This breed was developed from Rhode Island Reds on the East Coast of
America in the state of New Hampshire between 1915 and 1935. The aim was
to produce a bird that possessed early maturity, quick feathering, good
egg production, great egg quality and a good resistance against diseases -
an aim that was certainly reached! The shape is more rounded than that of
the Rhode Island Red and the colour is between the Rhode Island Red and
the Buff-colour. Meat qualities were added to the breed at a later stage,
but this had a negative effect on the egg production.
The New Hampshire is a well-developed, deep red brown utility breed with a broad, deep breast and a back that sweeps up to the tail. They are full but not loose feathered. The head is moderately long and inclined to flatness on top. The single, upright, red comb is fairly big, set firmly and has five even spikes. The earlobes and wattles are red. The medium long neck is well arched and the hackles flow onto the shoulders. The wings and the tail in the hens contain darker coloured feathers and the lower neck feathers are distinctly tipped with black. The darker feathers only occur in the wings and tail in cocks. The body is of medium length, broad and deep and the breast is carried well forward. The wings are fairly large and horizontal and tightly carried. The tail is of medium length, well spread and carried at an angle of 45 degrees above horizontal. The medium long, warm yellow legs are placed well apart. A little reddish horn colour on the sides, which is also carries in the toes, is allowed.
Apart from the excellent laying qualities of 200 and more dark brown eggs a year that weigh around 60 grams, the early maturity and meat quality are also excellent. They lay right through the winter. The food intake is fairly high, though. Broodiness is fairly rare. From the second year onwards, the egg production decreases.
The weight of young cocks and hens is between 2500 and 3250 grams and in adult birds between 3000 and 3750 grams.
New Hampshire Reds are renowned for their red-brown colour. Very rarely, the white variety is spotted. In some countries a variety is recognised whereby blue feathers have replaced the dark and black feathers.