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Colors: Various Eggs: ? Temperament: Tame
Turkens or Transylvanian Naked Necks are a love or hate breed. There seems no middle ground for these strange chickens, people either love them or despise them. There are two types of Turkens, one recognized by the Standard of Perfection as a single comb chicken that lays brown colored eggs. There is also a breed with naked necks in Australia locally known as "Turkens". Those birds have pea combs and lay blue or green eggs.
It's mostly likely turkens originated in Hungary or Transylvania. Turkens were given their names because of their featherless necks. Their looks are so odd people believed that they were some kind of turkey/chicken mix. This isn't true as it's not possible for a turkey and chicken to have viable offspring.
The gene for the necked neck is dominant and will cause any first generation chickens with a different breed to have a naked neck. Two chickens that have Turken blood in them with full neck feathers will produce naked neck chicks. The Standard of Perfection recognizes Buff, Red, and White for the large Turkens in the Miscellaneous or Continental Class. But like most breeds different colors and patterns exist like black or barred feather patterns.
Turkens are a dual-purpose bird. Turkens lay between 120 and 180 medium/large brown-shelled eggs a year with very good food conversion. They don't generally weigh more than 8 pounds but some places use them as a meat bird. Turkens can get broody and tend to make good mothers.
Turkens are with both single combs and rose combs although the Standard of Perfection only recognizes the single combs. Combs get to a medium size while wattles and earlobes tend to be small. Their earlobe color seems to vary from a little white to red. I believe they are supposed to be red in color. They are cleaned legged, without beards or crests and have four toes. There are standard and bantam types of Turkens.
Turkens are active, hardy, mild-mannered birds. They are great foragers that would make very good free-range chickens and they deal with confinement well. They are resistant to disease. Turkens do well in hot and (surprisingly) cold weathers due to the lightness of their feathers.
If you can get over their looks I'd say they would make good pets.
-- Text by Daniel Garcia
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