I am officially dubbing
August 3, 2013:
Naked Neck Chicken Appreciation Day.
As we are raising another flock of 3 different chicken breeds this summer to add to our egg layer stock, I am reminded on a daily basis how amazing the naked neck chicken breed is. In order to emphasize and explain my admiration of this breed, I've interviewed one of our most friendly, yet humble, chickens from the new flock....Miss Sylvia Fondriest.
Downward Dog Photography (DDP): Sylvia, welcome to the show.
Sylvia (S): "Why Cluck-ank-you"
DDP: Miss Fondriest, are you aware that you are considered a rare heritage breed in North America?
S: "Hmmm, well, bawwwwk, I haven't heard of too many flocks of my kind around the area, so I guess I may have figured we were a little special."
DDP: Yes, you are very special. Of all the new birds, you have been the most inquisitive and friendly from day 1. In fact, all 5 of you have consistently stood out as the most amiable chickens we have on the farm.
S: "Well, my mom always said, "Sylvia, don't peck the hand that feeds you."
DDP: Your ancestors actually came from Transylvania. Your breed has traveled quite the distance to this small Ozarks farm.
S: Cluck, cluck, I'm glad I'm not being raised in that country, my neck might be very susceptible to vampires.
DDP: Ha, ha. I see that you have quite the sense of humor for such a young chicken.
DDP: Now, let's get down to some nitty gritty. Are you aware that many folks out there may not think of you as an attractive bird due to the lack of feathers on your neck?
S: Well, to those specific-c-c-cluckkkk individuals, I might mention that we are more of a practical bird. We can tolerate the heat much better than most because we aren't dressed with as many feathers.
DDP: That sure does make sense to me.
S: Sorry, I couldn't hear you. Blackie was squawking at me about something...
DDP: I said that you sure make some good sense.
Now, one of things I've been most impressed with, is your friendliness towards children.
S: Oh, we adore children. They are the ones that will carry our breed on. It's imperative that we show them how much fun we can have together.
DDP: Well, that excellent attitude sure is evident in your everyday behavior.
DDP: Another great quality I've noticed about your breed is how well naked neck chickens forage compared to other breeds. Do you find yourself instinctively wanting to hunt rather than be fed from the feeder?
S: Oh, I can't say how much I looked forward to the day where we could roam the yard and eat grasshoppers to our stomach's content. The feeder holds us over, but we LIVE for bugs!
S: Thanks for giving us caterpillars and worms when you found them.
DDP: My pleasure.
DDP: Do you feel as though your excellence in foraging directly affects the quality of your breed's eggs?
S: Squ-squa-squawwwk. Well, of course. Egg production and quality is another thing we pride ourselves on. Take a look at the following picture of 4 different eggs. Can you guess which one is from a naked neck chicken?
DDP: Well, off hand, I would have to say the egg on the far right.
S: And, why would you say that?
DDP: Because it appears to be the darkest in color, most likely due to all the extra vitamins you receive from foraging so well.
S: Good answer, you would be correct.
DDP: Even though you really excel in so many areas 'chicken', you remain humble and modest. Your breed rarely gets attention. Is there anything you plan on doing to market your name so more people know about you?
S: I can honestly say that while we don't boast to our fellow chickens about our friendly attitude, excellence at foraging and extremely high egg quality, we hope that some of this may rub off on them.
S: And we really appreciate you noticing the little extra we put on the table, and sharing this with others. It is by word of mouth that our breed will flourish.
DDP: Well, I can't thank you enough for taking the time out of your day to answer a few questions for us. We look forward to your company and that of your breed for years to come.
S: Thank you, it's been my pleasure.
If you would like to check out more naked neck chicken photos from the past, take a look at the silly photo-animated video from a previous blog: superfreaky-friday or the tutorial by a 2-year old on photographing-chickens.