New Hampshire Chicken | New Hampshires
The New Hampshire breed of chicken originated in the state of New Hampshire in the United States. Poultry farmers, starting with Rhode Island Reds and performing generation after generation of selective breeding, intensified the characteristics of early maturity, rapid full feathering, and production of large brown eggs. The mature birds are a rich chestnut red, of a somewhat lighter and more even shade than the Rhode Island Reds. The chicks are also a lighter red.
The New Hampshire was developed in 1915 from a strain of Rhode Island Red brought into the state of New Hampshire. The breed was admitted to the American Standard of Perfection in 1935. They represent a specialized selection out of the Rhode Island Red breed. By intensive selection for rapid growth, fast feathering, early maturity and vigor, a different breed gradually emerged. This took place in the New England states, chiefly in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, from which it takes its name.
In 2018, the breed was designated as the official State Poultry by the New Hampshire legislature after an appeal from fourth grade students at Canaan Elementary School.
Appearance of New Hampshires
The New Hampshire is roughly the same size as the Rhode Island Red but the body has a more triangular form to it.
It has a deep, broad body and is an all-round large, meaty bird; plump would be the word of choice.
The feather coloration is quite different from the Rhode Island bird. Feathers are usually a lighter shade of red. While the Rhode Island coloration could be said to be mahogany, the New Hampshire is nearer to a chestnut shade with occasional pale yellow highlights.
In sunlight the feathers do bleach out to a lighter shade of red.
The hens’ neck feathers are black tipped as are the tail feathers too. Under feathers are a light salmon color. The red comb is single which can be quite floppy with the hen. Ear lobes and wattles are also red.
Eyes are orange while the beak is a reddish/horn color.
Shanks are clean and there is a reddish line that runs down the shanks to the toes, of which there are four. Shanks and toes are yellow in color, as is the skin.
There is also a bantam version of the standard bird. While the standard birds weigh 8lb for the rooster and 6.5lb for the hen, the bantams weigh 34oz for the boys and 30oz for the girls.
It is often used as one half of the sex link industry. If you read our previous breeds article you will remember that sex link chicks can be made with certain parents. The New Hampshire rooster over a Barred Rock hen will give you a black sexlink chick. Or a New Hampshire rooster over a white Plymouth Rock or Rhode Island White will give you a red sexlink chick.
In the initial phases of experimentation with the New Hampshire, a few sports with white feathers and occasional black feathers were created.
These sports were gathered together, bred and eventually became the Delaware breed.
Finally, there are two other varieties of New Hampshire:
- The blue-tailed was created in Holland and remains very rare.
- The New Hampshire white is also now quite rare and it is very hard to find a good breeder of this lovely bird.
New Hampshire Chicken For Sale
new hampshire chicken for sale, took several years of development and several generations of birds for the New Hampshire breed to be significantly different from the Rhode Island Red (its’ forbears).
Work on the breed started around 1910 and the breakthrough came in 1918. Through further refinement and a drawing up of standards, the New Hampshire was finally admitted to the American Poultry Association in 1935 as a separate breed.
Egg Laying and Temperament
The New Hampshire is a good egg layer of around 200 large tinted/light brown eggs per year; this equates to about 3 eggs each week.
They also can go broody fairly frequently and are good setters. If allowed to hatch their own they make great mothers too!
Some broodies have been known to accept other chicks under them too, but naturally this will vary from hen to hen.
The New Hampshire is a family friendly bird, making great pets as they are easy to tame.
As a medium sized bird, they can be quite food aggressive and are willing to push and shove flock mates out of the way; certainly not a good thing if you have shy, docile breeds already. However you can try to reduce this bullying behavior by having several feeding stations that are spread apart from each other.
Obviously their personalities will vary greatly so be aware they can be anywhere from docile and lovable all the way to unfriendly and aggressive.
5 Reasons to Love New Hampshire Chickens
1. Gently, Gently
Despite being quite the robust ladies, New Hampshire chickens are gentle and elegant hens that just want to take it easy and peck away at their own pace. With their relaxed energy and happy-go-clucky outlook on life, these girls fit in anywhere! They like to be in a run. They like to free range. They like to be in a group of two or a feathered flock of many! In fact, there aren’t many backyard chicken situations that the New Hampshire hen won’t be totally comfortable in. This lady isn’t fazed by the behaviour of other chooks, the antics of other pets or the attention of overly affectionate kids. She takes each day as it comes and is confident in her friendly nature and her subtle charm, both in the coop and in the garden.
