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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds - Turken Chickens

Poultry Breeds - Turken Chickens



Origins: The Transylvanian Naked Neck is often called Turken. Despite the name, these fowl are necessarily from Transylvania or a it happens Romania since they are found in places around Europe and the Middle East. The Naked Neck has been found in Romania since 1918. Some people think it is a cross between a chicken and a turkey because of the unfeathered area on the neck.

Characteristics: The Transylvanian Naked Neck has a very interesting appearance with the absence of neck feathers or hackles. This is cause by a genetic mutation that has been seen in Romania for hundreds of years. The gene creates an abundance of a feather deter called BMP12. It can be easily introduced into any breed. This creates the featherless skin. This skin turns red when exposed to the sun, further paralleling the turkey. Turkens have no feathers on a broad band between the shoulders and the base of the skull. They also have a reduced number of feathers on their bodies but this is not evident until the bird is handled. Turkens should be given protection from extremely cold temperatures as they have far less insulation than their normally feathered cousins. This characteristic is a novel feature that does not detract from the utility of the bird. The Naked Neck has a single red comb. The hens have been known to go broody.

Standard Weights:

  • APA Standards:

    • Cock: 8 ½ lbs; Hen: 6 ½ lbs; Cockerel: 7 ½ lbs; Pullet: 5 ½ lbs

  • Dutch Standards:

    • Cocks: 2.00 - 2.5 kg; Hen: 1.75 - 2.00 kg

  • PCGB Standards

    • Cocks: 3.20 - 3.60 kg; Hen: 2 - 2.5 kg


  • APA:

    • Black, Buff, Red, White

  • French:

    • Black, Buff, Cuckoo, Red, White, Black Mottles, Andalusian: Blue, Golden-Salmon, Mille-Fleur

  • PCGB

    • Black, Buff, Blue, Cuckoo, Red, White

Egg Shell Color: Tinted Brown

Uses: The Transylvanian Naked Neck is a dual-purpose bird for eggs and meat.


    Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Christine Dell'Amore, National Geographic News PUBLISHED March 17, 2011. "Why Transylvanian Chickens Have Naked Necks." National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 17 Mar. 2011. Web. 01 July 2015.

Cameron. "Naked Necks - Chickens That Look Like Turkeys." Web log post. Breed Savers. Google, 3 May 2011. Web. 1 July 2015."Chickens." The Poultry Club of Great Britain. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 July 2015.

Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Naked Neck." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 112-13. Print.

Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Transylvanian Naked Neck." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 167-68. Print.


      Mt. Healthy Hatcheries, Inc., 9839 Winton Road, Mt. Healthy, Ohio 45231 Phone: (513) 521-6900

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