Top 10 Facts You Didn’t Know About The Naked Neck Chicken

Naked Neck Chicken Featured Image
The Naked Neck chicken may not be the most attractive bird at first glance, but it sure stands out from the flock. Naked Neck chickens are a popular hybrid breed of chicken originally from Transylvania, Romania.

One of the hardiest chicken breeds, the Naked Neck chicken has been developed in various locales around the world, but the modern breed as we know it was primarily cultivated in Germany.

The Naked Neck chicken has a distinctive appearance and due to the lack of feathers on their neck, and coupled with their large size, they can be mistaken for Turkeys.

Naked Necks have a pronounced bright red single comb, red wattles and earlobes, and can come in a variety of colors including black, white, buff, and red in the United States, and black, white, cuckoo, buff, red, and blue in Europe.

Naked Necks come in bantam varieties as well, if you’re looking for pint-size poultry.

If you’re considering having a flock of your own, and want to know some incredible facts about Naked Necks – we have you covered! Here are the top 10 things you didn’t know about Naked Neck chickens:

1. Naked Neck Chickens Have Many Names

There are few breeds in the world that have as many names as the Naked Neck chicken. Given their unique appearance, depending on the locale, the Naked Neck may be referred to as the following:

  • Gallus Gallus Var. Domestica (Scientific name)
  • Ostrich Feather Chicken
  • Turken
  • Transylvanian Naked Neck
  • Churkey
  • Kaalnek

While they can be referred to with any of the above, the most popular name remains the Naked Neck chicken.

2. Naked Neck Chickens Don’t Always Have Naked Necks

It’s true! Most Naked Neck chickens will have a featherless neck, but depending on the dominant genes involved in their breeding, they may not have an entirely featherless neck.

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Some breeders have shown Naked Neck hens that have a bib of feathers around their necks, with a partially bare neck above. This happens when a chick receives an incomplete dominant allele from one parent, but not the other.

So, if you purchase Naked Neck hens and end up with one that has a bib of feathers, (or even a few stray feathers) it doesn’t mean you’ve been swindled. It means that particular bird didn’t carry the dominant trait from both of its parents.

Regardless of whether your bird has a few neck feathers, Naked Neck chickens will have fewer feathers overall (up to 50% less) than other chicken breeds.

3. Naked Neck Chickens Like It Hot (and Cold)

Naked Neck chickens thrive in hot climates, and hot weather typically doesn’t affect them the same way it can with other breeds.

These birds have built-in heat tolerance because they have fewer feathers, and their featherless neck allows them to cool down easier. This doesn’t mean that you should forget to provide shelter, and plenty of fresh water though – the health and comfort of your flock should always be of paramount importance.

Naked Neck Chicken in desert
Naked neck chickens can handle both extremes

While Naked Necks do exceedingly well in warm climates, these all-star birds are also cold-hardy, so if you live a bit further north of the equator, it isn’t a problem. You just need to ensure that they have a warm coop, and sweeter heaters above their roosts so they don’t suffer from frostbite.

4. Naked Neck Chicken Meat Tastes Different than Other Types of Chicken

Homesteaders rejoice over this dual-purpose breed, as Naked Neck chickens are a broiler breed and produce some of the best chicken meat around. These birds are double-breasted and have less fat under their skin, and those who have tried the meat have said unequivocally that the taste is better than that of other chicken breeds.

One theory that makes these chickens taste so good is that they are natural foragers and love to hunt for their own food. They are quite often successful if they are given free range to roam and plenty of land to use for foraging in addition to the chicken feed and supplements given by their keepers.

These chickens grow faster than other breeds, and also give more meat per pound than any breeds, and processing them is much easier given that they have fewer feathers.

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5. Naked Neck Chickens Produce Eggs!

Naked Neck chickens are good to above-average egg layers! Pullets begin egg production at roughly 6 months and will produce 5-6 per week on average. The egg color is typically light brown.

Some farmers have stated their Naked Necks are prolific at egg-laying as long as they were allowed to be free-range, sometimes producing 12 brown eggs per week. Egg size can vary but the eggs are usually medium to large.