2. A Mother Hen’s Love
If you’re thinking of raising some wee chooks from eggs, New Hampshire chickens are the wise choice when it comes to picking a feathered foster mum. These girls make motherhood look easy. If given the chance, New Hampshire chickens are wonderful mums to their own chicks or any baby balls of fluff that need a gentle beak to guide them into hen-hood. They are caring and natural brooders, but don’t be discouraged from adding them to your chick-free flock! If you don’t want your New Hampshire hen to start playing mum in the garden, broodiness is easily avoidable, check out these tips here.
3. Winter… What winter?
Robust and reliable, the New Hampshire breed of chicken is not about to let a little thing like cold weather get in the way of her living the laidback life. If you live in a chilly climate, these hens are the perfect choice for a backyard chook that will flourish in the most frigid conditions, New Hampshire girls are happy to carry on gently foraging while the less brave birds huddle in their coops. Their full and fluffy feather coats and heavyset bodies insulate the New Hampshire hen from the chill of winter and their small single combs handle the cold better than the larger combs of more showy breeds. That’s not to say that these girls should be shut out in the cold come winter! A hen deserves the best life she can live! It’s always best to have a warm and insulated coop, with proper ventilation, and a good supply of absorbent and dust free bedding like hemp. It’s important to keep your coop dry, regardless of your flock’s hardiness, as moisture is the number one culprit for frostbite in hens.
4. Full and Fluffy
The New Hampshire chicken is the kind of chook that seems familiar, like you’ve always known her. She is the quintessential hen, full bodied with strong legs which help her forage for your garden pests. Her small and curious face sits atop a lovely curved neck and her rich russet red plumage is full and fluffy and accented by a darker brown tuft of tail feathers. The hen-next-door charm of the New Hampshire chook is comforting, as you gaze upon your backyard flock you feel transported to simpler times, when almost everyone had a coop in their garden and a fresh batch of eggs on the kitchen table for the family to share.
5. Relaxed, Reliable, and Ready to Hug
The full and fluffy plumage of the New Hampshire hen welcomes your affection. She is happy to be handled by people both young and old. They are especially fond of a treat or two (or fifty!) so try some mealworms or cracked corn as an icebreaker when meeting one of these ladies and they will be eating from your hand and locked into your heart for years to come. New Hampshire chooks are great for families with kids and first time Chicken Ladies and Lads. They are easy to care for and easy to love, are egg-cellent layers – producing about 150 eggs per year – and take everything in their feathered stride. Just like their ancestors, the Rhode Island Reds, the New Hampshire hen is an all-round go-to chicken breed for chicken keepers in the know.
The New Hampshire chicken breed is an egg-cellent choice of chook for any Chicken Lady or Lad. They are reliable, relaxed and robust and provide delicious eggs, companionship and a classic style of hen for your backyard flock. New Hampshire hens are a chicken with personality and need a coop with character to flourish! Want to start a fledgling flock of two? Or perhaps create a happy and healthy home for a group of these hens-next-door? We have you sorted with our easy to love and easy to clean coops like the marvellous Mansion, the perfect Penthouse or the terrific Taj Mahal. Have a peck at these happy homes to see what coop is the right choice for your New Hampshire girls.
Whether you’re looking to have humble New Hampshires or fancy Faverolles, you have an exciting but daunting task ahead of you! With so many amazing breeds to consider when starting your own flock, it can be eggstremely overwhelming to find the perfect breeds for you and your family. From looks, to traits to egg-laying talents – where should you begin?
Cluckily, our friends over at Chickenpedia have created an amazing Chicken Breeds Course. This extensive online course shares useful advice on choosing the right chickens for you as well as size & frequency of eggs laid. It really is a great way to find your perfect backyard buddies which is why I highly recommend them to all of my readers! You’ll even learn about their individual personalities, and be able to use their family-friendly compatibility scale through this well-structured program.The courses are beginner-friendly and filled with vital information to help you raise a happy, healthy flock.
As chicken keepers, we want to do an eggcellent job when caring for our feathered friends. Unfortunately, many of us struggle to handle chicken health or behaviour issues, especially in the first few years of having a flock. Chickenpedia have a full range of comprehensive online courses that cover everything you didn’t know you need to know and then some more! From healthcare to raising baby chicks to feeding and behavior, get the knowledge and confidence to successfully look after your chickens.
Are New Hampshire chickens good layers ?
The New Hampshire chicken is a dual-purpose chicken. It is both an excellent egg layer and a meat producer. The New Hampshire hen can lay around 200 large eggs per year. The eggs are tinted light brown.
Are New Hampshire chickens good for meat ?
Are New Hampshire Red Chickens Good for Meat? Yes! New Hampshire Red chickens are excellent meat producers. Although they don’t grow as large as some broiler breeds, like Cornish Crosses or Jersey Giants, they still produce a respectable amount of meat for your family.