I would like to introduce you to Francie, who happens to be a ‘naked-neck’ chicken.
You can see why Francie is called a naked-neck chicken, can’t you?
‘Naked Neck’ chickens are a real breed of chicken, also known as ‘Turkens’. They originated in Europe over 200 years ago. While naked neck chickens are somewhat common in Europe, they are rare in North America.
Francie belongs to my sister who has 5 other chickens on her small farm.
I remember the day that her chicks arrived in the mail when they were only 2 days old. They shipped straight from Connecticut to Arizona (1-day shipping).
My sister has five different breeds of chicken, but it was easy to figure out which chick was the ‘naked neck’ chicken. Francie and the other chicks were placed in the brooder where a heat lamp kept them warm at a toasty 95 degrees.
Francie at 3-days old.
It always amazes me how quickly chicks grow. Here is Francie at 3 weeks.
Because I live only 5 minutes away from my sister’s house, I was able to see how quickly Francie and her nest mates were growing. She was already developing feathers at 1 month. We held the chicks often, to help them to become comfortable with being handled by people.
Soon Francie and her fellow chickens were big enough to move into their coop when they were 5 weeks old. My sister brought them indoors at night to keep them warm.
At 5-months, Francie was growing up. She was the friendliest chicken of my sister’s flock.
**You may be wondering what caused the popularity of naked neck chickens? Well, it is said that they were popular in Europe because it is easy to pluck their feathers. They are raised for both meat and for eggs.
My sister raises her chickens as pets who supply her family (and mine) with delicious eggs.
By the way – once Francie hit 5-months old, she began laying eggs…
Did you know that young chickens lay smaller eggs then grown chickens? It’s true. Francie’s egg is the small brown one.
Francie enjoys her time on my sister’s small farm with her friends Lottie and Minnie. She likes dust baths and eating bugs.
But Francie’s favorite thing on the farm is the vegetable garden. Normally, the vegetable garden is protected by netting. But, when my sister lifted the netting to pick some lettuce – Francie was ready. She flew up and started eating lettuce.
Every year, when the lettuce begins to bolt in the garden and are ready to be pulled out – the netting is lifted from the garden and Francie and her friends are allowed to eat the lettuce to their heart’s content.
Francie may be called ‘homely’ to some because of her naked neck. But, as I tell my kids – it’s what is on the inside that counts. Francie definitely is a very special chicken with a wonderful personality.
**My sister and her family are just one of the many people who live in the city who choose to raise chickens in their backyard. To learn more about how to raise your own chickens, check out Urban Chickens.org