New Hampshire chicken
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|Other names||New Hampshire Red|
|Country of origin||United States of America|
|ABA||Single comb, clean legged|
|PCGB||Soft feather: heavy|
The New Hampshire breed of chicken 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.
The New Hampshire was admitted to the American Standard of Perfection 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.
In 2018, the breed was designated as the official State Poultry by the New Hampshire legislature after an appeal from fourth grade students at Canaan Elementary School.
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, brownish 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. While mainly raised for meat, they are also modest producers of brown eggs. Some strains lay eggs of a dark brown shell color. They are available in both standard and bantam varieties. New Hampshires can be 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.
A dual-purpose chicken, selected more for meat production than egg production. Medium heavy in weight, it dresses plump carcass used as either a broiler or a roaster.
- APA Recognized Breeds and Varieties: As of January 1, 2012. American Poultry Association. Archived 4 November 2017.
- Breed Classification. Poultry Club of Great Britain. Archived 12 June 2018.
- Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin–Madison; Dr. Joe Berry, Department of Animal Science, Oklahoma State University
- Poultryhub.org Fancy Chicken Breeds - New Hampshire
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