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STOPLIGHT BREED OF THE WEEK NEW HAMPSHIRE REDS
Many people assume that the New Hampshire Red Chicken is an old-time breed. The truth of the matter is the New Hampshire Red is actually a relatively newer heritage breed. This breed was just recently in the news for being selected as the state poultry bird for the state it is named after, New Hampshire. This successful dual-purpose bird was developed around 1915 in New England using Rhode Island Reds as the breeding foundation stock. There is no record of any other outside bloodlines being introduced into the breeding program. Many generations of an intense selection from the Rhode Island red breeding stock for early growth and maturity, quick feathering, vigor, plump carcasses and production of large Brown eggs thus produced the New Hampshire Red breed. With time, the New Hampshire Red was recognized for its specialized traits, and it was admitted to the Standard of Perfection in 1935. The New Hampshire’s as they were commonly called were a significant contributor to the egg production industry. The breed’s rapid growth and early maturity were also recognized by the large broiler industry at the time. However, the New Hampshire differs from the Rhode Island Red in several respects. The color of the plumage was noticeable, being a lighter shade of red. This lighter shade was similar to some strains of the Rhode Island Reds in which poultry raisers had concentrated on egg-laying ability without regard to color. The body of the New Hampshire has been described as more triangular than that of the Rhode Island Red. The New Hampshire chicks also feather out rapidly, grows quickly, and matures early. They do tend to go broody and make good mothers. The New Hampshire is a reliable and robust cold hardy breed that adapt well to confinement or free ranging. This fine dual-purpose strain produces large brown eggs with an extra good shell texture. Medium-heavy in weight, with a yellow-skinned carcass free from dark pinfeathers which dress out a nice, plump carcass for either use as a broiler or a roaster.
The New Hampshire is not considered a rare breed however, the American Livestock Breed Conservancy has placed this breed on their watch list.
Adult Birds description: Compared to a Rhode Island red the body of the New Hampshire is much shorter and more compact. The coloring is primarily a chestnut red with black tail feathers. Males appear to be somewhat darker in color than the females. The combs are single with five well-defined points and are moderate in size. The comb of the male is straight and upright. The comb of a female may be lopped. The legs and feet are rich yellow tinged with reddish horn.
Baby Chick description: Light buff red color with even lighter color chest and wingtips. They are much lighter than Rhode Island red and Production Red but darker than a Buff Orpington. They had single, serrated combs and yellow legs and feet.
Origin: United States
Classification Type: American
Temperament: Adaptable to confinement or free range, calm & docile.
Purpose: Dual purpose eggs laying and meat production
Broodiness: Typically make good mothers
Hardiness: Cold hardy
Maturing: 20-22 weeks Mating ratio: 10 females to 1 male
Egg color: Brown Egg size: Large
Rate Of Lay: Great Eggs per year: 280- 300
Weight: Hen 7 lbs Rooster: 9 1/2 lbs
Pullet 5 1/2 lbs Cockerel 7 1/2 lbs
Spacing: Confined at all times 10 square feet per bird. Confined at night only at least 4 square feet of space per bird
Roost height: 2Ft -4FT
Life Span: Of the New Hampshire Red will depend on how well they are cared for, and the quality of life that they enjoy. A standard New Hampshire Red chicken will generally live for approximately 6-8 years but have been known to reach 10-12 years. However, egg production will decrease each year.
Other interesting facts: New Hampshire Reds and Rhode Island Reds were used as the foundation stock in producing the Production Red Breed.
We hatch New Hampshire Reds February thru May.