Despite its highly unusual appearance, the breed is not particularly known as an exhibition bird, and is a dual-purpose utility chicken. They 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 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.
Recognized color varieties include: black, white, cuckoo, buff, red, and blue in the United Kingdom and Black, White, Buff, and Red in the United States.
The naked neck trait which this breed is controlled by an incompletely dominant allele (Na) located near the middle of Chromosome 3. Since this allele is dominant individuals which are either homozygous dominant (Na/Na) or heterozygous (Na/na+) will exhibit the naked neck characteristic though the heterozygous individual will exhibit less reduction in feathering - true breeding members of the breed must then be homozygous dominant, and all individuals in the recognized breed must be also. Individuals which are homozygous recessive (or wild type feathered) (na+/na+) would not exhibit any feather reduction characteristics of the Naked Necks and, baring mutation, would be unable to pass that trait down.
Scientific studies have indicated that the naked neck gene (Na) improves breast size and reduces heat stress in chickens of non-broiler breeds which are homozygous for the trait. Additionally, in tropical climates if the naked neck trait (Na) is breed into broiler strains it has been shown to facilitate lower body temperature, increased body weight gain, better Feed conversion ratios and carcass traits compared to normally feathered broilers.