Naked Neck Chicken: Turken/Cobra chicken breed details

Bare-necked, Turken or Naked Neck chickens seem to be one of those cases in nature in which species undergo genetic mutation processes. In this post, we offer you all the most relevant information about this rarity

History, Origin, and other Characteristics

The origin of this genetic trait apparently dates back several centuries and was the product of a natural mutation that occurred in Transylvania, Romania.

The main feature that characterizes these birds is their neck, devoid of plumage and reddish. But they also lack feathers in less visible parts of the body such as under their wings, the back, and both sides of their breast.

The naked neck chicken has a raised tail, and its abdomen is more curved than that of other of its relatives. Its head is long, with a crest, a long chin, and ears. The chest is elliptical in shape, its metatarsals are yellow and without plumage.

They are usually white, black, gray, brown, they are not very large, they seldom exceed a kilogram (except for those hybrids like SASSO), for this reason, they are most often raised as layers.

The nudity of any of its parts constitutes a benefit for these chickens when they grow up in hot climates since they can reduce the effects of the heat on their body.

As heat is not a problem that causes them greater stress, they remain very active, even when the temperature in the environment is high. And it is that they really are devoid of the thick plumage that other races have. About 40% fewer feathers on its entire body. This is due to the pair of genetic elements that govern this phenomenon. On the other hand, they are birds that demand less protein than others, essential during their plumage changes, so they use the nutrients they have consumed very efficiently, especially amino acids and trace elements.


Bare-necked chickens are very kind. They provide their owners with eggs with recurrence, they are also very good meat, appreciated for sancochos and soups.

They are excellent mothers, with their chicks they establish a loving, caring relationship from the time they hatch. For this reason, it is said that this type of hen often becomes broody.

They are frequently raised in domestic patios, especially in rural and peri-urban areas, either to give eggs or meat and even as pets.

Their maintenance is not expensive, since they themselves can look for food in the environment: insects, crawling animals, and organic waste are enough to live, although it will always be good to nourish them with vitamins and minerals that can be found in corn grains or in food for chickens, especially if they are raised as layers.

The diseases that normally afflict other birds, and naked neck chickens do not affect them as regularly, as they are very resistant to certain parasites and other evils that usually surround the open places where they live.

Naked neck chickens are excellent layers. If you are interested in these hens to obtain their positions, you must provide them with the best care so that they feel comfortable in their habitat. A good chicken coop, is clean, spacious, devoid of dangers and other elements that stress them.

You should also take care of their nests so that they are ready to hatch their eggs comfortably. They love nests made of straw or shavings, preferably in high spaces on the floor, because like all chickens they fear predators.

Being good mothers, they watch over their eggs, so when collecting them you must do it carefully to avoid disturbing them. They lay an egg every day, reaching between 8 and 10, hatching them for about 21 days, so you must be very careful to remove them in time, before their chicks hatch, in case your purpose is to use the eggs. I eat food.

SASSO line of breeds image credit .totalapproach.co.jp. Notice the naked neck chickens at the left.

Naked Neck Chicken in the Philippines

There are many types of naked neck chickens in the Philippines. Locally, they are called cobra chicken due to their unique neck that looks like a cobra snake. There are different types of cobra chicken breeds in the Philippines depending on the parent stocks. There are big and small breeds. Since this type of chicken has been existing for a long period of time, there are already a lot of crosses between small naked necks and big hybrid chickens like Kabir, and even broiler chickens.

Sasso, however, has developed a naked neck chicken for meat. They are big and fast-growing hybrids of chicken. There are several colors of “SASSO Cobra” (as we call it), but mostly, what is available here in the Philippines is the brown naked neck. The colors can change if being crossed with other breeds.

Frequently Asked Questions on Naked Neck Chicken

Why does my chicken have a Naked Neck?

The Transylvanian bird’s naked neck results from a random genetic mutation that causes the overproduction of a feather-blocking molecule called BMP12, a new DNA study shows. (Get the basics on genetics.) The mutation first arose in domestic chickens in northern Romania hundreds of years ago.

Modern naked neck chicken was developed from the desire for a smooth-skinned, dressed fowl. Their bare areas made plucking easier and quicker, as they have less than half the feathers of other comparable fowl. They are good brown egg layers and tolerate cold climates well.

What is a Naked Neck chicken called?

The Transylvanian Naked Neck is often called Turken. Despite the name, these fowl are necessarily from Transylvania or it happens in Romania since they are found in places around Europe and the Middle East. The Naked Neck has been found in Romania since 1918.

Are Naked Neck chickens good egg layers?

Eggs. As an average layer, the Naked Neck chicken can provide their human families with approximately 3 eggs per week. So while they are not considered to be prolific layers, they consistently lay an average amount of medium, light brown, eggs throughout the entire year—just enough for holiday baking.

Are Naked Neck chickens nice?

Necked Hen will go broody and make excellent mothers. Temperament – Naked Necks are generally docile, and friendly and are suitable for the family backyard and make excellent pets.

What is the point of a Turken?

Turken Naked Necks are a top pick for meat production due to their lack of feathers. In fact, Turken Naked Necks have up to 50% fewer feathers than most chickens. This can make them an ideal choice for homesteaders without efficient methods of plucking because half of your work is eliminated!

Is a Turken a chicken?

Despite its appearance, the Transylvanian Naked Neck is 100% chicken. It is NOT a cross between a chicken and a turkey. The name “Turken” came about simply because its neck looks similar to a turkey’s neck. Due to sun exposure, Naked Necks have bright red heads and necks.

What color eggs do Turken chickens lay?

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.

Can you eat a Turken?

In fact, Turken Naked Necks have up to 50% fewer feathers than most chickens. This can make them an ideal choice for homesteaders without efficient methods of plucking because half of your work is eliminated! As far as actual meat production goes, these birds are good producers of a decent amount of meat.

What does a Turken taste like?

“Mostly because they’re a pretty robust, dual-purpose bird,” Brush said. “They lay a large brown egg.” So, what do turkens taste like? After a long pause, Brush quietly said, “Chicken.”

What is the lifespan of a Turken?

In general, the average life expectancy for hens is three years, and four years for toms. Everyone likes to blame predators as the chief factor when discussing a wild turkey’s life expectancy, but, while predation is no doubt a factor, there is a larger process to consider.


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