The breed of chicken New Hampshires 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.
A dual purpose chicken, selected more for meat production than egg production. Medium heavy in weight, it dresses a nice, plump carcass as either a broiler or a roaster.
New Hampshires are a relatively new breed, having been admitted to the Standard 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.
They possess a deep, broad body, grow feathers very rapidly, are prone to go broody and make good mothers. Most pin feathers are a reddish buff in color and, therefore, do not detract from the carcass appearance very much. The color is a medium to light red and often fades in the sunshine. The comb is single and medium to large in size, in the females it often lops over a bit. These good, medium-sized meat chickens have fair egg-laying ability. Some strains lay eggs of a dark brown shell color. New Hampshires are competitive and aggressive, with other chickens. They were initially used in the Chicken of Tomorrow contests, which led the way for the modern broiler industry, and they were also used to develop the Delaware breed of chicken.
Egg Laying: Good (3-4/wk)
Egg Color: Brown
Egg Size: Large
Cock 3.9 kg 8½ lbs
Hen 2.9 kg 6½ lbs