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Banat Naked Neck Chicken


Other name(s):
 Banatski gološijan;
Erdeljski golosijan, Erdelj Naked neck

Scientific name: Gallus gallus domesticus

Country / Place of origin: Serbia and Montenegro

History: The Banat Naked Neck is a very old breed of Naked Neck chicken and originates from when the Balkans were part of the Ottoman Empire. The breed is one of the first naked necks to arise in Europe. The population has been isolated for over a century and is now considered threatened.

The Banat Naked Neck is a dual use breed that is very hardy and in villages is allowed to forage outside even in the depths of winter. It is said to derive from the Erdelj Naked Neck (the Serbian for the Transylvanian Naked Neck; Erdelj being a province of Transylvania) sometime during the 1800s by crossing Transylvanian Naked Neck chickens with local chickens. It is estimated that there is a total population in Serbia of about 1500 birds, of which 100 are now on national research farms and it is from these that the modern breed standard has been developed.

Originally they were true naked neck birds, but they have been outbred with village chickens. This means that the modern standard is actually heterozygous for the naked neck trait (just like the French Cou-nu du Forez). Rather than having a true naked neck the breed is characterized by a 'bow tie' of feathers in the centre of the neck. Though accepted as a breed, the Banat Naked Neck has one naked neck gene and one normal feather gene. This means that when Banat Naked Neck roosters are mated with Banat Naked Neck hens one in four of the chicks will be normal feathered, one in four will be pure naked neck and two in four will have the Banat Naked Neck characteristics (patch of feathers on an otherwise naked neck).

The bird is classed as medium-size working breed, though modern research breeding has yielded a bantam form (which is not yet accepted in the breed standard).

Unlike the Transylvanian Naked Neck from which they are derived, the Banat Naked Neck is a boody hen and they make excellent mothers. Typically they lay 120 to 160 light brown eggs in a year with minimum egg size being 55g. This is known as an active and lively chicken that is hardy, disease resistant and an excellent forager.

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