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The New Hampshire chicken breed is a hardy, dual-purpose bird known for its excellent meat production and friendly disposition. Originating in the United States, this breed is popular among backyard enthusiasts and small-scale farmers due to its ability to adapt to various climates and feed efficiently.

Its vibrant red feathers and rapid growth make it an attractive choice for those seeking a productive, aesthetically pleasing poultry breed. Whether you’re looking to raise chickens for meat or simply enjoy their companionship, the New Hampshire breed is a reliable option that delivers both practicality and charm.


The New Hampshire chicken breed, also known as the New Hampshire Red, is a popular breed among poultry enthusiasts. Originating in the United States in the early 20th century, this breed has a rich history and unique characteristics that make it highly sought after.

Let’s dive into the fascinating history of the New Hampshire chicken breed:

  • Origins: Developed in the state of New Hampshire in the 1910s, this breed is a result of crossbreeding Rhode Island Reds with other bloodlines, including superior utility strains and early White Wyandottes.
  • Red Coloration: One of the most distinctive features of the New Hampshire chicken breed is its deep, rich red color throughout its plumage. This vibrant shade of red sets them apart from other breeds.
  • Early Recognition: The New Hampshire Red was recognized as a distinct breed by the American Poultry Association (APA) in 1935. Since then, it has gained popularity among backyard chicken keepers, farmers, and exhibition breeders.
  • Dual Purpose: New Hampshire chickens were primarily bred for their excellent egg-laying and meat-producing abilities. They are considered a dual-purpose breed, meaning they provide sufficient eggs and ample meat for those who raise them for both purposes.
  • Hardiness and Adaptability: These birds are known for their hardiness and adaptability to various climates, making them suitable for both colder and warmer regions.
  • Personality Traits: New Hampshire chickens have been described as friendly, docile, and active birds. They are known to be good foragers and relatively calm around humans.
  • Continued Popularity: Despite the availability of newer chicken breeds, the New Hampshire remains popular among chicken enthusiasts due to its attractive appearance, versatility, and excellent production capabilities.

The New Hampshire chicken breed has a long-standing history and offers a range of benefits to poultry keepers. Its origins, red coloration, recognition as a distinct breed, dual-purpose nature, adaptability, and friendly personality make it a cherished breed among chicken enthusiasts.

New Hampshire Chicken
Uikitireza, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

General Characteristics

The New Hampshire Chicken Breed exhibits strong and robust characteristics, making it an excellent choice for backyard poultry farming or small-scale commercial production. With their reddish-brown feathers and efficient egg-laying abilities, these chickens are a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts.

  • New Hampshire chicken breed is a popular choice among poultry enthusiasts for its distinct qualities and unique appearance.
  • This breed is known for its exceptional meat production capabilities, making it highly sought after in the farming community.
  • The New Hampshire chicken breed is a hardy and adaptable bird, suitable for various climates and environments.
  • These chickens have attractive rusty-red feathers, which give them a beautiful and striking appearance.
  • With an average weight of around 7-8 pounds for males and 5-6 pounds for females, New Hampshire chickens are considered a medium-sized breed.
  • The hens of this breed are reliable layers, producing large brown eggs consistently.
  • New Hampshire chickens are known for their friendly and docile nature, making them ideal for backyard chicken enthusiasts or families with children.
  • They have excellent foraging abilities and are self-sufficient when it comes to finding food, making them low-maintenance birds.
  • This breed matures relatively early, with hens starting to lay eggs around the age of five to six months.
  • New Hampshire chickens are generally healthy with few health issues, making them easier to care for compared to some other breeds.

The New Hampshire chicken breed stands out with its exceptional meat production, striking appearance, friendly temperament, and early maturation. These hardy birds are versatile, and adaptable, and make a great addition to any chicken flock, whether for egg production or backyard enjoyment.


The temperament of New Hampshire Chicken Breed is known for its friendly and docile nature, making it a popular choice among backyard chicken enthusiasts. Their calm demeanor and easy-going personality make them great additions to any flock.

