The Golden Comet Chicken is one of the most successful sex link hens of recent times.
She was originally intended for factory farming but this sweet little hen has become a backyard favorite.
Her egg laying ability and relaxed personality has won the hearts of many backyard chicken keepers.
Are you interested in learning more about this endearing backyard chicken?
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the Golden Comet Chicken…
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Golden Comet Chicken Overview
The Golden Comet Chicken was originally meant for the larger factory farmers but she is slow becoming a backyard favorite!
It should be noted that Golden Comets are not a breed as such – they are a hybrid hen.
There are several hybrid lines all with differing names: Cinnamon Queens, Red Star, Golden Buff and others. These names are simply the name of the red sex link that the hatchery or farm happens to carry. The Golden Comet Chicken was originally created by the Hubbard firm.
This small hen has won the hearts of many backyard chicken keepers because of her gentle and loving personality.
Not only do these chickens lay lots of eggs but their caring temperament shines through when you take the time to get to know them.
They are best described as sweet, gentle and quiet.
She loves to investigate new things with you, so do not be surprised if she turns up to help you in the yard, or if you find her rooting through the compost heap having a good time.
Comets are quite affectionate and can easily be kept as lap chickens. They are great with kids as they do not mind being picked up and carried around and are very mellow in their outlook.
|Golden Comet Chicken|
|Weight:||Hen (4lb) and Rooster (6lb).|
|Egg Production:||5-6 per week.|
|Known For Broodiness:||No.|
|Good With Children:||Yes.|
|Cost of Chicken:||$2-4 per chick.|
Why We Love This Breed
- Golden Comet Chickens are excellent egg layers.
- Their friendly and relaxed temperament makes them perfect for families with children.
- Eggs from this chicken as large and a rich brown color.
- They start to lay eggs much earlier than most other breeds.
- Hens rarely go broody which is perfect if you are looking for a reliable egg layer.
- This breed gets along well with other breeds in the flock.
The American Poultry Association do not recognize the Golden Comet Chicken as a breed. Because of this there is no set appearance or standard for these chickens.
However you can expect your Golden Comet to be small hen that only weighs around 4lb.
Their comb is upright and red, and so are their wattles and ear lobes.
Comets usually have a yellow or horn colored beak with orange eyes.
Her body profile looks like an inverted U shape with the tail held very upright. Their feathers are reddish brown but can be lighter. A cinnamon or honey shade with white feathers is very common.
Finally, their legs should be clean and yellow and each foot should have four toes.
Size and Weight
Although the Golden Comet is considered a standard size she is actually a little on the small side.
Hens will only weigh around 4lb and the roosters about 6lb.
However their small size however does not reduce their egg laying ability!
As their name suggest the Golden Comet Chicken comes in one color only: a reddish golden.
When they are chicks they will have chipmunk stripes down the back and be a darker color.
However as their big girl feathers grow in they can have a variety of plumage variations. The red color can vary from a brownish red to a cinnamon or honey coloring. Some will have more whitish feathering and some even have a white collar.
What Is It Like To Own A Golden Comet?
Comets are active chickens, just like Leghorns.
Heaven for them is free ranging in the yard, even if it is only for supervised short periods.
This breed also loves to hang out with their owners so you will find them gardening with their owners!
Give them an old pile of leaves to rummage through and it will keep them happy for ages.
Anybody who has kept a Comet Chicken will tell you they are very sweet, intelligent and laid back.
They are also very curious about things and love to investigate new things.
As previously mentioned they are very gentle and docile.
The Comet does not mind being picked up and carried around. In fact they would rather spend their time with you rather than their coop friends.
She is very peaceful and will shy away from any trouble in the pen.
If they happen to be near a squabble they will quickly move away. They do not like getting into any sort of disagreement with flock mates. This means that they can be picked on by more assertive birds so you will need to watch them carefully when you first introduce them to other breeds.
You can read our complete guide on how to introduce new chickens to your flock if you need any help.
Ideally this breed should be kept with other gentle breeds like the Cochin or Orpington.
You can expect your Golden Comet Chickens to lay very well for the 18-24 months. During this time you can expect 5-6 eggs every week.
The eggs will be a good size and brown.
After they reach 2 years old their production does drop away.
Sadly in an industrial setting these hens would then be considered spent. In a homestead situation it will depend very much on your style of management. Although they won’t produce the 5-6 eggs you have been getting they will still produce a reasonable amount of eggs- 3-4 eggs each week.
They do not get broody.
It is important to note that you cannot breed Golden Comets from Golden Comet.
