The New Hampshire chicken, also known as New Hampshire Red, is one of the most popular chickens in the United States. Perhaps not as popular as the closely-related Rhode Island Red, but it is certainly not going to be difficult to find New Hampshire chicken for sale online or in your local hatchery.
Let’s take a little look at this breed, shall we?
New Hampshire Red Chicken Facts at a Glance
|Eggs||up to 200 per year|
|Use||Eggs + Meat (Dual purpose)|
|Weight||Male Standard: 8.5 lb (3.9 kg) |
Male Bantam: 34 oz (965 g)
Female Standard: 6.5 lb (2.9 kg)
Female bantam: 30 oz (850 kg)
|Temperament||Generally calm, though some are aggressive.|
|Country of origin||United States|
The New Hampshire Red Chicken Origins
A little over 100-years ago, the Rhode Island Red was developed as a breed. It didn’t take too long before this bird gained a lot of popularity. It seemed to be absolutely perfect for anybody that wanted a dual-purpose breed that could easily be raised. As you can imagine, the commercial chicken farms absolutely loved it.
Of course, when a chicken breed becomes popular, various breeders will try and improve upon it. For a good long while, the New Hampshire Chicken was just another Rhode Island Red. However, over time, the breed started to become more and more distinct.
So, it was formally recognized as its own breed a few short years later in 1935 when it was first admitted to the APA.
As we said before; the New Hampshire Red chicken breed isn’t anywhere near as popular as some of the other chicken breeds out there. However, it is still going to be fairly common. This bird certainly isn’t going to be disappearing any time soon. In fact, it is the official bird of New Hampshire!
The Look of the Chicken
Due to the origins of the bird, the overall look isn’t that much different from the Rhode Island Red, at least in terms of their shape.
The coloring of the New Hampshire Chicken is ever so slightly different.
The bird is red. A medium shade of red, which will actually fade as the chicken gets a bit older. They have a deep-red colored Single comb resting on their heads. (You can read more in-depth about combs in our article chicken comb types.)
The way in which the comb of the New Hampshire Chicken sits will be dependent on whether you have a rooster or a hen. If you have a rooster, then the comb will stand up a lot straighter on the head.
This chicken weighs about 8.5 lb. when it is fully grown. It tends to reach that size pretty quickly in comparison to most other chicken breeds.
The New Hampshire Chicken as a Show chicken
Because this is an officially recognized breed, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find New Hampshire Chicken shows. Obviously, this is not a bird that has really been raised for that purpose.
So, the shows are probably not going to be as frequent as with other chicken breeds. Most of these shows will likely be focusing on selling birds as opposing to showing off the birds in a competitive environment.
Since the New Hampshire Red Chicken does look like your ‘standard’ chicken, there are a lot of people out there that are more than happy to show this breed off in their own yard.
It does look good, even if it does not really have that much in the way of unique features. If you want your typical chicken look, then this is probably the best route to go down!
The New Hampshire Red Chicken Eggs and as an Egg-Laying Breed
Since this is a dual-purpose chicken breed, it is of course raised for eggs. That being said, it is mostly a meat bird nowadays. However, if you are planning on raising this chicken for eggs, then you should be able to get about 200 eggs per year per bird.
The color of the egg will be dependent on the strain of New Hampshire Hen that you own. But in general, the hens lay eggs with brown shells.
The eggs will always be roughly medium size, though! Yes, this bird is going to be more than happy to continue laying eggs no matter what time of the year it is.
The best part is that the New Hampshire Chicken is an incredibly broody chicken. This, of course, does mean that this breed is going to be fairly easy to raise. It is simple to create a flock of them with just a few starter birds.
However, you can also enjoy the fact that it is incredibly simple to get the New Hampshire Chicken to raise the eggs of other chickens. This is, in fact, what a lot of people actually do.
If you want to raise a chicken breed that isn’t quite as broody, then you may want to get your hands on some New Hampshire Chickens and use those to help you out!
Is This a Good Meat Breed?
As we stated before, this is a bird that has been raised as a meat chicken breed. It grows incredibly fast, and it is ready to slaughter in just a few weeks. Perhaps not as fast as the Rhode Island Red, but it should be pretty close to it.
Since this is a weighty bird, you should be able to get enough meat from your New Hampshire Chicken to feed a family. If you can get a decent flock of these going, which shouldn’t be too difficult due to how broody they are, then you are always going to have some awesome meat that is ready for the table!
Raising The New Hampshire Red Chicken
Since this is a chicken breed that was designed to be used commercially, it is a dreadfully simple breed to raise. In fact, as long as you are giving it food and water, then you can take somewhat of a hands-off approach to raising the chicken.
That being said, you will probably want to raise it a little bit different to a commercial environment. You should make sure that the chicken has a lot of space to roam about in, as it absolutely loves to forage! That is why the New Hampshire chicken is a great to be kept as a free range chicken. Do not worry about it flying off. The bird is far, far too heavy for that.
The one issue you will have with the New Hampshire Chicken is that they do grow quickly. This can pose a lot of problems if they are reaching into adulthood. For this reason, we really do suggest that you raise them as a meat breed and slaughter them when they are mature.
If you do not do that, then there is a chance that you will run into health issues.
All in all this is an excellent dual purpose breed where meat is a primary considerations.
The New Hampshire Red Chicken for Sale
If you are lucky enough to live near a local hatchery where you can find New Hampshire Red Chicken for sale, that is great. If, however, you are among the unfortunates that are unable to do so, consider the following hatcheries as good options: