Turkens or Transylvanian Naked Necks

A pair of Black Naked Necks
Photo courtesy of Jessica Williams

The Turken is an interesting looking beast. Either you love it or you hate it, it seems. I know both staunch defenders of the breed and people who don't even like to see them.

They got the name Turken from their appearance, which suggests that perhaps a chicken was crossed with a turkey to get this bird. This is not the case. In fact, I don't recall ever coming across a documented reference to a chicken/turkey hybrid--a bird which would definitely be sterile, and not the progenitor of a new breed.

The breed probably originated in Hungary, but the Germans perfected the type. One reason for their development is that with less feathers, they are much easier to pluck than the average table fowl. A Naked Neck has less than half the number of feathers possessed by other breeds of their size. They are good layers of brown eggs, quite hardy in cold weather, and due to their light feathering also take heat better than most breeds. They are quite popular in South Africa, where they are known under the name "Kaalnek."

The naked neck gene is dominant, so any first generation crosses with this fowl will show the naked neck, although often with a larger patch of feathers on the neck.

In France there are two varieties of Naked Necks. The Cou Nu has a completely naked neck, while the Cou Nu du Forez has a clump of feathers low down on the neck. They are only recognized there in White and are raised as a meat fowl.

Breed club:

National Naked Neck Breeders Society
Ed Haworth, Sec.
Rt. 1, Box 322
Tahlequah, OK 74464
Membership $10/year, includes newsletter, etc.

Transylvanian Naked Neck Club of Australia

Turken Links:

Turkens at Snyder's Waterfowl

Breed Savers on Naked Necks

Kevin Cantrell's Black and Buff Turken hens
Photos courtesy of Kevin Cantrell

Ryan Hall's standard male Turken
Photo courtesy of Ryan Hall

A White Turken cock

And here's a White Turken hen
Photo courtesy of Kevin Cantrell

A Splash NN cockerel
Photo courtesy of Chris Dunbar

Pam's Turken hen
Photo courtesy of Pam Marshall

A Black Naked Neck rooster
Photo courtesy of Gordon

Cuckoo Naked Necks, cockerel and pullet
Photos courtesy of Sandra Andersson

This is a Naked Neck hen from Serbia, where the breed is known as the Banatski golosijan
Photo courtesy of Miljan Valjarevic

A nice Black-breasted Red bantam Turken cockerel

Kay St. Amour's Black Turken bantams

A bantam Black Naked Neck pair from Germany
Photos courtesy of Sascha Michel

A Black NN cockerel and his head
Photos courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

The French breed Cou Nu du Forez
Photos courtesy of Sandra Andersson

Blue and Cuckoo Turken bantam hens
Photos courtesy of Keith Harrell

Another White Turken hen
Photo courtesy of Jacob Duffee

A Columbian Naked Neck cock
Photo courtesy of Frank Pytellek

This is "Emily," a Cuckoo Naked Neck bantam pullet
Photo courtesy of Chris Dunbar

A White Naked Neck bantam cockerel
Photo courtesy of Sydni Williams

A Black Naked Neck cockerel
Photo courtesy of Rupert Stephenson

Naked Necks from Poland -- note the rose combs
Photos courtesy of Lukasz Wlodarczyk

Naked Neck hens from Romania
Photos courtesy of Matthias Burian

Head and full-body shots of a 5-month-old cockerel
Photos courtesy of Angie Hager

A Blue Naked Neck pullet
Photo courtesy of Chris Dunbar

And for variety, how about a Naked Neck Frizzle!
Photo courtesy of Steve Mckuhen

Or perhaps a Blue-eyed Naked Neck Frizzle
Photos courtesy of Frank Pytellek

Here's a pair of Blue Frizzled Turkens
Photos courtesy of Frank Pytellek

And some Black Frizzled Naked Necks, a hen and a pullet
Photos courtesy of Frank Pytellek

Naked Necks can fly!
Photo courtesy of Sandra Andersson

Buff Turken chicks
Photo courtesy of Mckinney & Govero Poultry

A Black NN chick
Photo courtesy of Valerie Ackley

Two Turken chicks, a six-day-old Black and a nine-day-old Buff
Photos courtesy of Katra

Another six-day-old Black Turken chick
Photo courtesy of Gordon

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