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How To Raise And Care For New Hampshire Red Chicken

Raising New Hampshire red chickens can be fun, rewarding, and a learning experience for you and your whole family. While New Hampshire red chickens are generally easy to care for, there are some requirements you should know of that can help ensure your flock is happy and healthy.

New Hampshire red chicken

Learning how to raise and care for New Hampshire red chicken is the best way to ensure the health and safety of your flock. This breed of chicken is friendly and can live happily with other breeds. They do well in both warm and cooler climates, as long as they have protection from the elements.

The New Hampshire red chicken is a dual-purpose bird used for both its impressive egg-laying abilities and meat. This breed was first created in 1914 at the New Hampshire Agriculture Experiment Station.

The goal was to make a chicken breed that would grow and plump up quickly while also laying an abundance of eggs. The New Hampshire red chicken wasn’t admitted to the American Breed Standard, however, until 1935.

New Hampshire red chickens are a great breed for first time chicken raisers. They are generally docile and friendly if they were socialized properly while they were young, and can live in a coop with other chicken breeds.

They have few health problems, aside from parasites, which is a common problem for just about all chicken breeds, and may experience frostbite if not kept warm and dry during cooler temperatures.

This chicken breed doesn’t need an abundance of coop space, but does love foraging, so keep that in mind if you decide to start raising the New Hampshire red chicken.

They also don’t require any special feed or housing setup, so what you currently have for your flock will typically be fine for the New Hampshire red chicken. 

Know that you have learned a little more about this breed, let’s dive a bit more into how to raise and care for New Hampshire red chicken.

How Big Does New Hampshire Red Chicken Grow?

New Hampshire red chickens are not overly large birds, but they are also not the smallest breed out there. Knowing how big this breed gets will help ensure you have the right housing setup to accommodate them.

Mature New Hampshire red chicken hens can stand over 15 inches tall, while the rooster of this breed can reach heights of over 17 inches. The New Hampshire red chicken is considered a medium sized breed.

What Is The Average Weight Of A New Hampshire Red Chicken?

Weighing scale

New Hampshire red chickens are a dual-purpose bird, which means they are used for both their egg production and their meat. If you plan on butchering the bird, knowing its average weight will help you determine when is the best time to slaughter the chicken. 

Adult hens of the New Hampshire red chicken typically weigh about 6 ½ pounds, while the rooster can weigh more than 8 ½ pounds. The bantams of this breed are, of course, much smaller, weighing in at under 30 ounces for the hen and 34 ounces for the rooster.

When Will A New Hampshire Red Chicken Start Laying Eggs?

Each breed of chicken will start laying at different times. Some breeds lay earlier, which is usually considered a good thing, while others wait until they are a little older to start laying. 

The New Hampshire red hen typically starts laying between 5 and 7 months of age. This time frame, however, can vary depending on the overall health of the bird. An unhealthy hen is more likely to experience a delay in laying.

If your New Hampshire red hen isn’t laying, the first thing to do is inspect the bird to see if you notice any injuries or problems. If the bird appears healthy, make sure you are giving it high quality chicken feed. 

Will New Hampshire Red Chicken Lay White Or Brown Eggs?

Brown and white eggs

Some chicken breeds lay white eggs, while others lay brown, and there are even some breeds that lay eggs in hues of pink, yellow, blue, and green. But what about the New Hampshire red chicken?

New Hampshire red chickens lay large brown eggs that can range between light, medium, and even dark brown in some cases. It is completely natural for a New Hampshire red hen to lay eggs that are a different shade of brown than other hens of the same breed.

While people have their own preferences about which is better, research has shown that brown eggs and white eggs contain almost the same nutritional value and have extremely similar taste. The people who prefer brown eggs typically do so because they are associated with small farms and not large commercial egg production companies. 

Do You Need A Same Breed Rooster To Get New Hampshire Red Chicken To Lay Eggs?

A common question often asked by beginners is whether or not they need a rooster that is the same breed to get their New Hampshire red hens to start laying eggs. Let’s take a look at this question and find out whether a New Hampshire red rooster is needed. 

Roosters of any breed are not required for the New Hampshire red hens to start laying. If you want the eggs your chickens lay to be fertilized, meaning they can hatch into chicks, then you will need to add a rooster, but any breed will do.

Remember that if you use a different breed of rooster to fertilize the eggs, then those new chicks won’t be a full-blooded New Hampshire red. They will be a combination of whatever breed the rooster is and whatever breed the hen is. 

What Is The Lifespan Of A New Hampshire Red Chicken?

Red Chicken side view

Chickens typically don’t have a long lifespan, living anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on the breed. Let’s look at what the average lifespan of the New Hampshire red chicken is. 

The average lifespan of New Hampshire red chickens is 7 years. This is more than the average lifespan of many chicken breeds and can be attributed to how robust and strong the New Hampshire chicken is.

Keep in mind that the lifespan is just an average, and several things can affect this time frame. Not providing the chickens with the proper housing, for example, can leave them vulnerable to predators and the weather, both of which can quickly shorten their lifespan. 

Are New Hampshire Red Chicken Friendly?

Whether or not a chicken is friendly is important information, especially if you plan on having those birds near your family and friends. 

