The Golden Comet chicken is one of the best sex-link egg layers you’ll ever meet. And why not? Golden Comet hens can lay more than 300 eggs a year!
Therefore, this gorgeous chicken can give you a lucrative income if you take care of them properly. If you want to know everything about Golden Comet chickens, read this complete guide until the end.
Table of Contents
- 1 Origin of Golden Comet Chickens
- 2 What do Golden Comet Chickens Look Like?
- 3 What is the average weight of Golden Comet Chickens?
- 4 How do Golden Comet Chickens Behave?
- 5 Are Golden Comet Chickens Cold Hardy?
- 6 What and How Should You Feed Golden Comet Chickens?
- 7 Golden Comet Egg Production
- 8 Golden Comet Meat Production
- 9 Do Golden Comet Chickens Have Health Issues?
- 10 How to Take Care of Golden Comet Chickens?
- 11 Golden Comet Chickens Pros and Cons
- 12 Sex Link Connection
- 13 Conclusion
Origin of Golden Comet Chickens
To set records straight, Golden Comet is not a breed of chicken. Instead, it is a type of hybrid chicken known as sex-link chicken wherein you can tell the gender of a chick based on the color of its feathers right after hatching. Sex links are the result of experimenting with chicken breeds hoping to create better egg layers. Pretty cool, right?
No one knows who created the first Golden Comet chickens and when they first appeared. Nevertheless, sex-link chickens have been around for several years now. So far, there are two types – black sex-link and red sex-link. Generally speaking, if you cross a Rhode Island Red rooster with a Barred Rock hen, the result is a black sex-link chicken.
On the other hand, if you cross a rooster carrying a red gene with a hen carrying a silver gene, the result is a red sex-link chicken. If you cross a New Hampshire rooster with a Silver Laced Wyandotte hen, the result is called Cinnamon Queen. For Golden Comet chickens, their parents are usually a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen.
Let’s meet the parents. New Hampshire chickens came from a strain of Rhode Island Red while the White Rock is a variety of Plymouth Rock that can lay around 200 eggs a year. Note, however, that you cannot produce Golden Comet chicks out of another Golden Comet hen or rooster, especially if both parents are Golden Comet chickens.
Sex-link chickens such as Golden Comet are not considered real breeds and no standards have been set for their appearance. Therefore, they are not recognized by the American Poultry Association. Other names given to sex links are Gold Sex Link, Golden Buff, and Red Star, and sometimes, they are being used interchangeably.
What do Golden Comet Chickens Look Like?
In general, Golden Comet chickens have a small body as compared to most standard breeds. If you look closely at a hen’s body, it looks like a letter U with the ends formed by the head and tail that are held high and are almost exactly parallel to each other. They have an upright, single, red large comb, and their wattles and ear lobes are red as well.
Golden Comets also have red-orange eyes and a yellow (or yellow-brown) beak. As their name implies, they have golden reddish feathers and have no other color variations. However, some of them may have cinnamon, honey with white shade, or brownish-red feathers, or even lighter. Interestingly, the colors become brighter when hit by sunlight.
This hybrid chicken has yellow legs with no feathers. Their feet are also yellow with four toes on each foot. And because they are sex link chickens, the gender of their baby chicks can easily be identified right they are hatched. Males have yellow or light feathers while females have bronze or golden buff feathers. You can never go wrong with them.
What is the average weight of Golden Comet Chickens?
Golden Comet weight is generally lightweight. Roosters weigh about 6 pounds (2.7 kilos) while hens weigh about 4 pounds (1.8 kilos) only. And because they are already small, some of them may look like Comet bantams but they’re not. By definition, there’s really no such thing as Comet bantams and this term is only abused by marketers.
How do Golden Comet Chickens Behave?
Golden Comet chickens are very gentle, sweet, and friendly. These docile hybrids love human affection and they don’t mind being picked up or carried any time. In fact, your small children can also carry them without the fear of getting pecked. Try walking away from them and they will follow you wherever you go, especially if you give them treats.
Comet hens are typically quiet except when they are singing the egg song or when they sense danger. Nevertheless, they are not really noisy. Roosters crow like an average alarm clock in the early morning but they are not annoying. This means that your neighbors will not be disturbed even if you are living in an urbanized environment.
These beautiful birds are active and very curious about their surroundings. They love to check or investigate things that caught their attention, especially while they are scratching the soil. This is why they do well in free-range. Nevertheless, they can also tolerate confinement and you will never hear them complaining whatsoever.
Also, Comets seem to be in the lower rank of the pecking order. They are peaceful birds and won’t start a fight with other breeds. In fact, if an aggressive breed tries to bully them, they are likely to go away instead of fighting back. In that case, you must be very watchful if you have some newcomers you would like to introduce to your existing flock.
Golden Comet hens are not great sitters and very seldom that they go broody. This is probably because they are originally used as commercial chickens for egg production. So if you want lots of chicks from their eggs, you may have no other choice but to use a reliable incubator. Nonetheless, they are great caretakers of their baby chicks.
Are Golden Comet Chickens Cold Hardy?
Golden Comet chickens have a large comb but it does not mean they cannot tolerate cold weather. However, you may want to monitor them closely during winter as they are prone to frostbite. On the other hand, their feathers are not thick and fluffy and therefore, they can do well during summer. However, their dust bath still needs shade.