Sex link chickens requires two parents from separate breeds. In the case of the Comet it is a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen, although some sources state that it is a Rhode Island Red rooster over a White Rock hen.
If you do breed Golden Comets together you will have mutt chickens and not Golden Comets.
|Eggs Per Week:||5-6 Eggs.|
|Size:||Medium to large.|
In general Golden Comets are not noisy chickens.
Other than the egg song or alarm calls they talk quietly to one another. They are one of the quietest hens around which is an added bonus for city dwellers.
Facts About This Breed
- They are technically not considered a breed.
- Roosters weigh around six pounds while hens weigh around four pounds.
- Golden Comets tolerate confinement well but love to roam outside in the grass.
- They will lay nearly an egg per day during their first two years of egg laying.
- Comets handle the heat and cold very well.
Golden Comet Chicken Care Guide
Comets are fairly healthy for the first two to three years.
However because they are bred to be high production breeds they tend to not live much beyond five years.
The usual demise is from egg issues such as cancer or egg yolk peritonitis.
Because of this you find lots of these hens need to be re-homed by rescue organizations. Many of these ladies can go on to a family home after being a factory girl. Although they won’t give you a prolific amount of eggs they will still lay for you and will be eternally grateful that you gave them a caring home for their final years.
Other than a pretty short lifespan they are hardy little birds.
They can tolerate the heat and the cold well.
You will need to check for parasites, lice, mites and worms.
Lastly, during very cold winters you will need to check for frostbite. You can use chicken coop heaters and vaseline to keep them safe.
You can feed this breed a standard 16% layer feed.
This will suit them nicely for most of the year and when they go into the molt you can increase the protein percentage to 18 or 20%.
Also make sure to have separate containers of oyster shell and grit available for those who want it.
As Comets lay lots of eggs they will need the additional calcium from the oyster shell.
Finally make sure they have access to clean and fresh water at all times.
Coop Setup and Roaming
Although Golden Comets are a smaller sized hen the usual 4 square feet of coop space still applies.
It is key that your chickens have enough space otherwise they will start to develop anti-social habits such as feather picking.
Ideally this is a breed that should be housed with other gentle breeds such as the Polish Chicken.
Next up is roosting space.
They will need 8-10 inches each of space on the roost. This will give them enough room to happily perch without sitting on their neighbor. If you can then give them a choice of perches so they can choose where they want to be or with whom they want to snuggle up to.
For nesting boxes the standard 12×12 inch next will be perfectly adequate for their needs. You should try to provide one nesting box for every three hens.
Now to outside ranging space.
These chickens love to free range.
However if you have to keep them penned for safety then try to give them some supervised free range time. This will go a long way to keeping them physically and mentally fit.
If you are keeping them in a run then you need to give each chicken at least 8 square feet.
Perches at differing heights, tree stumps, leaf piles will all help to keep them busy.
Golden Comet Breed History
It is hard to say with any certainty just exactly when the Golden Comet made first their appearance.
As previously mentioned, the Comet is a sex link chicken.
A sex link chicken is one that can be sexed at hatch because of the visual differences in the sexes. Popular examples of sex link chickens include the Barred Rock and Welsummer.
Mankind has known about sex link chickens for many years and has used this knowledge to start experimenting with various combinations of breeds.
Red and black sex links have been around for several years now and have proven themselves to be very good egg layers, but the name red sex link sounds rather boring doesn’t it?
So the name Golden Comet was born, in addition with the Cinnamon Queen, Red Star and others.
As an advertising ploy it worked very well.
Many folks who would not have bought plain sex links bought into the Golden Comet and her sisters – and so a backyard star was born.
Golden Comet Chickens are made by crossing a New Hampshire rooster with a White Rock hen.
They are egg laying superstars and rival the Rhode Island Red.
In its favor, the Comet is a smaller chicken and eats less feed. She is also a good little forager so feed bills can be kept to a minimum.
The Comet is now a firm favorite among chicken keepers and is likely to keep her place for a long, long time.
The Golden Comet is a delightful little chicken.
She is friendly, cheerful, hard-working and only requires some feed as payment!
Although they do not live as long as heritage hens she will serve you well in the egg department. She really is an egg laying powerhouse with a great personality.
Because you can tell the chick’s sex at hatch, Comets are a safe option for people who live in an area where roosters are banned, or for those who simply do not want a rooster.
They are great value for money and will repay you in eggs for a long time!
Overall what more could you want from a backyard chicken?
Let us know in the comments section below…