The Golden Comet has become a very popular chicken for both commercial farmers and backyard enthusiasts. This lovable egg layer has a great personality, is easy to keep, and will give you a plentiful supply of eggs.
If you’re interested in the Golden Comet chicken, then you’ll find everything you need to know about it right here. We’ll look at its characteristics, behavior, production, feeding requirements, and much, much more. Let’s get started!
History and Origin of Golden Comet Chicken
The golden comet is a sex-linked hybrid chicken. That means you can immediately tell the sex of the chicks as it was bred from two purebred or heritage chickens. This means they are not counted as an actual breed of chicken.
There are also many ways that a Golden Comet can be created. Perhaps the most common is a New Hampshire Red rooster with a White Rock hen. However, other combinations are used, such as a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Rhode Island White hen.
Due to these combinations, there are plenty of other names for them, such as Cinnamon Queen, Golden Buff, Red Star, and Gold Sex-Link.
The reason that they are bred in this way is for one reason, and that’s egg laying. However, due to their friendly nature, they are now commonly bought for small backyard coops too.
Physical Characteristics of Golden Comet Chicken
Due to their parents being different breeds, these chickens can vary slightly in terms of their physical appearance. However, as they are always bred with a red rooster parent and a white hen, they often have a golden color, hence their name.
They are small to average in size when compared to most other chicken breeds. They sport a single red upright comb along with yellow eyes and an off-yellow beak. That yellow coloring also extends to their legs.
Males and female chicks have different coloring, making them easy to tell apart. This never happens with purebred chicks. The females are a light brownish-yellow color, while the males are much lighter with more of a mellow yellow.
Uses of a Golden Comet Chicken
Golden Comet is a hybrid chicken that is bred for its production. Now let’s have a closer look at what these brilliant chickens are used for.
Golden Comets are made for their eggs. They are incredible layers and tick all the boxes that you’d want. They usually start laying at 19 weeks old and after that, they’ll give you incredible production for around three years.
The exact number of eggs you’ll get in one year can vary, but it can range from 250 to 330, with most providing over 300. The reason these hybrids are made is because you never get quite that level of laying from a purebred.
Not only do they produce nearly one egg per day, but those eggs are large too. In contrast, a chicken not known for its egg-laying abilities may lay 100 medium-sized eggs in one year.
Another reason that they are brilliant egg layers is that they are not at all broody. Broodiness in a chicken is when they want to sit on the eggs that they lay. Golden Comets aren’t maternal, meaning that you can easily take their eggs with no issues.
- Eggs per Year: 250 – 300
- Eggs per Week: 5 – 6
- Size: Large to Extra Large
- Color: Light Brown
Whether you should use a Golden Comet for meat or not depends on how you acquire your chickens. If you are buying them as female chicks, then using them for meat makes little sense as they are such a prolific egg layer.
However, you may have a Golden Comet as you have a New Hampshire Red rooster and a White Rock hen, or similar, and are breeding them. Here it would make sense to use the roosters for meat as there is little else to use for them.
You can cull older non-productive hens but chickens that are bred for meat are usually butchered when they are just a couple of months old. Using a 4/5-year-old hen for meat means it will not be tender and is generally best used for the likes of stews.
Are Golden Comets good for backyards and smaller coops? Absolutely! They easily adapt to new environments and love to roam around.
They are known for being both friendly and calm, meaning they are a good option for those who have children. The only downside to having one as a pet is that their lifespan is shorter than purebred chickens at around 4 to 5 years.
Not only are they friendly with humans, but they are also good coop mates with other breeds. They are the perfect chicken for small family coops which is also aided by their attractive appearance and minimal health problems.
Feeding and Housing Golden Comet Chickens
Golden Comets are easy to keep and cope well in almost any environment. They don’t struggle in the heat while also being able to cope in colder climates. The only consideration is that their combs can be prone to frostbite.
Golden Comets have plenty of energy and like to roam about. Due to this, it’s a good idea to give them enough space to forage for their food. This foraging also makes them lower maintenance as they are quite self-sufficient.
Ideally, you’ll want each hen to have around four square feet of space and one nesting box for every four birds. If you have a little more space and budget, then it may be best to add a few more nesting boxes than that.
While they love laying eggs, you want to ensure they have perfect conditions in which to do so. They’ll want a generous amount of bedding in their nest boxes, and they should be cleaned often.
As mentioned, you can let these chickens freely roam around and forage for their food. However, due to their egg-laying abilities, it’s usually a good idea to supplement that with high-quality feed.
