BackYard Chickens › Breeds & Supplies › Chicken Breeds › Naked Neck-turken

Naked Neck-turken


Pros: Delicious broilers, good layers of large eggs, very friendly, heat tolerant, rule the roost

Cons: Not cold tolerant

These chickens are big, bad, and delicious! We bought two from our local hatchery and unfortunately slaughtered the rooster, though he was incredibly delicious, our hatchery is having problems getting more in this year! He had a generous amount of meat on him, it was juicy and flavorful, and I could even see the oil from the fat bubbling under the skin which made the skin so crispy and delicious, like fried chicken without the oil and deep fryer! The hen we are keeping as a pet and have named Oprah because before she goes to kick another hen's butt, she weaves her head back and fourth like an angry black woman, and Oprah is our favorite black woman. My friends have asked me if she has a book club, I say I think she does, why else would the hens love her so much? We had to bring her in for the winter which really upsetted the other hens, they stopped laying completely (we thought it was the cold of winter until we put her back out and they started laying again), but she just wasn't looking happy or healthy out in that cold. Once she settled in inside, to our amazement, she started laying again! When she was put back outside, our two Welsummers who were ruling the roost in her absence, tried to dominate her. She turned around, grabbed the nearest Welsummer's hackles and scratched her on the back with her foot, they went running off while boking and that was the end of that. They didn't try it again, lol.


She's very curious and friendly, she follows me around and doesn't run from me at all, she even lets me pick her up though she makes sounds about it (which roughly translate to "Omg I'm being abducted" I'm sure). She's also quite the tank, she feels like a good 12 lbs, which is how much my shih tzu x amer. cocker mixes weigh. Their legs also amaze me, they are thick and giant!


She lays large- though large in length than width, still large- light brown eggs. We've even gotten quite a few double yolked from her, which may be bad for anyone incubating or hatching chicks, but we enjoy them for eating!


Pros: They recover from injury and sickness very quickly. Great in droughts. Easy to pluck. NN gene is dominant. Tasty meat, huge eggs.

Cons: I don't have enough of them. They take about an extra month to grow for meat compared to other birds because they tend to be bigger.

These are the most delicious birds ever.  I read that they were bred in world war I by countries in Europe to improve the amount of eggs/meat of chickens.  The breed was almost wiped out in world war II as the chickens were killed to feed soldiers.  They lay huge brown eggs.  I recently got a straight run of them but it looks like I mostly have cockerels.  Take a look here for the wonderful history of the naked neck!


Pros: Outstanding meat and egg production all year round; fun & friendly personalities; exceptionally hardy and healthy.

Cons: I haven't found any.


If ever I had to restrict myself to a single breed to meat all of my meat, egg and "chicken therapy" needs, this would be the one. Not only are my NNs prolific layers of large to jumbo sized eggs all year round, but they also provide the most delicious meat and are far easier and faster to process than other breeds. They're wonderfully intelligent and feed efficient birds with an abundance of personality. And when it comes to health and hardiness, this breed cannot be beat. Our excessive Arizona summers barely faze them, and while our winters don't get exceptionally cold like other parts of the country do, my NNs have handled freezing temperatures with no signs of discomfort or distress. 


The chicks are amazingly hardy and feather out much more quickly than most other fully feathered breeds. Many of my chicks begin roosting on the edge of the brooder by 1 1/2 weeks and are very smart and active. Like most other breeds, however, they still go through an awkward, flighty stage beginning around 3 weeks and lasting until roughly 6 weeks of age. After that they become surprisingly friendly and confident. 




Most of my roosters are friendly without being particularly affectionate with the exception of one boy who anxiously waits for me to come outside and sit down so he can jump up on my lap to be pet, but the minute he thinks something may be threatening his girls he's off at a run to protect them. My roosters have also become very adept at distinguishing annoyances like crows from predatory hawks and sound the alarm loud and clear and herd the hens to safety. All of my roosters (I've hatched nearly 3 dozen of them now) have been amazingly attentive to their hens and I've only ever had one rooster that was aggressive. (He was delicious roasted in wine.)




All of my hens have been exceptionally sweet and friendly and it's not uncommon for them to perch on my lap, sometimes several at once, to be pet or just spend time with me. During a bad week I may only get 4 large eggs from one of my hens, but that's a rare occurrence with the majority of my girls giving me 6 huge eggs per week. In fact, my best laying NN only took a break from laying when she molted so heavily as to be completely bald and needed to grow the feathers back. She took 3 weeks off and went right back to giving me jumbo-sized green eggs six days per week, and she's 2 years old. 




As you can see from the photo of one of my roosters, you can create amazing color and feather patterns by crossing various breeds with "pure" Naked Neck Turkens. I personally keep three separate lines of NNs. One is my pure line of NNs that I'm working at reaching APA standard with. These birds, so far, tend to run fairly small, but have proven to be exceptionally feed efficient and the little hens lay amazingly large eggs for their size, averaging 5-6 per week each. Although their bodies are smaller than my crosses, their builds have all be very compact and meaty, both hens and roosters alike.





