These have to be the strangest looking chickens in the poultry world. They look like a cross between a turkey and a chicken with their completely featherless necks and faces and this was a common myth when they were introduced to this country in the 1920s when they were described as Churkeys! The exposed skin actually turns bright red in sunlight just like that of the turkey. They originate from Hungary but it was in Germany that the breed was perfected and the lack of feathering on the neck is due to a dominant gene. They actually possess half the total number of feathers in other breeds which makes them much quicker to pluck than other table birds. They are currently very popular in the hotter Eastern countries where they are kept as table birds because they are able to withstand much hotter temperatures than other birds. They have existed as free ranging birds in France for centuries where they remain popular to this day. They are heavy birds with long, elongated bodies. The legs are featherless and slate blue in dark feathered breeds or yellow in the paler feathered varieties with four toes on the feet. The neck is totally without feathers and this bare skin continues right up to the crop. The top of the head has feathers on and they usually have a single comb or sometimes a rose comb and large wattles. The earlobes are red and the eyes are reddish bay. There is also a bantam version of this breed.
They are good layers, producing brown eggs and are hardy, vigorous birds. They are happy to free range or be confined in runs and are not known as being particularly good fliers. They need protection in extremely cold temperatures because of their lack of feathers but can cope remarkably well in very hot climates. They are easy to tame and are very placid, calm birds. They are not good broodies as their lack of feathers makes it hard to keep the eggs warm but if allowed to sit on just a few eggs, they are capable of hatching their own eggs and the resulting chicks are born with their necks already exposed and featherless. Males weigh around 7-8lbs while the females are 5Ã‚Â½-6Ã‚Â½lbs.
The Naked Neck can be found in several different colour varieties including black, white, cuckoo, buff, red and blue.
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