The New Hampshire chicken breed is known for its gentle and calm temperament. Whether you’re a seasoned chicken keeper or a newbie, the New Hampshire chickens are a great choice for their easygoing nature and friendly demeanor. Here are some key points about their temperament:

  • Sociable: New Hampshire chickens are highly sociable creatures. They enjoy interacting with both humans and other chickens, making them a joy to have in any flock.
  • Docile: With their docile nature, New Hampshire chickens are typically easy to handle and are often recommended for families with young children.
  • Curious: These chickens have a natural curiosity and love exploring their surroundings. This characteristic not only adds to their entertainment value but also makes them great for free-ranging purposes.
  • Adaptable: New Hampshire chickens are adaptable to various climates and environments. They can handle both warm and cold climates without much trouble.
  • Non-aggressive: Unlike some other chicken breeds, New Hampshire chickens are generally non-aggressive towards other flock members. This makes integration with other breeds relatively easy.

The New Hampshire chicken breed has a temperament that is sociable, docile, curious, adaptable, and non-aggressive. Their easygoing nature and friendly disposition make them a popular choice for chicken keepers of all levels of experience. So, if you’re looking for a breed that is delightful to interact with and can fit well into mixed flocks, the New Hampshire chickens are definitely worth considering.

Comb Types

The New Hampshire chicken breed, known for its robust nature and striking appearance, features different comb types that contribute to its overall charm. Each comb type serves a specific purpose and offers unique characteristics. Let’s take a closer look at the comb types found in New Hampshire chickens:

Single Comb

  • This is the most common comb type in New Hampshire chickens.
  • It is a single row of evenly spaced, upright points extending from the top of the chicken’s head to its beak.
  • The single comb helps regulate body temperature in hot and cold weather, making it an adaptive feature.

Rose Comb

  • The rose comb is a smaller and flatter comb type compared to the single comb.
  • Its appearance is characterized by a series of curved ridges resembling the petals of a rose.
  • This comb type is beneficial in colder climates as it offers better protection against frostbite.

Pea Comb

  • The pea comb is another compact comb type found in New Hampshire chickens.
  • Its name stems from its resemblance to a cluster of peas.
  • The pea comb is well-suited for both warm and cold climates, providing adequate heat dissipation without the risk of frostbite.

Cushion Comb

  • The cushion comb is a unique comb type that resembles a cushion or pillow.
  • It is broader and more rounded compared to other comb types.
  • This comb type is known for providing excellent insulation, making it ideal for cold climates.

V-shaped Comb

  • The V-shaped comb is characterized by a distinct V-shaped appearance.
  • It is narrower at the base and gradually widens towards the tip.
  • This comb type is less common in New Hampshire chickens but still adds to their individuality.

Strawberry Comb

  • The strawberry comb is a small, compact comb type resembling a strawberry.
  • This comb type is known for its durability and suitability for various weather conditions.

Having a good understanding of the different comb types in New Hampshire chickens allows you to appreciate their adaptability and beauty. Each comb type serves a specific purpose and contributes to the overall characteristics of the breed. Whether it’s the single comb, rose comb, pea comb, cushion comb, V-shaped comb, or strawberry comb, New Hampshire chickens truly showcase a diverse range of comb types.


The New Hampshire chicken breed is a remarkable choice for poultry enthusiasts. Its rich history and versatility make it a top pick among farmers and backyard flock owners. This breed, with its robust and adaptable nature, can thrive in various climates and environments, making it an ideal choice for both experienced and novice keepers.

The New Hampshire chicken’s meat is flavorful and sought after, making it a popular choice for those looking to raise their own food. Additionally, the breed’s striking appearance, with its deep red feathers and confident stance, adds a touch of beauty to any chicken coop.

Whether you’re a seasoned farmer or just starting out, the New Hampshire chicken breed is definitely one to consider for your flock. With its many desirable qualities, it’s no wonder that this breed has stood the test of time and continues to be a favorite among poultry enthusiasts.

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