New Hampshire red chickens are a friendly breed that is ideal for beginners and backyard chicken coops. Keep in mind, however, that on occasion they can become food-competitive with other chicken breeds.

While they typically have a gentle temperament, they can be a little aggressive if they were not socialized properly during their young age. To help combat this, make sure you get chicks from good stock and that you handle them gently to get them used to humans.

How Many Eggs Can A New Hampshire Red Chicken Lay A Day?

Hand full of brown eggs in pink shirt

Each chicken breed has an average number of eggs that they can lay in a week. This is one of the factors that most people consider when deciding which chicken breed to raise. 

New Hampshire red chickens can lay 3 eggs a week. When this breed was first added to the American Poultry Association, the New Hampshire red’s egg production was listed as 340 eggs a year! However, this high level of egg production is not common today and you can expect around 200 eggs a year.

The number of eggs your New Hampshire red hen lays will vary on several factors, including how healthy the bird is and if it is getting the right nutrients. It takes energy and good nutrition for a hen to lay eggs, and if they are not healthy then they cannot properly lay their eggs. 

When Will A New Hampshire Red Chicken Stop Laying Eggs?

One of the drawbacks of raising chickens is that, at some point, the amount of eggs your hens lay will decrease. This is an unfortunate part of the chicken getting older. 

The egg production of the New Hampshire red chicken will start dwindling as the hen ages. Commercial flocks typically only keep the hen for up to 3 years. That doesn’t mean the older hens won’t produce any eggs, it just means that the amount of eggs they produce decreases after they reach 3 years.

Backyard flocks, however, will generally keep their hens for several more years for as long as she will lay, which can be for the entire lifespan of the chicken.

At What Age Is A New Hampshire Red Chicken The Most Delicious?

Woman in Green thinking

The age when you butcher a chicken will have a direct effect on how tender the meat is. This age can, however, vary from one chicken breed to the next. 

The New Hampshire red chicken was bred to be heavier and gain weight quicker than other chicken breeds. Because of this, they can be slaughtered when they reach 12 to 14 weeks old. At this time, the chicken should weigh between 6 ½ and 8 ½ pounds.

Keep in mind that the older the chicken is when you slaughter it, the tougher the meat will be. This probably won’t be a problem if you plan on using the meat for stews, soups, or other dishes where the meat is cooked slowly for a long period of time. 

Best Housing Setup For A New Hampshire Red Chicken

Even though most chicken breeds love to roam a bit looking for food, you still need to provide them with a housing setup to protect the birds from predators and the weather. 

New Hampshire red chickens don’t need too much space, but you should give them at least 4 square feet per chicken in the coop. They will also need roosting space, and tend to rooster closer to the ground than other breeds, so position their perches no more than 4 feet from the ground.

The New Hampshire red chickens will also need plenty of shade in warmer climates and, if possible, allow them to free range. If you want to keep them in an enclosure, however, they will need at least 10 square feet per chicken to prevent potential fights.

Typical Health Problems Of A New Hampshire Red Chicken

Hands checking the neck of the chicken

Health problems are, unfortunately, a common issue that can affect all sizes of flocks. Knowing what issues can plague your birds is your first step in combating any health problems that can arise.

The New Hampshire red chicken breed doesn’t have many health concerns, although you will need to keep an eye out for parasites, such as bedbugs, mites, and fleas. Regularly cleaning the coop helps to keep this problem at bay.

Another potential issue is frostbite to the chicken’s combs. This problem only occurs in cold weather and can be prevented by ensuring your flock stays warm and dry during the cold months.

Typical Problems Raising New Hampshire Red Chicken

One of the great things about New Hampshire red chickens is that you probably won’t have too many problems raising them. That doesn’t mean, however, you won’t experience any issues.

This article was first published on November 13, 2022 by Pentagon-Pets.

New Hampshire red hens are known to go broody sometimes, which means they will become committed to hatching their eggs. While this is a good thing if you want new chicks, it can disrupt the amount of eggs you get from those hens, since they stop laying for about 21 days.

When hens go broody, they will lay several eggs in one nesting and than sit on those eggs trying to hatch them. During this time, the hen won’t lay any more eggs until the eggs hatch or they get out of their broody state.

What Type Of Food Is Best For New Hampshire Red Chicken?

Chicken eating feeds

Feeding chickens the right type of food isn’t hard, but it is extremely important. A chicken cannot be healthy if it isn’t getting good nutrition. That is why it is vital to ensure your New Hampshire red chickens have the ideal type of food to eat.

New Hampshire reds are active chickens that require high quality commercial feed. On average, they will eat between 2 ½ to 4 ounces of feed a day. This feed can be left in feeders for them to free feed or given several times throughout the day at certain meal times.

These birds also love to forage for insects, seeds, and grubs. You can also feed them some fruit and vegetables as long as they are not moldy or spoiled. Additionally, you should never feed them chocolate, uncooked rice, beans, raw potatoes, fruit pits and seeds, citrus, junk food, or avocados.

Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on November 13, 2022.

If you’re unsure as to whether or not a chicken can have something, err on the side of caution and simply don’t give it to them. There is nothing wrong with just feeding your flock high quality chicken feed and allowing them to forage for insects and seeds. Far too often, people will simply give their chickens food that is safe for humans without thinking about whether it is safe for their birds.

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This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on November 13, 2022.

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