The Golden Comet chicken is a breed that comes by many names such as Cinnamon Queen, Gold Sex-Link, Golden Buff, and Red Star. This chicken was developed by crossing a Rhode Island Red or a New Hampshire rooster with a White Rock or a Rhode Island White hen. The result is a hybrid chicken that lays lots of eggs like the Leghorn and has a relaxed personality like a Rhode Island Red.
Other than its pleasant temperament, the Golden Comet is a sex-link chicken. This means that breeders can determine the gender of the chicks as soon as they hatch. This characteristic makes this chicken a perfect contender for factory farming and a backyard favorite for most small-scale farmers with large barnyards.
If you’re reading this guide, then it means you’re among those enthusiasts that are heavily attracted to this chicken. If you’re the one I’m talking to, then keep reading to learn more about the Golden Comet.
Specifications of Golden Comet Chicken
|Weight||Roosters: 6 – 8 Pounds; Hens: 4 – 7 Pounds|
|Productivity||250 – 330 Eggs Annually|
|Egg Size & Color||Medium to Large Sized Brown Eggs|
|Plumage||Reddish-Brown Feathers with White Specs|
|Temperament||Docile, Gentle, Laid Back, and Friendly|
|Coop Space||3 – 4 Square Feet Per Chicken|
|Climate Tolerance||Both Cold and Heat Hardy|
|Cost||$3 – $6 Per Chick|
A Short History of Golden Comet Chicken
The Golden Comet is a breed that was developed in the early 20th century. Although there are many chicken breeds involved in its production, a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen seemed to produce a perfect result.
However, most breeders refer to them as Cinnamon Queens, Red Stars, Golden Buff, and Gold Sex Link. While some say it’s confusing, others argue that these names refer to different chicken breeds that are considered close cousins to the Golden Comet.
Prior to its production, commercial farmers in the United States needed a chicken that could develop faster, mature early, and lay lots of eggs to meet the growing demand for eggs. As a result, the Golden Comet was born.
Amazingly, this chicken proved to be a prolific egg layer and a perfect rival for heritage breeds such as the Rhode Island Red and the White Rock. Besides laying high quantities of eggs, this chicken had a docile and gentle disposition and a beautiful plumage that made it a favorite breed among most small-farm chicken keepers.
After spending two years in commercial production, the Golden Comet was open to the public and it adapted well as a free-range bird in most backyards. This chook is a hybrid and sex-linked breed, which means breeders can determine the sex immediately after hatching.
Physical Appearance and Breed Standard of Golden Comet Chicken
Now, the Golden Comet is a chicken that can be distinguished by the color of its plumage. Some breeders confess the reddish-brown color on the feathers resembles cinnamon or honey while the white color resembles sugar. So, you’ll hear them describe the color of this chicken as being cinnamon and sugar, cinnamon with a lot more sugar, or cinnamon and sugar with more sugar around the collar and tail wings.
So, when describing them, the hens are said to have reddish-brown feathers with white specs while roosters are mainly white with red feathers on the shoulders.
As sex-linked chickens, identifying the gender of the chicks is quite easy. Here, male chicks will display a pale-yellow color while females will display a light brown color.
Size and Weight
About size, the Golden Comet is described as a small to medium-sized bird. The hens weigh around 4 – 7 pounds while roosters weigh 6 – 8 pounds. Although their sizes are quite small, the best thing about them is that they don’t require a lot of coop space. Also, their small sizes don’t affect their egg-laying ability.
Other Physical Features
Other than this, the Golden Comets are described to have an upright stance with hens having a U-shaped body with tails held up high. The legs are clean and have yellow shanks and 4 toes. They have single combs that are reddish in color, yellow-orange eyes, and yellow-tinged brown beaks.
Productivity of Golden Comet Chicken (Egg Laying and Meat)
As far as egg-laying goes, just a few chickens can match the egg-laying ability of the Golden Comet. Although they’re medium-sized, the Golden Comet is a layer of medium to large-sized brown eggs. The pullets begin laying as early as 16 weeks though some can delay for up to 18 weeks.
Nonetheless, these chickens are known to lay at least an egg a day, which translates to 7 weekly and around 330 annually. As it is the reputation with most hybrid layers, the Golden Comet will be productive in the first two years after which production will lower during the third year.
Considering they have a lifespan of around 5 years, these chickens will continue to lower production during the third and fourth years where they will manage to lay around 3 – 4 eggs weekly.
