Is she adorable, or is she hideous? The appearance of the Naked Neck, also called the Turken, is definitely the feature of this bird that gets the most attention. But there are so many other facets that make this chicken unique! Naked Necks are one of the best breeds out there for hot temperatures. They are incredibly feed efficient. They lay a good amount of eggs, and often lay through hot summers and cold winters.
They have incredibly tasty meat, and a carcass that may be the easiest to pluck in all of the chicken world. And best of all, Naked Necks are little darlings.
They are sweet, docile, cuddly, and each one has her own character. In this article, I cover them all for you. The 17 things you must know before getting Naked Neck chickens.
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Breeds you may want instead of Naked Necks. And, finally, where to buy your Naked Neck chicks, roos, or hens! As an associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. You will often hear Naked Neck chickens referred to as Turkens, even many of the hatcheries sell them by this name.
And you can kind of see that, right? These chickens do have a little bit of a turkey look to them. No, not really. Coincidentally, this breed was actually developed in that region of Europe. The Naked Necks we have in the U. today were originally developed in Romania in the Transylvanian area and Hungary, and then refined in 19th century Germany.
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Today, Naked Necks are available at many hatcheries and feed stores, but they are much less popular than they should be. Why do I say that? Because these birds are incredible. They are hardier than most breeds, have wonderful dispositions, and thrive in backyard and barnyard settings. They are one of the most underrated chickens out there, no doubt because of their unusual appearance.
What the heck is up with those naked necks? The Naked Neck is an easy chicken to recognize. In roosters, the neck skin is a bright red color. In hens, the neck skin is more of a pinkish-white. So, the top part of the breast is also bare.
The entire body of the Naked Neck carries considerably fewer feathers than those of other chicken breeds. Why are Naked Necks like this? Because they carry a special gene.
This gene is responsible for their barer bodies with their fewer feathers. And Naked Necks are not the only chickens to carry this gene. In fact, chickens with the naked gene have been around for millennia, probably originating in Malaysia. And birds carrying this gene likely dispersed into other regions of the world fairly early in history.
Even today, many chickens can be found in other parts of the world with this gene, including the Malgache Gamefowl of Madagascar and the Ga Don of Vietnam.
In the video slideshow below, you can see some examples of these other birds. And recently, scientists have actually used the naked gene to create chickens that are entirely featherless. You can see an example of an entirely featherless rooster, Bule, in the video below.
This is a cute little guy being raised in Indonesia with love and a lot of attention. Naked Neck feather colors and patterns. Naked Neck chickens come in a variety of colors and plumage patterns, including:. In the video slideshow below, you can see some examples of these different varieties of Naked Necks, including the Black, Buff, White, and Cuckoo varieties.
And in this next video, you can see a flock of Naked Necks that includes the following varieties:. You may even find Naked Neck Frizzles-these have soft, curly feathers. And you can also find Naked Neck Bantams i. Below, you can see an example of these tiny chickens:. Other notable features of Naked Neck chickens. Naked Neck chickens have a medium-size, upright single comb, medium-size wattles, and medium-size, red earlobes. Most varieties have yellow beaks and shanks, and reddish-bay eyes.
You might even find some naked necks with some feather tufts on their necks. These chickens are likely heterozygous rather than homozygous for the naked gene-meaning they got the naked gene from one parent, but not from the other.
Below is an example of one of these types. You can see an adorable Naked Neck hen with a bib of neck feathers, who is caring for a bunch of mixed-breed chicks. How big do Naked Neck chickens get? Roosters: 8. What do Naked Neck chicks look like?
Different varieties of Naked Necks will hatch in different colors and patterns, but all Naked Necks are born with their necks already bare. You can see a few different varieties of Naked Neck chicks in the video below.
In the video slideshow below, you can see a few examples of older Naked Neck chicks at different ages. In the first video, you can see a man holding a Naked Neck on the palm of his hand high above the ground.
Originally called "Naked Neck" chickens, they were first bred in Eastern Hungary. Many believed that they were a cross between a chicken and the domesticated turkey, but this is not the case. The "Naked Neck" was a characteristic bred into the chicken to make The Naked Neck chicken is an old dual purpose poultry breed. It is naturally devoid of feathers on its neck and vent. The origination of Naked Neck chicken is unclear, but the breed is thought to have been brought back from Asia at the end of the ninth century by Hungarian buckysboneyard.com Name: Naked Neck The Naked Neck is a breed of chicken that is naturally devoid of feathers on its neck and vent The breed is also called the Transylvanian Naked Neck, as well as the Turken. Originally from Transylvania - Romania, and was largely developed in Germany
There are so many benefits to the naked neck gene. Let me explain. One of the reasons chickens need so much protein in their diets is because their feathers are made up almost entirely of proteins.
