Thursday, February 22Food Security Matters

New Hampshire Chicken Breed Profile and Characteristics

New Hampshire chickens have an interesting history, and they are known for their impressive characteristics, behavior, and size. These chickens are a popular choice among those who are looking for an egg-laying breed that is easy to take care of, and they can even provide you with a great source of entertainment. In this article, you’ll learn all about the characteristics, behavior, and size of the New Hampshire chicken so you can decide if this breed is right for you.

New Hampshire Hen
New Hampshire Hen

History of New Hampshire Chicken

The New Hampshire chicken, also known as the New Hamp or the NH Red, is an American breed of domestic chicken. It was created by a poultry farmer in New Hampshire in the early 20th century. Initially bred as a dual-purpose chicken, it is now primarily a dual-purpose table bird. The New Hampshire chicken has a single comb, white skin, and reddish-brown feathers. It is a hardy bird that can withstand cold temperatures, making it ideal for New England’s climate. The New Hampshire chicken matures quickly and is known for its good egg production and meat qualities. It is recognized by the American Poultry Association and is a popular choice for backyard flocks.

Characteristics of New Hampshire Chicken

New Hampshire chickens are a type of poultry native to the New Hampshire region of the United States. These chickens are known for their hardiness, as they are well-adapted to cold climates. They are identified by their distinctive plumage of black and white feathers, as well as their characteristic white earlobes. As they are larger than other breeds of chickens, they can generally produce larger eggs and more meat. They are also valued by farmers for their excellent foraging skills, as they can easily scratch around for food and bugs. All of these factors make the New Hampshire chicken an ideal breed for raising in colder climates.

1. Size

The New Hampshire chicken is a type of chicken that is considered to be a medium-sized bird. It is slightly larger than the popular Rhode Island Red, weighing in at around six pounds for an adult rooster and five to six pounds for an adult hen. This bird has a broad, deep chest and a long single comb, with a moderately broad back. The overall size of the New Hampshire chicken makes it a good option for small-scale farmers who don’t have room for larger chicken breeds.

2. Colors

of the New Hampshire Chicken: The New Hampshire chicken has predominately red feathers, with a few areas of white. The chest of the chicken is usually black with a white face, while the tail feathers are tipped in white. The legs of the chicken are yellow and they have single-colored red combs and wattles. The ear lobes and eyes of the chicken can be either red or white.

3. Weight

The New Hampshire chicken is a medium-sized bird, with the standard weight for the breed ranging from 4.5 to 6.5 pounds. While the roosters are typically larger than the hens, the hens are generally sturdier and have more well-rounded breasts. The New Hampshire chicken is a bit larger than other medium-sized chicken breeds, but it is a hardy bird that can easily handle colder climates.

The behavior of New Hampshire Chicken

New Hampshire chickens are known for their energetic and intelligent behavior. They are active birds, who love to explore and play during the day. This breed is very curious and social, making them a great choice for the backyard keeper. They enjoy free-ranging and have a strong flocking instinct. This breed is easy to train and can quickly learn simple tricks. New Hampshire chickens are also known to be vocal and alert, as they often make loud cackles in response to external stimuli.

1. Temperament

The New Hampshire chicken is known for its calm and docile demeanor. It is a fairly passive bird, preferring to forage for food rather than become aggressive in its environment. This chicken is a great choice for those looking for a relatively laid-back bird that can still work hard in the garden. They are also known to be quite sociable, making them a great choice for families with children, as they do not become easily spooked by noise.

2. Socializing

New Hampshire chickens are social creatures and love to live in groups. They are known to be friendly and interactive, often forming bonds with fellow chickens. They are curious and enjoy exploring their surroundings, which can lead to their socializing with other types of animals. When New Hampshire chickens are kept in groups, they tend to be loyal to one another and protect each other in times of danger. This can be very beneficial in free-range or pasture settings.

Questions Related to New Hampshire Chicken

Are New Hampshire chickens good layers?

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!

What is the difference between a Rhode Island Red and a New Hampshire Red chicken?

When comparing the two as fully matured birds, Rhode Island Red tends to be dark red, almost mahogany, in color. New Hampshire tends to be brighter red such as chestnut with yellow highlights.

What age do New Hampshire chickens lay eggs?

Most non-hybrids start laying at 5 to 7 months of age. These include New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, Buff Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Wyandottes, and many of our other breeds.

What are the disadvantages of New Hampshire chickens?

They have large bodies, they don’t suit some coops. Their chicken coop is not big enough for their large body. And smaller coop can make the uncomfortable and that can lead to bullying and feather pecking in the flock.

What are the advantages of a New Hampshire chicken?

They are easy to care for and easy to love, are excellent 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-around go-to chicken breed for chicken keepers in the know.


In conclusion, the New Hampshire Chicken is a unique breed with a long history and some remarkable characteristics. It is a medium-sized bird with reddish-brown coloring, usually reaching a weight of about 4-6 pounds. Though these birds can be quite skittish, with proper handling and socialization they can make great pets. They tend to form strong attachments to their owners, enjoying companionship and interaction. This feathered friend with its golden-brown coloring and sweet personality will bring joy and laughter to any home.

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