Now, if you’re raising Golden Comets as backyard chickens, then you need to consider rotating the flock soon after they lower production. First, these chickens rarely go broody. Secondly, they don’t breed true. So, if you incubate their eggs, you won’t get a Golden Comet in return.
Therefore, if you want to rotate the flock, you’ll have to include a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen in your flock to successfully produce a Golden Comet. Some sources also talk of breeding a Rhode Island Red rooster with a White Rock hen.
About meat produce, the Golden Comet doesn’t get as fat as broilers do. Nonetheless, since they have short laying years, most keepers prefer to butcher them as soon as they lower production to pave way for young energetic pullets.
Golden Comet Chicken Characteristics (Personality and Temperament)
If you ask those folks that have raised the Golden Comet, you’ll hear answers such as a laid-back, mellow, gentle, intelligent, and curious chicken. Indeed, this chicken is friendly, especially to humans, and will prefer human companionship over its own flockmates.
Another thing about this bird is that it’s active and very curious. These two features mean that this bird deserves some free-ranging freedom in the backyard.
Lastly, the Golden Comet is a gentle bird that dislikes arguments and confrontations. In fact, if they land in an argument, they will prefer to stay off rather than fight back.
Although their gentleness is a huge plus to those raising them for the first time, these chickens can be bullied if they fall into a flock that consists of aggressive breeds. Otherwise, if added to a flock that has docile breeds such as Cochins, Silkies, and Plymouth Rocks, Comets will live happily without any problem.
Isa Brown vs Golden Comet
|ISA Brown||Golden Comet|
|Originated from France||Origin is based in the United States|
|Lays around 300 – 350 eggs annually||Lays around 250 – 330 eggs annually|
|Eggs are large to extra-large||Eggs are medium to large|
|The lifespan is around 5 – 8 years||Lifespan is around 4 – 5 years|
|A result of complex series of crosses that include Rhode Island Reds and Rhode Island Whites||Developed by crossing Rhode Island Red or New Hampshire rooster with a White Rock or Rhode Island White hen.|
Golden Comet Rooster vs Hen
|Mostly white with red/brown feathers on the shoulders||Have a U-shaped body with red-brown feathers and white flecks|
|Best for meat produce||Best for laying eggs|
|Weighs 6 – 8 pounds||Weighs 4 – 6 pounds|
|They can be slightly aggressive and territorial||Have a laid-back and docile temperament|
|Slight murmurs but they do crow||Slight egg songs and alarm calls|
Cinnamon Queen vs Golden Comet
The Cinnamon Queen and the Golden Comet are two hybrid breeds that are very similar in terms of appearance, temperament, and egg-laying ability. However, if you look at them closely, you’ll notice some noticeable differences which we’re going to list here.
Starting with the size, Cinnamon Queens appear larger than Golden Comets with roosters weighing 8 – 9 pounds and hens weighing 6 – 7 pounds. This is different from Golden Comets which weigh 6 – 8 pounds for the roosters and 4 – 7 pounds for the hens.
Both chickens lay brown eggs in the range of 250 – 330 eggs annually. However, Cinnamon Queens lay large eggs while Golden Comets lay medium to large-sized eggs.
Lastly, there’s the issue of breeding. Here, Cinnamon Queens are bred from a Rhode Island Red rooster and Rhode Island White hen. Golden Comets, on the other hand, are bred from either a Rhode Island Red or a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock or a Rhode Island White hen.
Common Health Issues of Golden Comet Chicken
Now, the Golden Comet is a hybrid chicken that has few health concerns if any. This chicken is both heat and cold hardy and will recover quickly if it suffers from a virus. In most cases, this chicken will remain strong and productive during its first 3 years with its health expected to deteriorate as it approaches 4 or 5 years.
I think this trend is caused by its high productive rate where it spends a better part of its life laying large quantities of eggs. This is also the main reason why the Golden Comet has such a short lifespan.
But, other than that, factory girls such as this one suffers various reproductive problems such as egg peritonitis, reproductive tumors, egg binding, cancer, and ovarian cysts among others. It’s also important to mention that Golden Comets can suffer from mites, fleas, and internal parasites if they’re neglected.
Required Environment for Golden Comet Chicken
Now, the Golden Comet is a chicken breed that’s considered a low-maintenance self-sufficient bird. This chicken is resistant to common illnesses and is both cold and heat-hardy. It also tolerates confinement though it seems to appreciate the freedom to free-range around the backyard in search of pasture.
