New Hampshire Information
The New Hampshire breed is an excellent addition to a flock if you’re looking for a dual-purpose bird with an emphasis on meat production. They’re also great for new and experienced poultry keepers alike due to their affable demeanour and relatively low requirements for maintenance.
Moderate egg production
High meat production
Cold climate hardy: Yes
Rare breed: No
Quantity: 2-4 eggs/hen/week
New Hampshire chickens bear a large resemblance to Rhode Island Reds. This is because Rhode Island Reds were selectively bred to develop New Hampshires. While still a dual-purpose breed, New Hampshire chickens were developed with a greater emphasis on meat production, having faster-growing feathers and reaching maturity at an earlier age when compared to Rhode Island Reds.
Despite being bred with meat production in mind, New Hampshires are still moderate layers, producing between 150-200 large, brown eggs per year. These relatively large birds (hens ~ 2.9kg; roosters 3.5kg) have a broad frame and reddish buff feathers that can range from medium to light shades depending on sun exposure, which lightens the colour of the feathers.
New Hampshire chickens have many great qualities that make them great for experienced and new poultry keepers. As mentioned above, they are great all-rounders in terms of meat and egg production. Housing these birds is quite easy as they do not require high fencing due to their relatively poor flying ability. These pliant and family friendly chickens are happy to roam free but can also tolerate more confined spaces. They also tend to go broody and make exceptional mothers when they do.