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So, when Naked Necks consume protein, their bodies are better able to put that protein towards egg and meat production, rather than feather production. This makes these birds incredibly feed efficient. You can expect your Naked Neck hens to lay about medium-large brown eggs a year. However, the number of eggs these chickens lay is highly variable, depending largely on the strain you buy. Some strains are actually prolific layers, laying anywhere between eggs per year.
Naked Neck chickens are an odd bird to look at, and many people are baffled when they see them. The origin of the Naked Neck chicken is fuzzy: they have been tracked to Europe where they are called Transylvania Naked Neck chickens. And that's no fib; they are hatched with zero feathers on their necks and sparse on their vent (bottoms) While their featherlessness makes the Naked Neck appear to be a scrawnier-type of chicken, they are actually considered a dual purpose chicken due to their ability to use the protein they ingest for energy toward meat building rather than feather buckysboneyard.comted Reading Time: 6 mins In easy definition, the Naked neck chicken is recognized as a unique breed with an absence of feathers over the neck region. The absence of their feathers at the neck is natural. Some poultry farmers call this breed the Transylvanian Naked Neck. Others also named them Turken Chickens
One Naked Neck chicken keeper described her hens this way:. In fact, my best laying Naked Neck only took a break from laying when she molted so heavily as to be completely bald and needed to grow the feathers back. If the egg-laying ability of your Naked Necks is very important to you, I suggest both checking with your hatchery or breeder to learn what their strains are like and checking out reviews of your hatchery or breeder, if you can find them.
Below, you can see a video of a cute Black Naked Neck hen laying an egg. Notice how as soon as she lays the egg, she starts singing. This means that they will sit on their eggs with the intent of hatching chicks.
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And another chicken keeper said her Naked Necks do the opposite-they share brooding responsibilities. In her own words:. My two Naked Necks take turns to sit on the eggs while they are brooding, quite strange, I know.
If you allow your Naked Necks to brood, you can expect them to be superb mothers.
In the video below, you can see a Red Naked Neck hen tidbitting for her chicks. This is because these birds are somewhat tightly feathered.
Their feathers are stiffer and sit more closely to the body than a lot of other breeds. And, as we know, they have a lot fewer of them. So, keep this in mind when you let your girls brood. When they first start brooding, check to see how many eggs are under them and make sure it looks like all of the eggs are sufficiently covered. You may need to take some eggs out if not.
Broody hens like to move their eggs around a lot. To begin with, Naked Necks tolerate heat really well, much better than your average dual-purpose bird. If your typical chicken gets hot at all, then they react by eating less and growing more slowly. Naked Necks, on the other hand, tolerate heat so well that they continue eating through hot summers and grow quickly.
This means they are much more feed efficient than your typical dual-purpose bird. And these chickens tend to have less fat on them than other meaty breeds. Additionally, homesteaders who raise Naked Necks for meat say they are delicious.
All around a great dual-purpose meat and egg bird. Many homesteaders who raise Naked Necks claim they can taste the difference in this skin. This homesteader says he slaughters his Naked Necks around 16 weeks, but that they grow so fast, you could still get a decent carcass at only 12 weeks. Once again, we have the naked gene to thank for this. Naked Neck chickens are one of the best chickens you can get for hot temperatures.
And, contrary to most other breeds of chickens, Naked Necks do well in hot and humid environments, not just hot and dry. Once again, we have those naked necks and bare bodies to thank. One of the main ways chickens cool off is by holding their wings out away from their bodies.
When they hold their wings out, these featherless tracts get exposed to the air. This helps to cool them the same way putting your hair in a ponytail to get it off of your neck cools you, or the same way taking off your shirt cools you.
Other Naked Neck keepers have said their birds have survived summer temperatures over °.
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Your Naked Necks still need cold water at all times during the hot months, as well as plenty of shade. With your Naked Necks having so much skin exposed, both on their necks and on other parts of their bodies, you might be wondering if these chickens get sunburned.
Naked Necks might be susceptible to sunburns. The exposed skin of Naked Neck chickens does turn a really bright red color in the sunny months.
And according to the British Hen Welfare Trust, feather-bare chickens are just as susceptible to sunburn as we are. So, do your Naked Necks need extra care in the sun?
However, some people on the forums are saying that sunscreen has an ingredient that is toxic to chickens. I could not find any authoritative information on it one way or another. Hardy and calm, this chicken, which performs well in warmer climates, is a dual-purpose breed that is used worldwide for both meat and egg production.
