What Chicken?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

And the free bonus rare chick is . . .

a Turken!

As Jenn T. said, "She is so cute! She looks just like a vulture!"

We met a turken (Phyllis, as in Diller) when we were in Houston. One of Lisa'a flock (www.modernbb.com), she definately stood out from the rest of the ladies. However, I do not remember any being available when we were ordering. I am glad that we ended up with one. The only problem is that we do not know if it is a boy or girl. I guess we will find out!

Its name appears to come from the fact that it looks a lot like a turkey with its bare neck. According to McMurray Hatchery, a turken is "unique because of its turkey-like bare neck, less than normal feathering around the breast, under the wings, and around the vent. In spite of the feather shortage, Turkens stand cold weather very well, are good layers of brown eggs, and grow to 6 pounds or more, making a fine eating bird. [Of course, this one will not be eaten!] The hens are also good setters. The origin of this breed is uncertain but more recent development in Eastern Europe gave them the name Transylvanian Naked Necks."

states that the "naked neck" gene is dominant which makes for some pretty interesting chickens (check out link). Another site indicated that turkens became popular because there were a lot less feathers to pluck!

Because this little chick is so "unique," I think it gets picked up more frequently than some of the others and is quite content to sit in my hand, sometimes falling asleep.


Anonymous Room 20 Zeh School said...

from Rm 20..
Does it look like a turkey or is it a cross with a chicken & turkey?
Emily M. says it looks funny but it's cute...
John K. says "WOW" - very interesting>>

10:41 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline said...

Dear Room 20,

A turken is not a cross between a chicken and a turkey (I do not think that offspring would be produced because they have different genetic material - just a guess on my part. Maybe a biology-minded reader would like to comment?). The appearance seems to be genetic (and dominant, meaning that the offspring of a turken and another variety will tend to display the "very interesting" "naked neck.").

11:31 AM  

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