An Israeli geneticist, Avigdor Cahaner of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, created a bare-skinned "prototype" red-skinned chicken by selectively crossing a breed with a naturally bare neck with a regular broiler chicken. Broiler chickens have been bred to gain weight rapidly but in the process generate a lot of heat. Farmed chickens are kept at about 20°C - the optimum temperature for weight gain.
In warm countries, expensive air conditioning is necessary to keep to this temperature - this cannot be afforded by poorer farmers, Cahaner says. Benefits of not having feathers: nutrients wouldn't go into producing feathers and no feathers to get rid of at the end.
"Feathers are a waste. Chickens use feed to produce something that has to be dumped and farmers waste electricity to overcome the fact," Canaher said. Plucking also requires large amounts of water.