Naked necks both large and bantam are easy to keep. Charactor wise the large fowl can be a little wary when new but once they know their keeper are friendly. They retain a lot of natural instincts for self preservation so tend to be very aware of preditors plus agile enough to shift fast which is an big advantage when free rangeing. They are very good foragers and both large and bantam are active birds so a decent size pen and house is essential. The bantams I would be cautious of allowing full free range as they are tiny and could easily be taken by preditors but supervised they really enjoy it too. the bantams are extremely friendly and easy to tame so make exceptional pets.
Feeding wise again they are straightforward, any good quality layer pellet will suit them fine and either access to free range or a supply of green fodder will give you superb egg yolk colour. Both the large and the bantam naked necks are economical to feed as seem to consume nothing like the same amount of food as comparable sized breeds. its best to offer them layers pellets ad lib, they will not over eat and will just take what they need. In winter same as other breeds offer mixed corn mid-late afternoon to give them a boost to get through longer nights.
There are a lot of myths circulated about naked necks such as they can't take cold or get sun burn. Neither is true. Remember where the birds we keep were imported from the weather is far more severe then here in the UK, far colder winters, far hotter summers.
The large fowl seem as keen as ever to get outside when weather bad as weather good and mine seemed utterly unperturbed by it -they may be sparsly feathered but they are well insulated where they are feathered and are a hardy lot that carry on enjoying life regardless of be it rain or snow.
The bantams one should be slightly more careful of in cold weather but only in as much as one is always careful with a tiny breed, make sure their house and run is not drafty and is set up in a sheltered part of your garden and they will be fine. Its best to have several running together so they can snuggle up on colder nights.
Hot weather is another of the times Naked necks come into their own. Where other breeds get overheated and go offlay due to heat stress the naked necks thrive and carry on laying well.. Obviously make sure they always have some shade and fresh water but whenever sun is out here I have always found my naked necks sunbathing religiously in it and really enjoying it-and I've never had one sun burnt!
A naked neck cockerel is usually a joy to keep, lots of personality and a good cockerel will defend his hens, keep order in the hens and its not usual for one to be aggressive with people. The large fowl particualy are impressive to look at and a pleasure to watch however be warned the large fowl are generally rather loud! The bantam cockerels too are good fun to have but like all cockerels they will crow- not as loud as a large fowl thankfully but certainly not silent. If you can keep a cockerel a naked neck is a most enjoyable addition. Not essential for a laying or pet flock as they'll lay as well without but nice if you can have one.
It is a natural concern when one first looks at naked necks as to whether the hens will be hurt by the cockerel treading due to their bare necks. I can happily report I have never had a cockerel harm a hen treading her and mine have always left the hens necks completely unmarked. As with all cockerels it is a good idea to keep an eye on the spurs and to trim if they get overlong to stop them scratching the hens but I have never had to use a poultry saddle with breeding naked necks.
Naked necks are disease resistant but they are not disease proof. Its unusual for a naked neck to get sick but it can happen so if you are new to poultry keeping I would recommend you buy a copy of Victoria Roberts Book 'Diseases of Free Range Poultry' which covers pretty much anything that can go wrong with a hen and how to resolve it. Mostly however good health with naked necks is just good husbandry- keep well fed, their houses clean and dry, make sure parasites such as worms and red mite do not infest and keep vermin under control and they'll usually be fine.
Naked necks do not require any special pandering to breed well. Cockerel fertility is usually good and hens normally lay well. Selection of breeding stock should be done with care- a fault that does not effect a pet layer hen would likely exclude a bird from a breeding pen , look to the breed standard and make sure the birds you plan to breed reflect it well. ie no useage of birds with weakness or deformaty or traits adverse to the standard such as excess neck feather, crooked toes, other then single combed, other then smooth feathered , wrong size for breed standard etc etc There is an old saying with breeding birds which is worth bearing in mind- leave one cull in your breeding pen and next year your'll have a whole pen of them! This is not to say that birds unsuitable for breeding do not make good layer pets but they are best excluded from breeder pen.
being a robust vigerous breed the eggs are normally straightforward to hatch either with an incubator or a broody hen (and naked necks like being broody so your'll likely have some of those!) No particular special attention should be needed different to other breeds.
If you are hatching large fowl naked necks and wish to show it is better to hatch in very early spring to give the young birds the advantage of a whole long season of good growing weather and lenghening days to get to maximum size. With the little bantams midspring is a pleasent time to hatch as it does mean the youngsters can go outside on good grass while still quite young.
The hatchlings are usually a strong bunch and do not require excessive heating- just what a normal chick would need in way of heat lamp. Be careful when hatching the bantams though as they are extremely small at hatch and it is a good idea to crush their chick crumb for first few days as they are so small as to be likely to struggle with full size feed- and also make sure the bantam chick drinker is very shallow as its not impossible for such tiny chicks to drown if use one too large.
Rear your young naked necks like any other breed, heat or broody hen first 8 ish weeks with chick crumb and then a good quality grower feed till about 18 weeks before going onto layers
If you wish to ring your birds the PCGB (see links page) can supply offical closed rings with unique numbers for each chick-these go on at about 8 weeks old and cannot be fitted once older (or removed without cutting off) the ring sizes for TNN are F20 for a large fowl male, E18 for a large fowl female, then C13 for a bantam male and B11 for a bantam female.