For optimal egg production, allow your birds to be free-range, and supplement the food they forage with high protein chicken feed, and provide extra calcium by way of oyster shell supplement. By providing extra protein and calcium, you will help encourage your girls to give it their best, and give you plenty of delicious eggs!

6. Naked Neck Chickens May Get Sunburnt

It may be surprising, but Naked Neck chickens can get sunburnt. While they do really well in hot, sunny climates, once they are outside (especially in summer), you may notice that their necks turn a bright red color. This is due to the lack of feathers on their neck, and sun exposure.

Naked Neck Chickens in sunshine
In this example, these Naked Neck Chickens aren’t provided any natural or artificial shade.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much that you can do. Sunscreen should not be used on your chickens, as they can have additives that are toxic. Some people state that they use coconut oil on their birds to help with exposure but scientists have not stated that this is helpful or practical.

The best thing you can do is provide cool, shady areas for your flock so if they want to get out of the sun, they have the choice to do so.

7. Naked Neck Chickens are Highly Intelligent

Naked Neck chickens are incredibly intelligent among poultry breeds. They are natural survivors and adept at dodging predators and overcoming obstacles that may threaten their survival. Naked Necks are friendly with people, often forming close bonds with their keepers, which is another sign of intelligence.

However, it is worth noting that their strong survival instincts do cause them to be aggressive towards other species that may compete or steal resources such as food or water – it is best to ensure other such animals don‘t interact with your Naked Neck flock. Building a strong coop with good barriers, and having a high-quality fence is the best way to discourage visitors.

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8. Naked Neck Chickens Are Escape Artists

Naked Neck Chickens are prolific escape artists. They are a breed that is known to fly the chicken coop, and there are a few reasons for this.

These birds are highly intelligent and have a strong food drive, which means they love to be free-range and spend a majority of their time outside foraging for food. A chicken coop doesn’t allow for them to forage, and they can grow bored, taking it upon themselves to find their way to freedom.

White Naked Neck Chicken on grass
Naked Neck Chickens will take great joy in escaping from their coop!

Building a strong chicken coop is vital for keeping these birds contained, especially at night when they don’t have supervision. Your chicken coop should have a secured roof, and it may be advisable to build a secondary fence around the coop in the event they make it past your well-thought-out security features.

9. Naked Neck Chickens are Broody by Nature

Naked Neck hens are known to be a broody breed and will typically make wonderful mothers to their baby chicks. In the event that you want to breed your chickens, you may need to keep a close eye on the eggs to ensure all the eggs are covered.

It’s vital they receive enough warmth and attention so that they hatch, and you should only intervene when necessary. However, as with any breed, some individual birds may not be broody so supervise them until you know the personalities of your hens.

10. Naked Neck Chickens are amongst America’s Top Four Meat Breeds

According to the American Poultry Association, Naked Neck chickens are amongst America‘s Top Four primary meat breeds!

Naked Neck Chicken Image 4

According to the APA, these birds are incredibly important to meat production, alongside the Plymouth Rock, Jersey Giant, and White Leghorn for their ease of processing, the rate at which they are grown, and both the quantity and quality of their meat.

Summary: Is a Naked Neck Chicken Right for You?

The Naked Neck chicken is an intelligent dual-purpose breed that offers plentiful eggs and meat, and has a personality suited to being a part of your backyard flock.

They are intelligent, and hardy birds with few health issues that can exist in both hot and cold climates. The Naked Neck chicken is a reminder that looks aren‘t everything, though you may want to ensure they escape from your coop!


A longtime resident of Southern California, Christina recently moved across the globe to Austria, where she bought land specifically to build a small house with room for a backyard chicken coop. Christina spent her childhood summers on a farm, raising and caring for a flock of hens owned by her grandparents, which prompted a lifelong love of chickens, and other farm animals. Christina is passionate about writing, having written hundreds of articles for well-known websites, and uses her English degree in service of her love for animal welfare, most recently taking on a writing position at Chicken Care Taker in 2022.

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