The State of New Hampshire recently designated the official state poultry, and possibly to no one’s surprise, it chose the New Hampshire Red breed of chicken for that honor.

Proponents of the new designation for the New Hampshire Red, according to an Associated Press report, touted the breed for its hardiness, intelligence and other qualities they say match the state’s residents.

Gov. Chris Sununu on June 18 signed the legislation to make the New Hampshire Red its official state poultry. The legislation was originally proposed by students from Canaan Elementary School, who attended the signing ceremony.

Do other states have official poultry?

When I learned about this action in New Hampshire, it made me wonder if my own state, Kansas, had an official state poultry breed?

It does have the Meadowlark as the state bird, but I wasn’t sure about any poultry designations. I figured if anyone would know, it might be my friend Rep. Ed Trimmer, D-Winfield. Ed, upon the request of a constituent, in 2012 proposed a bill that would make the Cairn terrier, the same breed as Toto from “The Wizard of Oz,” the state dog. 

Sadly, Ed was criticized for the proposed bill, with some saying it was a trivial use of legislative time, even if he was just doing his job. “They just thought we needed a state dog. It’s one of those things that when a constituent asks you, you do. I realize we have very critical, critical issues at the state level. But our constituents and their issues are very important to them and that’s why I introduced it for them,” Ed told the Wichita Eagle.

The bill was tabled and never revived.

And it appears there is no official state poultry. Ed informed me on the day after New Hampshire named its official chicken that there was no official state chicken to his knowledge, nor was he aware if any attempts to designate one had ever taken place.

How about your state? If you live in a state that has an official state poultry breed, let me know.

What kind of response will New Hampshire Red get?

I was relieved to learn that New Hampshire’s state government had the wisdom to realize that there is no real harm in naming the New Hampshire Red as the state poultry, and such a designation will not cost the taxpayers much.

But I do fear there could be some repercussions. This is the type of subject that might draw the ire of animal rights activists, or those who think of pets as part of the family, and that message just might be that they think chickens are equal to humans and therefore there is no need for a state poultry designation. I hope I’m wrong, and people just enjoy this for what it is: educational and fun.