Have you ever heard of a bird that was referred to as a \'Turken\' instead of a chicken? The Turken term originated along with the Naked Neck Chicken. Since the neck of the Naked Neck is, in fact, naked like that of a turkey, there was a running misconception that this bird was this result of crossbreeding between chickens and turkeys. While this is not the case, this term has stuck around to be associated with this breed of chicken for quite some time.
While not very popular in America, Naked Necks are seen widely throughout Europe. They actually originated in Transylvania and were bred largely in Germany before being introduced in Great Britain during the 1920\'s. Their popularity never truly caught on in the United States, possibly due to their odd appearance, but they are said to be decent egg layers (averaging 2 large brown eggs per week). They are also desirable as meat birds due to their nakedness and having fewer feathers to pluck. The Naked Neck gene is dominant and surprisingly easy to introduce into other breeds to create a hybrid. True Naked Necks, not hybrids, are recognized by the American Poultry Association and have been since the year 1965. In addition to the Naked Neck, also known to exist is the Transylvanian Naked Neck, the French Naked Neck, and a type of Naked Necked Gamefowl.
The lack of feathers on the neck of this chicken may raise concern about their survival abilities. Since their necks are bare, there have been concerns as to whether or not these animals can withstand extreme cold and heat. Weather is actually not a problem for Naked Neck chickens; they fair just fine through winters and do even better in heat due to the ability of their necks to breathe. The possibility of being affected by frostbite and sunburn does exist, however, so these things will have to be monitored should you take on ownership of Naked Necks.
Even though they have a bit of a bizarre appearance, they have endearing personalities and are extremely laid back, calm and friendly birds. It is said that they are so sociable that they follow their people around much like a dog would. When the option to follow you around and investigate what you are doing is removed, they handle confinement well. They are also extremely docile and tame easily. Naked Necks are very broody, however, and when chicks are hatched they often form group broods for the mothering and protection of those chicks.
All in all, the Naked Neck seems like a delightful addition to any flock if you can get past the different appearance. They are not aggressive birds but the roosters are known to be protective of their flocks as the mothers are of their chicks. With their easygoing temperaments, Naked Necks are excellent birds to have around children and adults alike. They may not be accepted as an exhibition birds, but having a Naked Neck around is still sure to turn heads.