The Transylvanian Gât Golaș (Naked Neck) Chicken Breed


History and evolution

According to the classification of breeds of chicken prepared by Gh. A. Stefanescu, the Transylvanian Naked Neck is classified into the European group, Romanian subgroup near production breeds of average weight and good egg production.

According to the literature from other countries, this breed is very common under various names. In Italy it is known as the “Sorrentina dal Collo Nudo” or “Razza di Silesia” and it is classified between ornamental breeds. In France is known as “cou-nu”, In England as “Baldnecked fowl of Transylvania”, in the Netherlands as “Naakhalzen” in Germany as “Siebengurgen nackhalse”, etc. Clarifications about the origin and the formation of this breed found in the work of Bernard Boack “Siebenbürgen, die Heimat des Nackthalshuhnes” (Transylvanian naked neck hen homeland).

B.Noack quotes that from a book dating from 1701, picturing a yard in Transylvania  , among the birds presented  a Gât golaș hen and a rooster can be seen. The author concludes that even before 1700 there were specimens of this breed in Transylvania.

The opinion of a known breeder and judge from Bistrita Nasaud is that this breed should be known in ancient times.  In support of this idea comes the information that according to the beliefs of the Jewish Orthodox religion eating meat from naked neck chickens is forbidden. Since this religious restriction comes from the ancient times he concludes that this breed is also ancient.

During the first international exhibition held in Vienna In 1875 two poultry breeders, V.Szeremlei and V.Hohenburg exhibited for the first time poultry of this breed. After this the breed was also presented at the universal exhibition of Paris in 1878 and of London in 1900. We can consider that naked necked Transylvania chickens were subject to selection in order to further purify the  exterior characteristics. The breed’s production characteristics around 1875 could be compared with the most valuable after sought races. Breeder V.Szeremlei stated that annual production capacity wes 160 to 200 eggs per head per year.

At the same time another specialist states that “these chickens produce 180-190 eggs weighing 75-80 gr and that these eggs are rather oblong than round”.

Since the husbandry conditions that the poultry of this breed were kept were rather modest shows us that the productive qualities are superior to other races which lately have been given much greater attention.

Characteristics and performance

During the Vienna Exhibition, Farmers wondered how this race was formed, and falsely came to the conclusion that they were outcome of a cross breeding between a chicken and a turkey. This is not true. The characteristic naked neck appearance is due to a genetic mutation; a specific gene was found “guilty” Subsequently science has proved that a molecule inhibits the growth of feathers and the skin of the neck.

Despite its highly unusual appearance, the breed is not particularly known as an exhibition bird, and is a dual-purpose utility chicken.

The hens lay a respectable number of light brown eggs, and are considered desirable for meat production because they need less plucking and they have a meaty body. They are very good foragers and are immune to most diseases. The breed is also reasonably cold hardy despite its lack of feathers. Naked Neck roosters carry a single comb and although the skin is white, the neck and head often become very bright red from increased sun exposure. This breed has approximately half the feathers of other chickens, making it resistant to hot weather and easier to pluck.

The breed is resistant to low winter temperatures, without the need for special feed thus it is very well adapted to the free range conditions.

Recognized color varieties include:

Black, white, cuckoo, buff, red, and blue in the United Kingdom

Black, white, buff, and red in the United States

Use        dual-purpose breed

Weight Male: Standard: 3.9 kg

Female: Standard: 3 kg

Skin color             yellow

Egg color              light brown

Comb type          single

These birds begin to lay eggs at 7-8 months of age and produce 120 to 170 eggs per year weighing between 65 and 75 grams each.

Below are 2 videos presenting the breed.


Michael J. Mavridis DVM






Le Mans Breed of Chicken


Other common names: Poule le Mans

The Le Mans chicken is a breed which was developed in the 1600’s near the town of Le Mans, in the Sarthe region of France. For centuries, the Le Mans was a popular meat breed, primarily sold as capons. It was common in France until World War II, when its popularity decreased with the introduction of more commercially viable meat breeds.

Type: Largefowl
Varieties (Rosecomb): Black
Uses: Eggs, Meat, Brooding, Preservation
Weight: 3-3.6 Kg (6.5 – 8 lbs)
Personality: Quiet and easy to raise
Broody: Yes
Preferred climate: Any
Handles confinement: No
Egg production: Good (3/week)
Egg color: White
Egg size: Extra Large

An excellent video regarding this breed

Michail J. Mavridis DVM


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La Bresse Breed of Chicken

Origin Developement varieties & characteristics of the legendary La Bresse hen



Origin and development

Among the varieties of French poultry, the La Bresse fowl occupies the premier position in respect to its table qualities.

 At he district Bresse where these fowls are bred is part of the Department of Ain and Seine-et-Loire, that is, to the south of the old province of Burgundy, and in that district the poultry industry is a very important branch of agriculture. The label “Bresse” is only allowed in a well defined area and it is protected by legal rules. Out of this area the breed is named Gauloise (black, white, blue and grey)

For a long period of time Bresse poulardes and capons have had a great reputation for the quality and delicacy of their flesh.



There are three varieties of this breed

Black, called La Bresse de Louhans; the black variety is very pretty, showing those metallic reflections which always add to the beauty of birds of this color.

  • Plumage: Black, with a bright green luster.
  • Beak: Dark blue or dark slate, the former preferred.
  • Eyes:  Black or as dark as possible.
  • Comb: Bright red.
  • Face: especially dark around the eyes.
  • Lobe:  White or white sanded with red the former preferred.
  • Legs and Feet: The same as the beak.