Kreifels Poultry in Nebraska breeds both Buff and White Naked Neck Bantams, but no other hatcheries or breeders online have specified their birds' colors. One breeder of notice is Frizzle Feather Farm in North Carolina. This farm breeds Frizzle Naked Necks-that is, Naked Necks with soft, curly, fur-like feathers. To learn more about Naked Neck varieties, check out my article, Considering Naked Neck chickens? Naked Neck Chickens are also sometimes referred to as Turkens or Chirkens as they were sometimes mistakenly thought to be a hybrid between a turkey and a chicken. But this is not true, and these birds are pure chicken. As their name implies, Naked Neck Chickens have bare necks and 40 to 50 percent fewer feathers than other chickens Also known as the Transylvania naked neck chicken, turken or kaalnek, the naked neck chicken is a bird that is striking in appearance; featherless from the neck to the upper breast and around the vent, these chickens are reasonably rare in the United States
Also known as the Transylvania naked neck chicken, turken or kaalnek, the naked neck chicken is a bird that is striking in appearance; featherless from the neck to the upper breast and around the vent, these chickens are reasonably rare in the United States but common in Europe and widespread in South America.
While accounts differ on their origin, it is thought by some poultry experts that these birds were brought back to Europe from Asia as spoils of war by Hungarian conquerors. Others assert that naked necks originated in Transylvania and underwent significant development in Germany, where the single gene that controls the naked neck trait was identified. Controlled by an incompletely dominant allele located near the middle of chromosome 3, individual chickens can be either homozygous dominant or heterozygous to exhibit the characteristic lack of feathers that defines this breed.
However, individuals that are heterozygous will display less reduction in feathering than homozygous individuals.
This occurrence necessitates that individual naked necks used to breed future generations should be homozygous dominant in order to produce chickens to the breed standard. Individual chickens that are homozygous recessive will not exhibit the characteristic naked neck of this breed, nor will they be able to pass the naked neck trait down to future generations. Although the naked neck gene is relatively easy to introduce into other chicken breeds, the chickens produced by this interbreeding are considered hybrids rather than true naked necks.
First introduced in Great Britain in the s, this breed was not recognized by the American Poultry Association untilwhen stringent breed standards were set.
Sometimes called a Turken due to the mistaken assumption that this breed is a cross between chicken and a domestic turkey, the Transylvania naked neck is often confused with other featherless breeds, including the French naked neck and the naked neck gamefowl. Easily identified by their prominent lack of feathers, Transylvania naked necks are naturally devoid of feathers on their necks and around the vent.
Generally yellow in skin tone, the bare skin of the neck often turns bright red with repeated or prolonged exposure to sunlight, giving these birds a burned look similar to that of a turkey.
Naked neck chickens
If not exposed to sunlight, the neck of this bird remains yellow or light pink in color. A large bird with a broad back, these chickens boast the standard shape of a breed developed for meat production. Standard male naked necks weigh in at about 8.
Bantams of this breed generally weigh in at around 2. Available in a variety of colors, Transylvania naked necks are recognized in black, white, blue, red, buff and cuckoo colors by poultry associations in the United Kingdom and in black, white, red, and buff by poultry associations in the United States.
Sporting featherless legs that are yellow in paler feathered varieties and slate blue in darker feathered varieties, these chickens have large, four toed feet and reddish-bay colored eyes. Additionally, naked necks have red earlobes, a single comb and large wattle, which are also red in coloration. Although the Transylvania naked neck garners much attention for its peculiar looks, the breed itself was not developed for exhibition or poultry shows.
Instead, the naked neck is considered a dual-purpose chicken, valuable in terms of both meat and egg production.
Desirable as a meat bird due to their featherless necks and large, heavy bodies, these birds are especially prized because they possess approximately half the number of feathers of other, more traditional chicken breeds and are thus easier to pluck. In terms of temperament, the Transylvania naked neck is a generally calm, placid bird that does well in a variety of conditions and climates and is easy to tame when desired. Hardy and active, these chickens are reasonably good foragers and do well in free range situations, as their large, heavy bodies prevent them from roosting out of reach.
However, these chickens also tolerate confinement well and require additional housing and protection in extremely cold temperatures. A sturdy breed, naked necks are generally resistant to most diseases, making them an ideal choice for small farms or urban flocks.
As valuable in terms of egg production as they are for meat production, the Transylvania naked neck is a respectable, steady egg layer.
Producing reasonably sized brown or light brown eggs, these birds can supply the average family with enough eggs that supplementing would generally be unnecessary. Calm and easily tamed, the good nature of the naked neck, along with its inability to roost in high places, makes egg collection simple.
However, because these birds do best in warm climates, egg production may slow or halt if the birds are exposed to consistently colder temperatures without proper shelter.
Because these birds are considered to be generally sturdy and hardy, they are kept in a variety of conditions, climates, and regions.