What and How Should You Feed Golden Comet Chickens?
Feeding Golden Comet chickens should not be a problem. Just like naturally bred chickens, their baby chicks must be fed with high-quality starter feed, which usually has 20-24% protein content. Once they are 6 to 20 weeks old, you can already switch them to grower feed. This is because they no longer the higher protein content from starters.
And because Comet hens are excellent layers, feed them with a layer feed with higher calcium content once they start to lay eggs. Oyster shells are very rich in calcium so you might want to add them as their supplement. You should also give them some leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains. But most of all, give them a huge supply of clean water.
Golden Comet Egg Production
As mentioned above, Golden Comet chickens are one of the best egg layers you can find. On average, they can lay a whopping 330 eggs a year which converts to 5-6 eggs a week! Ideally, they start their laying stage when they are 18-24 months of age. In fact, numerous Comet owners said that their hens started to lay eggs at just 16 weeks old!
Comet hens are also known for laying a consistent number of eggs until they are 2 years old. Afterward, their egg production will start to decline but gradually. Comet pullets are known for producing one of the finest brown eggs. But sometimes, they will also give you some red-brown eggs. Despite being small, their eggs can be from medium to large.
Golden Comet Meat Production
Golden Comets are considered dual-purpose chickens, and therefore, are also good for meat production. However, it is not common to call them meat birds. Their meat tastes delicious but because they are small, they are not commercialized. But if you have the heart to slaughter your older hens and eat them, it will be your personal choice.
Do Golden Comet Chickens Have Health Issues?
Being hybrid, Golden Comet chickens are very healthy and have no genetic disorders. In fact, they have strong antibodies that help them avoid bacterial infections during their peak period. But because of their prolific ability to lay eggs, hens are prone to some serious illnesses as they grow older. This is why their life is shorter than most breeds.
First of all, hens get weaker as they continue to lay more eggs because their energy is being used a lot, and this will greatly affect their foraging behavior. Second, older hens tend to suffer from osteoporosis or bone fracture. This is because of their earlier loss of calcium which they transfer to their eggs. So don’t be surprised if they fall from perches.
Another potential disease that Comet hens might have is egg peritonitis. This is an internal infection that damages their oviduct; this is where the eggs are being developed. This illness is common not only to Golden Comet chickens but also to other prolific egg layers. Unfortunately, there has been no proven cure for this disease yet.
Lastly, overweight hens and those that lay eggs earlier than they should are prone to prolapse. This disease occurs when the oviduct will remain inside out after eggs have been laid. Aside from the infection risk, affected hens are also prone to cannibalism. This usually happens in the commercial flock but is also likely to happen in your backyard.
How to Take Care of Golden Comet Chickens?
Because of their small size and calm temperament, Golden Comet chickens need no special care. You can take care of them as if you are raising heritage chickens. As mentioned earlier, they are not prone to frostbite and heatstroke. But just like other chickens, they can be infested with internal and external parasites such as lice and mites.
Among the basic requirements include a well-ventilated and spacious coop, shade on dust bath and outdoor nesting boxes, comfortable roosting bars, a well-balanced diet, and a continuous supply of fresh and clean water. Their lifespan of 4-5 years is shorter than heritage breeds, but they may be live a bit longer if you take good care of them.
Also, be reminded that you should not breed a chicken out of two Golden Comet parents. Well, you can allow them to mate. However, their offspring will not be the ideal Golden Comet chicken, which means you cannot expect them to be prolific layers. Remember that sex link chickens are products of two different chicken breeds.
Golden Comet Chickens Pros and Cons
It’s very clear that Golden Comet chickens offer lots of benefits, especially if you are into the massive production of eggs. But on the other hand, you should not ignore their drawbacks. Here’s the summary of their pros and cons.
Advantages of Raising Golden Comet Chicken
- Attractive, gorgeous, and elegant
- Sweet, gentle, and very friendly
- Ideal for family with small children
- Relatively quiet, ideal for urban neighborhood
- Easy to buy, readily available
- Prolific egg layers
- Starts to lay eggs early
- Can handle hot and cold weather
- Can do well in confinement and free-range
- Require less capital and maintenance
- Ideal for beginners
- Healthy, no genetic disorder
- Can be a great source of income
- Sexed right after hatching
Disadvantages of Raising Golden Comet Chicken
- Mature hens are prone to diseases
- Short lifespan
- Can easily get bullied
- Cannot fight predators
- You cannot produce a true breed
- Hens need replacement every 3 years
Sex Link Connection
Golden Comet Chickens are usually blended up with Golden Sex Link chickens in the commercial market because of their similar feather pallet and laying habits. Though Golden Comet’s are sex-linked, they are not the common Golden Sex Link chickens and are instead a separate battery-laying breed.
Without a doubt, Golden Comet chickens are one of the best sex-link egg producers. As compared to many heritage chicken breeds, you can easily buy them. You also don’t need huge capital, which makes them more interesting to invest in. If given proper attention and care, their eggs can give you a lucrative income with less effort.
Golden Comet chickens are great family pets, too. You don’t have to worry if you have small children who may like to caress them. You can also raise them without annoying your neighbors. But while it’s very easy to manage them, losing them also seems to be easy. The key is not to get too emotionally attached to them and treat them the best you can.