Breeds

Hampbar Chicken: A Complete Breed Guide

By Chicken Fans Editorial Team

Developed in the 1950s in Canada, the Hampbar chicken has a fascinating history and yet remains relatively unknown to the large public. This dual-purpose chicken is a cross between a Rhodebar and a New Hampshire and is an auto-sexing breed that's quite rare.

Let's find out everything there is to know about this uncommon breed.

We'll start with a few key takeaways:

  • Hampbar hens lay up to 240 XL eggs per year
  • Crossbreed of a Rhodebar and a New Hampshire
  • It's an autosexing dual-purpose breed
  • Developed in Canada in the 1950s
  • Rare breed
Eggs240 eggs per year
Egg ColorBrown
Egg SizeExtra- large
Weight6 - 7 lbs
HardinessCold
TemperamentFriendly
Beginner-friendlyYes
ColorVaries

Characteristics & History

A Hampbar chicken is a medium-sized chicken with fantastic looks. They were originally developed in Canada in the 1950s to create an auto-sexing dual-purpose breed. The full name of a Hampbar chicken is Barred New Hampshire, giving away some information about its ancestors. The breed was created by crossing Rhodebar males with specially selected New Hampshire females. Hampbar chickens are a very uncommon and rare breed.

Close up of a hampbar hen
Credits: @allispaghetti (IG)

Let's take a closer look:

What is a Rhodebar chicken?

A Rhodebar chicken is an auto-sexing breed developed by crossing a male Barred Plymouth Rock and a Rhode Island Red hen. It was first called Redbar, but the name was later changed to Rhodebar. They're a dual-purpose breed and great egg layers.

What is a New Hampshire chicken?

A New Hampshire Red or a New Hampshire is a well-known chicken breed developed by selectively breeding Rhode Island Red stock for rapid growth and rapid feathering. There are no other breeds involved in the development of the New Hampshire.

What is a Hampbar chicken

By crossing a Rhodebar rooster and a New Hampshire female, a Hampbar chicken is born. The result is a sturdy dual-purpose breed with good egg-laying skills. And because of its auto-sexing, the chick's sex is determined right after hatching. Auto-sexing chicks have different colors in males and females.

What are auto-sexing chickens?

Autosexing chicken breeds are pure breeds where the color or pattern of the feathering can determine the sex of a day-old chick. This process is not to be mistaken with sex-link chickens, which are hybrid chickens, bred from two different parents and where the day-old males and females have different plumage colors.

Chicken Breeding

Hampbar chickens are autosexing chickens as they are a pure breed. The male chicks are mostly lighter in color and don't have any black spotting on the head or back. This has everything to do with crossing a chicken carrying the barred gene and a chicken with a solid plumage. As the Hampbar is the result of crossing a Rhodebar chicken (carrying the barred gene) and a New Hampshire hen (not carrying the gene), the outcome is a male chick carrying two barred genes and the female carrying one. This means the males are lighter than the females.

Egg production

Hampbar chickens are great egg layers, although they are a dual-purpose breed. They lay up to 240 extra-large eggs yearly, that's almost 5 per week. All eggs of the Hampbar chickens are brown. Because these chickens were bred as decent laying birds, so they'll mostly keep on laying during winter, although their egg production can decrease.

Personality

As the Hampbar chicken descends from a Rhodebar and a New Hampshire, their personalities are also related. Hampbars are a docile and friendly breed, but the roosters can be somewhat feisty. They tend to be higher in the pecking order and are, therefore, best placed with other friendly but more dominant breeds, like Rhode Island Reds or Plymouth Rock.

a hampbar hen foraging
Credits: @allispaghetti (IG)

These chickens are a great addition to any backyard flock and are family-friendly. Just remember they're not pet chickens you can pick up and keep on your lap.

To learn more about chicken breeds, check out our 'Chicken Breeds Page' to see every specific breed we address. Or go to our listicle breed summary on 'The Classroom', or, if you're unsure where to start, take a look at our 'Chicken Breeds: Ultimate Beginners Guide'.

Credits Featured Image: @allispaghetti (IG)

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Chicken Fans Editorial Team

The editorial team consists of 3rd generation chicken owners Kat, journalist, editor-in-chief, and Nick, working with illustrators and specialists in the field.

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