a few Brahma chickens of your own in your backyard flock! We can’t guarantee that they’ll be as enormous as the fellow in this video, but we’re sure you’ll love these big, beautiful birds.