Grey called La Bresse de Bourg; in the grey variety the plumage is white penciled with grey, the neck hackle being almost entirely white, except that the points are grey. In this case the beak is blue and the legs clear grey. Not a common variety.

White, called La Bresse de Beny-Marboz. In the white variety the plumage is white colored and the legs dark grey. Whites and blacks are more numerous than the grays.

In the Bresse district the Blacks are usually regarded as the better layers, but the Whites are preferred for table purposes.


La Bresse general characteristics

In shape the La Bresse fowls are distinctly Mediterranean, and were it not for the color of the legs many would think they were Leghorns, though they are somewhat longer in body. Few would imagine that they were so fine for table qualities, and from the appearance it might be assumed that they would be distinctly better as layers.



Skull: Rather thin, and of medium length.

Beak: Strong and fairly long.

Eyes: Bold.

Comb: Single, medium size, straight, and erect.

Back part: following the curve of the neck, deeply and evenly serrated

Face: Smooth and free from feathers.

Ear lobes: Well developed  white and well defined

 Neck—Fairly short hackles.

Body: Fairly broad, square, and compact.

Breast: Well rounded.

Back: Moderately short, broad at shoulders, and tapered to the tail.

Wings: 0f moderate length and close to the body.

Tail:  of medium length, and carried well back.

 Legs and Feet

 Legs: Of medium length, free from feathering.

Toes: Four on each foot, straight, and well spread.

Weight:  6-7.5 lb (2.5-3 kg)


Except that the Comb falls gracefully over to either side of the face, the general characteristics of the hen are similar to those of the cock.

Weight: 5-6 lb.( 2-2.5 kg)

Egg production capacity

Originally a light laying breed, the Bresse can produce 250 white eggs per year.

As egg-producers they hold a very important place in France. In the La Bresse country there is no breed which touches them in egg production. They are of the best layers. They are not exceptionally good in the winter, and this might be anticipated from their appearance.

The eggs are white and of good size, as a rule weigh over 55 grams




P.S. Many thanks to my good friend Christos Zarkadas who breeds white Bresses  you can find him here .

P.P.S Many thanks also to my Facebook friend Joe Thomas who breeds white Bresses and has a genuine passion for the breed.

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.

Plymouth Rock Chicken


Origin & short history

The Plymouth Rock or “Barred Rock” is a breed of domestic chicken from the United States. It originated in New England  in the middle of the 19th century ( first exhibited as a breed in 1869) from cross-breeding of Dominiques and Black Javas Cochin and Brahma.

plymouth rock lay hensPlymouth Rock breed Characteristics

Productivity Focus: Meat and egg

Egg production: 190-220 eggs per year

Egg shell color: yellow-brown

Egg weight: 60 g

Live weight of hens: minimum 2.95 kg

Live weight of Roosters: 4 kg (min.3.4 kg)

Color of the feathering: The birds of this breed have striped feathering with different shades. There are also, birds with white, black, and pale yellow plumage color. In males at the neck and waist black and white stripes are narrower than in hens and figure seems a little brighter. In hens color striped feathers are more vivid on the neck and lower back feathers are not different from the basic color. Day-old chicks are covered with black feathers, and have bright spots on stomach area.

Skin color: yellow

Head: medium sized.

Beak: short & yellow.

Eyes: orange-red colored.

Earrings are oval, the ear lobes bright red.

Neck: Medium length and densely feathered.

Chest: broad and convex.

Wings: tight to the body & slightly raised.

Back is broad and horizontal; it has a small lift to the tail.

Tail: small, with thick plumage, laid back, with moderately long braids.

Thighs: short with thick plumage and yellow metatarsus.

Hens begin production at the age of six months.

Livability:   about 96%.

Advantages of the breed:

  1. Calm temper
  2. Excellent meat quality
  3. A good egg production
  4. Adaptability to various housing and environmental conditions

Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.

Leghorn chicken

Origin & short history

The origins of the Leghorn are not clear; it appears to derive from light breeds originating in rural Tuscany. The name comes from Leghorn, the traditional anglicisation of Livorno, the Tuscan port from which the first birds were exported to North America. The date of the first exports is variously reported about 1830 and 1852. They were initially known as “Italians”; they were first referred to as “Leghorns” in 1865, in Worcester, Massachusetts.

leghorn lay years


Leghorn breed Characteristics


Productivity Focus: egg

Egg production: up to 300 eggs per year, and even more

Shell color: white

Egg weight: 55-60 g

Live weight of chickens: 1.5-2 kg

Live weight of Roosters: 2.6 kg

Color of the plumage: white, yellow, black and brown

Leghorn chickens are small with a vertical wedge-shaped body, which is typical for them to sign.

Skin color is mostly yellow or flesh-colored. Head – a small, leaf-shaped with a comb and a long, thin neck.

Beak – short, yellowish slightly curved at the end. Leghorn is characterized by a large protruding breast and wide belly. The adult bird legs medium length, white, thin, young animals

The color of the legs is yellow.

Tail: wide, with a slope of 40 ° with respect to the body.

Leghorn starts laying usually at 4.5 – 5 months of age. The instinct of brooding is missing, so to replace them young hens must be purchased. A year later, the bird is usually exhausted, which is not surprising with such a unique performance. Therefore to keep Leghorn layers  in production for more than a year is not suggested.

Puberty in the birds of this breed comes relatively early, in 17-18 weeks.

Hatchability is low and it reaches a maximum of 92%. Fertilized eggs are typically 95%.


Michael J. Mavridis D.V.M
CEO / Founder of Mavridis Zootechniki Ltd.