Raising turkens | Living the Country Life

Raising turkens

This unusual bird adds variety to your flock
photo courtesy of Purely Poultry

Turkens don't have feathers on their necks. Often referred to as Naked Neck Chickens or Transylvanian Naked Necks, some people think Turkens are a cross between a turkey and a chicken, but that's not the case.  

Tyler Danke owns a poultry business called Purely Poultry in Freemont, Wisconsin, and says Turkens are bred to look that way on purpose. "People think that they're missing all their feathers. Well, they are, but they're supposed to be missing them. Then they were originally developed, they were aiming for processing ease so that there's not so many feathers to be processed off of the bird."

Turkens have on less feathers than other chickens, but are raised in the same manner. Cold climates don't seem to bother them as long as they have shelter, and the food requirements are the same as chickens. Turkens are great backyard birds and easy to care for. Their temperament is generally mild.

Turken chicks cost just over $2 each for a mixed batch of males and females and they come in many different colors. Turkens are good egg layers and will grow to eight pounds, so many people use them as meat birds. Another reason to raise Turkens? The novelty of them. "It's not one of our highest sellers because a lot of people look at them and say, 'that's ugly', or some people say, 'hey that's cute'," says Danke. "So, we're not selling a lot of them, but they are an interesting breed."

Learn more about this unusual bird
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