Now, this chicken is designed to have a very fast growth rate. This is a huge plus to most small chicken farmers as the birds have a decent feed-to-growth ratio. Here, you’ll spend less on feed and harvest large quantities of eggs for the first 2 – 3 years.
Lastly, the Golden Comet is a hearty chicken that has a docile, gentle, and friendly temperament. After serving as a factory girl, some farmers can opt to raise it as a pet or a companion as it enjoys being near humans. It also enjoys being picked by kids making it a great pet altogether.
Raising Tips for Golden Comet Chicken
When feeding your Golden Comets, you need to be very keen as they require highly nutritious food to maintain their high egg production. Here, you can feed them layer pellets with a decent calcium content. The calcium should be offered as a supplement and should be around 2.5% to 3.5%. The best sources of calcium include oyster shells, grit, and limestone among others.
These chickens also need around 16% of protein during normal seasons and around 18% – 20% of protein during winter to cater to their annual molting demands. Here, you can feed your chickens with mealworms or allow them to free-range in search of seeds, nuts, and insects.
Coop Setup and Health
Since the Golden Comet is a chicken that’s raised specifically for egg production, coop setup should be a top priority to ensure that your hens are happy and comfortable. First, you need to build a coop that offers plenty of space in the form of 4+ square feet per hen.
Considering these chickens are medium-sized, the roosting and perching bars should be at least 2 – 4 feet from the ground and 8 – 10 inches in length. You should also have at least one nest box per three hens to ensure they don’t have trouble laying.
If you’re willing to provide them some outdoor space in the run, you should ensure that the space is around 8 – 10 square feet per hen to avoid possible confrontations.
Lastly, Golden Comets require a clean coop to stay healthy. Here, you can consider cleaning the coop regularly to remove droppings and rotting feed. Remember, a dirty coop attracts bacteria and disease, which is not good for your chickens.
Although Golden Comets excel in cold climates, their single combs can be susceptible to frostbites if you’re not careful. So, to avoid that, you need to insulate the coop and then add a coop heater. You can also choose to add straw or hay for added insulation.
In the case of hot climates, you should provide your chickens with a lot of drinking water to avoid heat stress. Heat stress usually occurs when chickens are unable to cope with rising temperatures.
Where to Buy a Golden Comet Chicken
Now, if you’re planning to raise Golden Comets, there are various ways you can buy these chickens. You can decide to buy fertilized eggs and incubate them yourself, buy chicks or buy juveniles that are just about to start laying.
The chicks can be bought in various hatcheries such as Hoover’s Hatchery, Cackle Hatchery, and MtHealthy Hatchery among others. There, you’ll get both male and female chicks with females costing more than males. Also, sexed chicks are more expensive than straight runs. You can also buy the chicks on local farms such as Dunreath Farm and Asheville Farm.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why Does My Golden Comet Chicken Lay Green Eggs?
Although Golden Comet chickens are layers of deep or red-brown eggs, there are times when they might lay blue-green eggs. According to research, the bluish-green pigmentation on the eggshells occurs when a blue egg-laying chicken breed is crossed with a brown egg-laying breed. Since the Golden Comet is a mix of many chicken breeds over a long period, there’s a possibility of a blue egg-laying gene in the mix.
Q2. What Is the Average Lifespan for a Golden Comet Chicken?
Sadly, the Golden Comet is among those breeds that have the shortest lifespan. These chickens have a lifespan of around 4 – 5 years. Their short lifespan is caused by their high egg production rate where they fall victim to various reproductive organ issues.
Q3. What Are the Parents of a Golden Comet Chicken?
The Golden Comets are sex-linked hybrid chickens that are developed by crossing Rhode Island Red roosters and White Leghorn hens. Other sources argue that New Hampshire roosters and White Rock/Rhode Island White hens are involved.
Q4. Are Golden Comets Flighty Birds?
No, they’re not. Golden Comets are not flighty. Instead, these chickens are active and curious and will enjoy free-ranging around the backyard in search of pasture.
Golden Comets are raised in most commercial egg farms due to their ability to lay eggs in a prolific fashion. Thankfully, these birds can also excel in small backyards and serve as perfect options for beginners and enthusiasts.
They’re easy to raise, have few demands, and have a fast-growing rate that allows you to save a lot in terms of feeds. These chickens are sex-linked meaning you won’t end up with roosters once you buy the chicks.
These chickens are gentle and friendly to both humans and fellow flockmates. Since they enjoy human companionship more, most farmers enjoy raising them as backyard pets as they also love to be held and cuddled by kids.
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!