My second line is comprised of my "meat bird" project and I'm working at increasing mass and musculature along with more rapid growth for earlier processing. So far my best hen has weighed in at nearly 8 lbs and my best rooster just over 10. In spite of their larger, meatier bodies, my "meat NN hens" are still giving me just as many large+ eggs per week as my pure line.




And finally my third line, which is a combination of my best egg layers and prettiest feathered birds. This is my "fun" group comprised of NN hybrids to give me both pretty plumage and an abundance of colored eggs, including blue, green, olive green, every shade of tan through brown, and pink. This group also tends to contain some of my broodier hens.




Turkens really are an exceptional breed and I highly recommend that every family farm and homestead have at least a few. :love


Loved them their my favorite breed. They were the first breed I started with back when I only had 4 chickens. They were great laying large brown eggs NEVER stopped laying even all winter. Also had great personaity. everyone of them was different. Will love to get some more.


Pros: Very heat and cold tolerant.

Cons: Roosters tend to be a little aggressive.

I have switched all my flock to Naked Necks aka Turkens.  They have proven themselves to be heat and cold tolerant.  I have crossed them with Easter Egger chickens to create a Green Egg Laying Naked Neck.  The offspring of this cross tend to have even less feathering on the breast and vent areas than Naked Necks themselves.


I have other projects with the Naked Necks going also.  A Mottled Partridge line and a Calico line.  The Calico line has the influence of the Aloha chickens, see here: 


Overall I rate these as the best layers I've owned or bred.


APA approved color varities:  Black, Buff, Red, and White. 


Pros: healthy, hearty, dual purpose, 300 + eggs/chicken/year, excellent double breasted meat

Cons: other people think they are ugly

I love my Naked Neck crosses. Other people think they are ugly but that just makes me love them even more !! We have 8 girls and one boy. The other 3 boys were delicious and soo big. About 5 kgs each. I want to be able to breed them myself and am a complete beginner as of last summer so am learning, but I think they are very healthy, curious, intelligent and so much fun. They have survived a 45 celsius plus summer and a minus 12 celsius winter without too much bother. When I read up on the Naked Neck breed most said that I shouldn't expect more than 150 eggs per bird per year from them. The breeder I bought them from boasted 250 plus per bird per year. I am feeding mine fermented feed which might be making the difference, but they are laying 300 plus per bird per year. Fantastic... we have too many eggs ! The meat is tasty and there is alot of it AND these birds are double breasted. All around a great dual purpose meat and egg bird.


Pros: friendly, good egg layers

Cons: ?

The girls I just got are wonderful.  They integrated well, started laying quickly.  Haven't had any complaints.  One of them is a real character - she "talks" to me.  I love how cuddly they are.


Pros: cold hardy, good layer, personality

Cons: strange looking

These are my daughter's favorite.  In MN they were the only hens to lay all winter.  We had one that liked to have the few feathers on her neck plucked out by one of the other hens.  She would stretch her neck out in front of the other hens until one would give in.  (chicken version of a bikini wax?)


Pros: fast growing, big & meaty, gentle, strong, distinctive looks

Cons: exposed skin can get scratched easily


My Naked Necks have proved FAST growing, hardy chickens. They are BIG. I've had a number of different breeds over the years and these are the meatiest of the dual purposes I've had.

They are relatively calm and easy to handle. I enjoy their odd look. I will never be without them. They are one of my favorite breeds.

Naked Neck-turken

The origination of the Naked Neck is unclear but they are thought to have been brought back by Hungarian conguerers from Asia at the end of the ninth century. They have been raised in many different climates and are extremely hardy in both cold and hot regions. They are resistant to disease and the cost of keeping them is low making them desirable to farmers for their efficiency and dual purpose as both good layers and meat birds. Many believe the Naked Neck or Turken breed was bred from the Sussex because of the wide body and a well rounded front.

Breed PurposeDual Purpose
Climate ToleranceAll Climates
Egg ProductivityLow
Egg SizeLarge
Egg ColorBrown
Breed TemperamentFriendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet
Breed Colors/VarietiesWhite, Black, Blue, Buff, Silver, and Red.
Breed SizeLarge Fowl
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC


Chicken Breed Info:

Breed Purpose: Dual Purpose
Comb: Single
Broodiness: Average
Climate Tolerance: All Climates

General Egg Info:

Egg Productivity: High
Egg Size: Large
Egg Color: Brown

Breed Temperament:

Friendly,Easily handled,Calm,Bears confinement well,Quiet

Breed Colors / Varieties:

White, Black, Blue, Buff, Silver, and Red.

Breed Details:

Also called Turken for the breed's lack of feathers on the neck resembling a turkey and the Transylvania Naked Neck, I would recommend this breed to anyone as they are calm. I, personally, have 3 hens and they are all friendly, nice birds.




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