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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by hellbender, Dec 27, 2013.
Congratulations!!!! Seeing those little fluff balls can sure brighten your day, can't they?
A basic issue with buying NN/turkens: too many people sell any naked necked bird as if it were the breed. Even if the stock has obvious mixed traits such as crests and leg feathering. Many of them will also swear up and down if questioned or the traits are pointed out. It reminds me of the EE/Ameraucana/Araucana mess.
If hunting for dual purpose/production quality stock, you definitely have to hunt around and cull out a lot of backyard mixes, particularly those mixed with ornamental or light weight breeds. NN mixed with ornamentals are extremely common- silkie, cochin, frizzle and so on. Those tend to be on the smaller size as a result. Cute, but not necessarily great for production in mind.
Many hatchery stock are reasonably good dual purpose. Some variation in weight and egg sizes, it is possible to select for bigger sized birds or eggs out of them but probably good idea to get a large number of chicks for culling purposes.... a high percentage- 90% it seems- come in light buff for hens and a darker shade for roosters.
It's easy to select out birds pure for NN, even as day olds. The homozygous ones have either totally bare necks or tiny pair of puffs on mid-neck, their necks are visible from the front. Heteros have a much larger patch of fuzz that often makes it hard to see the neck from the front.
Aside from hunting down NN with truly good production qualities, there is the option of introducing naked neck into a breed that you might be otherwise interested in but heat tolerance is a concern. This is pretty straightfoward to do as the NN is dominant and no if/buts about it right from hatch.
Outstanding info! Thanks! Based on your input above it appears that the first breeder may have played around a bit, but the second breeder I purchased from kept the bloodline pure as her birds have almost no neck feathering and absolutely no feathers on the shanks. I'll mark these guys as my potential breeders and just keep an eye on the others. They're still adorable and I will probably breed them as egg producers if they turn out to be good layers. Otherwise...my freezer is looking a little empty.
Thanks to both you and Hellbender! You've been two of my best teachers.
Maybe I'll trying crossing these guys with the Bielefelders I'll be getting. I'd like a line of pure Turkens, so I don't really want to mess up that project. Thanks!
Glad to help. btw leg feathering is polygenetic- both dominant and recessive.... can be difficult to totally clean out after one time cross. It is possible to get feather legs even if parents appear clean legged.
Forgot to add- hetero NN are extremely common, even in hatchery stock. I'm never been clear on why this is so aside from some breeders who don't like to breed hom to hom, makes them 'too naked' but I've done this and not noticed anything. Another interesting factor- a fair number of people actually prefer the het look over the homs. The hets do have better heat tolerance over non-NN, so it is not like you have to have homs for the desert heat. It gets to 112-120 during summers here and both do great.
This is food for thought. Now you have made me wonder if I will change my tune on broodies next year ... although I plan to keep nonbreeding pullets/hens around for table eggs and some banties for brooding (and of course, poached eggs for the breakfast table).
I will say the thought occurred to me earlier this week perhaps I should focus on one project at a time, with the GLWs being top priority here.
"Also, I plan to have all but our 'show' NNs to be pea combed...I've come to really appreciate the look of it".
I made the above statement in a post earlier but that is NOT at all what I meant to say. I intended to say that I plan to have all birds on the place to have pea combs EXCEPT the show NNs, as a single comb is required in the breed for conformation...
Again, really good to know. Your summer heat sounds very similar to what we experience here. I'll be using my breeding program to also help my teenage son develop a better understanding of genetics for his biology studies. His teacher even contact me about using some DNA from my flock for their labs on using gel electrophoresis, so having such a variety of genetic combinations could prove strangely helpful.
Just to confirm my comprehension of the trait...the Na allele is autosomal, right? And not polygenetic, right?
Sounds like a great teacher!
Right, autosomal. Not sex linked at all.
Naturally there's a 'but....' the totally bare necks-no bowtie at all- seem to be polygenetic. Seems to require Na plus something else. Whatever it is seems to be recessive.
If anyone tells you only "pure NN" or birds pure for the NN gene have the bare necks, that is nonsense. The majority of birds pure for NN will have few feathers on neck, like a bow tie.
I have changed !!! I have silkies for brooding and my broody australorp and brahma hens (if any) will be sold or eaten. I had lines of broody Wyandotte and buckeye and could not handle four breeds. The buckeye line was sold and the Wyandotte hens are in the egg barn, Wyandotte cocks are in the freezer. The silkies are so reliable that I can count on them to go broody three or four times a year therefore I can plan on that and put it into the "production" ideas than I have been reading on this thread. If the brahmas are never "Productive" then I will keep two trios for their beauty and raise Australorp for meat and eggs. I am trying to remember what I thought last year at this time and where to go from here. Not easy to see where I have been and project it forward into areas where I am ignorant. An example of my past ignorance is the difficulty in introducing young birds into a flock of three month old cockerels. Three weeks difference in age means death. That death leads to spending more on pens so it won't happen again or leaving the young brahma with their silkie "mom" for more time. I am thinking ...................................................