Golden Comet chickens are not something that can be seen streaking through a dark night sky. It’s a hybrid chicken breed that likely gets its name from its coloring, which ranges from a rich reddish-orange to a light golden yellow.
Of course, it could also be a mix of the color AND the miniature comets that these hens release nearly every day. By comets, I mean eggs. The Golden Comet is a chicken that is one of the most prolific egg layers on earth. These girls are a wonderful choice for anyone wanting to strike it rich with eggs!
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5 Amazing Facts About Golden Comets
- You can tell right when they’re born whether they’re male or female
- They’re fantastic layers of brown eggs – you can expect 5-6 eggs per week!
- They’re very hardy, and do well in cold AND heat
- They’re friendly chickens who will jump for treats!
- Because they’re a mix between a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen, each individual chick can look slightly different.
So, what do Golden Comet chickens look like? When they hatch, the females are a dark yellow, while the males are such a pale yellow as to be almost white.
As adults, the Golden Comet hens are golden red in color with white highlights on their necks and backs. Roosters are white to white with light to dark red feathers on their shoulders. The red of their feathers is sometimes described as cinnamon, and there is a bit of variety in their coloring.
They have single combs. Their legs are yellow, and their beaks are a yellow-brown. Mature females weigh four to five pounds. Mature Golden Comet roosters weigh six pounds.
Golden Comets are Red Sex Link chickens, created by mixing a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen. There are no other variants of Golden Comet chickens, but there are a number of other Red Sex Link chickens, including the Red Star, Golden Buff, Gold Sex Link, ISA Brown, and Cinnamon Queen.
Red Sex Link Chickens Vs. Other Breeds
Like other great laying hybrids, such as Black Sex Links, Golden Comets are sex-linked chickens, meaning you can tell whether Golden Comet chicks are male or female as soon as they hatch. Chickens are notorious for their sexing problems – figuring out whether a chick is a rooster or a pullet is a hassle.
Sexing chicks usually requires either vent sexing or waiting a few months (there ARE some telltale signs earlier, but they’re not 100% surefire). When feathers start replacing the chick’s down, the job becomes a bit easier, but precious time is likely lost by this point.
Breeding sex link chickens help to speed up this process. When they’re born, the males have different down than the females – so you can immediately tell who is a rooster, and who will lay eggs.
Typically, these are hybrid birds that are a mix between two different chicken breeds – usually heritage breeds that have very consistent bloodlines. The most popular type of sex-link chickens are Black Sex-link chickens and Red Sex-Link chickens.
Golden Comet Personalities
Golden Comets are very docile, as long as you’ve raised them to be people friendly. They don’t put up much of a challenge to owners and enjoy spending time with their humans.
Sweet and gentle so accurately describe them, that they are even good with children. These birds are among the best layers on the planet, but they are not very broody. This actually works well – it’s pretty hard to collect eggs from a broody hen.
Do Golden Comet Chickens Breed True?
It is impossible for Golden Comets to breed true. They are a hybrid chicken, which means that the traits bred into them through their two parent breeds might show in different ways – maybe with more white feathers, maybe a lighter golden chest, among other features.
If they have offspring with another Golden Comet, their offspring will be as varied as the parents, and the result might even look nothing like either parent.
Are Golden Comet Chickens Good Layers?
Golden Comets lay large brown eggs, and they’re so prolific (they drop between 250 and 320 eggs per year), that you can expect to have a fresh egg in your coop for every hen you have – almost every day. In other words, they would be hard to beat in an egg production competition.
If you’re not planning on eating all these eggs immediately, having a suitable storage unit for them all is a must. Unlike other breeds, Golden Comet chickens are cold hardy (in fact, they do great with extremes of both heat and cold) and you’ll likely have eggs year-round.
At what age do golden comets start laying eggs? Keep an eye on them, because when they hit 16 weeks, they just might surprise you with your first egg! (This article will tell you some telltale signs your hen is laying).
How Long Do Golden Comet Chickens Live?
Like other chicken breeds, their life expectancy depends on the individual bird, and how well you care for them.
If they have a good diet with a high protein layer feed, you can expect them to live quite long. However, some people have reported that their Golden Comets tend to die young – at only 4-5 years. This might be due to their prolific egg-laying. It’s something to keep in mind when choosing this breed.
Golden Comet Chicken Care
- Provide plenty of clean, fresh water (spoil them with warm water in cold weather to keep egg laying at its best)
- Feed quality, high protein feed full of above average ingredients like this
- Be sure their coop is dry and draft free, as well as predator proof
- Fight parasites and worms before they become a problem with this herbal nesting mix
- Go the extra mile with chicken vitamins (if your chicken is healthy it will have less issues)
Where Can I Buy Golden Comet Chickens?
Golden Comets are often sold as Red Star chickens, Red sex link chickens, ISA Brown chickens, etc. Because of the various names you might have to do a little searching. We will get you started with a couple of hatcheries to check with. You can also check with local breeders in your area (check for Facebook groups).
- Cackle Hatchery in Lebanon, MO, offers them from early February through the end of September. You can read our review of Cackle here.
- Tractor Supply Co offers them
- The Chicken Outfitter offers Golden Comets in batches
- Murry Mcmurray Hatchery (although they call them Red Star chickens)
If you’re looking for a hen to add to your flock that can bring in the proverbial bacon – as long as that bacon is really eggs – you will find no better chicken than Golden Comet chickens!
Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category. Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.