Impatient for eggs? Raise the Golden Comet chicken

I have mentioned a time or two how much I loved rising the chicken breed Golden Comet. Since they are such a great breed, I decided it's time they get their own post! These hens are well known for their ability to start laying at around 4 months and lay an egg almost every day for several years! Plus they are widely available now and a friendly addition to any flock!

Pictured: Golden comet hen, everything you need to know

I bought my first comet at a feed store and the only reason I picked her was because I wanted a colorful chicken. I had hatched a bunch of black copper Marans and they all looked like little ravens. I couldn't tell them apart yet and I wanted something different. Golden comets are buff colored chicks that become a gold or a cinnamon colored adult with some variation of lighter feathers in the tail. 

Actually, I have seen pictures of golden comets with a few black feathers in the tail, but none of mine ever had that.

Comets fall into a category called 'production' egg layers. Over the years they have been selectively bred to lay more often and be less broody. They were originally created for factory farms but have moved into backyard chicken keeping in the last 15 years or so. They lay better in winter than most other breeds I've raised!

They are a sex-link breed which means the males and females are easily distinguishable at hatch. This makes them a favorite with hatcheries as many people only buy pullets.

The golden comet can start laying eggs as young as 16 weeks. She will lay 6-7 eggs a week for close to 3 years.

Golden Comet laying hens

The golden comet is a cross between a Rhode island red and a white leghorn.
They are a sex-link breed.
It is a standard sized chicken. Approximately 4 lbs. for hens, 6 lbs. for roosters.
They are known to lay up to 330 eggs per year!
They lay large sized brown eggs.
The golden comet can start laying eggs as young as 16 weeks.
She will lay 6-7 eggs a week for close to 3 years.
They are known for being gentle birds and are easy to tame.
They are not very broody
Cold hardy and heat tolerant
Dual purpose
Golden Comet eggs in nest

Golden Comets make great pets!

The fact that they are so docile makes the Golden Comet one of the best chicken breeds for beginners to raise. They are also great to raise if you have children since they are more tolerant and less flighty than other breeds.

They are also excellent foragers and are great help eating insects in and out of the garden! They are pretty smart and not shy, so they will come running whenever you come to see them. Though they are also fairly food motivated so that might be why!

Cons of raising golden comets

Unfortunately as a high production breed the golden comets don't usually live more than about 5 years. They are also more susceptible to issues in the laying tract like becoming egg bound or dealing with egg peritonitis. 

Since they are such docile birds it's best to not keep them with more aggressive breeds. I would avoid keeping them with any of the game breeds or jungle fowl. Of course you can have a random aggressive chicken of any breed so definitely keep an eye out in a mixed flock that your comets are not getting bullied!

Golden comet chick

If you want to breed GCs you'll need to start with the parent breeds not a flock of golden comets. The golden comet is a hybrid breed, so they will not will breed true for the second generation. So if you have an entire flock of golden comets, their offspring will not be the same as the first flock of GCs. However, when you breed the Rhode island red and white leghorn, those chicks will be all the same. 

The cinnamon queen is very similar to the golden comet as they both come from mixing the same two breeds. While trying to untangle the differences for this post I have to admit to finding them minimal. I've also seen the same genetic mix used to describe the red star, though at this point I just think different hatcheries are giving different names to the same mixes. Marketing I suppose.

Fun fact: when people adopt ex battery hens they are often golden comets or one of the other breeds from the same genetic mix.

I really loved my golden comets, they were friendly chickens that laid an incredible amount of eggs! In fact, every few years I add a few chicks to my flock just because they are so awesome. I definitely recommend adding a few to your flock.

Thinking of adding a new breed to your flock? Check out the other breeds I've profiled


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