It’s best to use pellets that are specifically made for egg layers. This will mainly be for the added calcium that they require for creating shells. It’s hard for them to get additional calcium from foraging alone.
Their dietary needs are fairly low, making them have a very high rating when it comes to feed efficiency. This means that for very little ongoing cost, you get a very high level of production.
Golden Comet Chicken Health and Disease Prevention
The Golden Comet is generally seen as a healthy chicken. Some hybrids have common generic issues, but these don’t. However, this is partly due to their short lifespan of four to five years, which is often at least three years shorter than a pure breed.
In their first three years, the only common health issue of concern is the likes of worms, mites, and lice. These issues can be easily solved with parasiticides but it can also be a good idea to get them a dust bath.
After three years, then old-age issues may start to develop such as egg yolk peritonitis and reproductive tumors. This is a result of their incredible egg production.
Reasons To Keep Golden Comets
With everything we’ve learned so far, it’s a good idea to recap and look at all the reasons why keeping a Golden Comet is a good idea.
- Behavior – These are very pleasant birds that are a pleasure to keep. Even if you didn’t care about eggs and just wanted a friendly pet that is also great with kids, the Golden Comet would be a great choice.
- Friendly To Other Birds – For those looking to keep multiple breeds of birds, the Golden Comet can fit in well.
- Health Problems – There are no common health issues they’ll suffer from in the first few years. They’ll happily produce eggs without giving you any headaches.
- Small Size – Their smaller size means they don’t need as much space as larger breeds. It makes them perfect for smaller backyards.
- Eggs – Of course, the biggest reason that people keep Golden Comets is due to their phenomenal egg production which will see you receive almost an egg a day.
- Attractive – Golden Comets are much more attractive than many other breeds of chicken. They have that lovely color along with friendly features.
Reasons Not to Keep Golden Comets
Along with the benefits of keeping a Golden Comet, it’s also important to look at any downsides.
- Breeding – A Golden Comet is only ever the result of a red rooster and a white hen. If Golden Comets mate together, it waters down this lineage and they won’t be as productive. For many, this can be negative if they are hoping to breed chickens. If you did want to breed them, then you’ll also need to incubate their eggs due to their lack of broodiness.
- Lifespan – As with most hybrids, Golden Comets don’t have a long life. Those hoping to keep a chicken for a decade may be very disappointed. Don’t expect them to be a companion for more than five years.
- Inquisitive Nature – While their inquisitive nature can be charming, it can also lead them into trouble. If there are any weak points in your fencing, they’ll find it. They will also make a mess of manicured lawns and flowerbeds. They should only be allowed to explore in an area specifically dedicated to your chickens.
Golden Comet Chicken – FAQs
1. At what age do Golden Comets start laying?
Most Golden Comets will start laying around 19 weeks. This is a common age for great egg layers. Some will start laying as soon as 16 weeks but these eggs will usually be much smaller than eggs they lay post the 20-week period.
2. What two chickens make a Golden Comet?
Effectively, any red sex-link chicken can be called a Golden Comet. Due to that, there are several answers to this question. What you need is a red rooster along with a white hen. Two commonly used chickens for this purpose are a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen but other breeds can be used.
3. Are Golden Comets friendly?
Yes, very. They are friendly and won’t shy away from human contact. Added to this, they are relaxed and not skittish, so you don’t need to worry about them panicking. It makes them easy to keep for adults but also means they are great around kids.
4. Are Golden Comets good meat birds?
They are generally not seen as good meat birds due to their smaller size. Their meat is tasty but using hens for meat is seen as a waste due to their egg-laying. If you are breeding Golden Comets from a red rooster and a silver hen, then using the male chicks as meat can be a good idea.
5. Are Golden Comets aggressive?
Golden Comets never get aggressive. You can even pick them up and hold them without getting flustered. They aren’t aggressive with other chickens either, making them good coop mates.
6. Are Golden Comet chickens noisy?
Golden Comets aren’t seen as noisier than any other species of chicken. Hens are particularly quiet and often only cluck when they are laying eggs. They are a good chicken to keep if you are worried about annoying your neighbors!
If you opened up this article wondering whether keeping Golden Comets was a good idea or not, you should have a resounding answer. They are brilliant chickens that are not only a pleasure to keep but will prevent you from ever needing to buy an egg again!
The only reason not to keep them was if you were hoping to breed them, or if you were concerned by the shorter lifespan. If you’re happy to overcome those drawbacks, then the only thing left to do is get your own Golden Comet!