Egg consumption worldwide is increasing, and brown eggs are increasingly popular. This makes poultry farming a worthy venture.
If you want to add brown egg-laying chickens to your flock, you may need to consider the Golden Comet.
Although their lifespan is short, the Comets are productive and easy to raise. Their productivity makes them popular among backyard farmers in the United States.
Here is more about the characteristics, productivity, and how to raise Golden Comets.
The Golden Comet is among the latest breeds to emerge after crossing Rhode Island Reds with White Rocks. The century-old breed has its origin in the Northeast United States.
Breeders sought a hybrid suitable for commercial egg-laying in the early 20th century. After crossing the ancestral breeds, a less broody Comet emerged.
However, this highly productive hybrid has limited genetic diversity.
Its resistance to diseases and harsh conditions is good, but continuous egg-laying subjects the breed to cancer, shortening its lifespan.
Golden Comet Standard Appearance
The American Poultry Association (APA) does not acknowledge crossbreeds. Therefore, the Golden Comet is not an APA-recognized breed.
The following characteristics are helpful in identifying the Golden Comet.
The eyes, beaks, and legs are yellow for both hens and roosters. Since the Golden Comet is a sex-linked variety, you can distinguish hens from roosters by color.
Young females are golden buff, while males are yellow. Both sexes have yellow skin.
This hybrid has a single red comb.
The Golden Comet hens are layers and, therefore, less muscular. A mature chicken is medium-sized.
Roosters weigh 6 pounds when mature, while hens weigh about 4 pounds.
Golden Comet hens lay light-brown shelled eggs. Their eggs are medium to large-sized.
Golden Comet hens come in only one color, which is golden brown.
After hatching, the female chicks have light and dark brown stripes on their neck. They tend to disappear and are replaced with white speckles as the chicken grows.
Male chicks are yellow and turn white when mature.
Golden comets are friendly and easy to handle. Unlike other breeds that become flighty and noisy when agitated, this breed is peaceful.
If you keep chickens as pets, the Comets can make good ones. They are relaxed as you carry them around and will rest on your lap without freaking out.
However, their short lifespan may make them unsuitable as pets. But you can increase their lifespan by discouraging them from laying eggs through diet changes.
Despite their docile temperament, these chickens are intelligent and love investigating their surroundings.
Due to their peaceful nature, Golden Comets shy away from trouble. They move away from others in a mixed flock whenever they disagree.
Farmers rearing this breed have indicated they prefer human company to their fellow fowls.
You should therefore house the breed with other friendly varieties to protect it from attack.
The daily egg laying takes a great toll on their body, resulting in a shortened lifespan.
Moreover, this is a hybrid with limited genetic diversity. The birds are, therefore, prone to diseases and have low immunity.
Hatching and Raising
Their eggs have thick shells and may require warmer conditions to hatch. Because Golden Comets are a hybrid and not a true breed, they don’t breed true, meaning Golden Comet parents will not produce chicks the same as themselves.
The best way to add Golden Comets to your flock is to purchase chicks or fertile eggs and hatch them in an incubator.
You should feed chicks of Golden Comets with 16-20% protein feed to foster growth and body development.
After maturity, the hens lay eggs throughout the year. At this stage, give them 16% layer feed and foods rich in calcium.
Ensure you increase the protein percentage to 20% when they start molting.
In addition, supply your flock with the following.
- Clean water
- Oyster shells in a separate container (to provide calcium for better shell formation)
- Grit in a separate container
- Fresh vegetables (to provide vitamins and improve disease resistance)
Golden Comets are small to medium size. A four-square feet coop space is enough for a mature bird. They also need an 8-to-10-inch roosting space where they can perch without interfering with each other.
And when they start laying eggs, a 12×12-inch nesting box is enough for three hens since they hardly brood.
Add clean bedding to the nesting box to enhance comfort and keep parasites away.
You should provide enough shade during hot days.
Note that the coop area and nesting boxes require cleaning to keep parasites and disease-causing organisms at bay.
When cleaning the coops, add soap to clean water and remove all dirt. You can also use disinfectants as recommended by your vet.
Since Golden Comet chickens are sex-linked, you can distinguish males from females by color.
Females are golden brown with stripes while males are yellow when young.
The above conditions result from high egg production, which leads to tumor growth in the reproductive system.
The Golden Comet variety has commendable tolerance to low temperatures. However, they suffer from frostbite during the cold season.
Their downy feathers help to keep them warm.
This breed does well at high temperatures since they are not large-bodied. But you should provide shade and enough water to keep them hydrated.
This chicken breed has no major health issues for the first three years. Their heat and cold tolerance are great.
However, they develop some health issues, such as
- Frostbites on the comb in extremely cold conditions.
- Reproductive tumors, which lead to cancer. The condition results from laying a lot of large eggs.
- Egg yolk peritonitis. Yolk material in the coelomic cavity causes inflammation of the peritoneum.
- Lice, mites, and worm infestations. These parasites are common in all fowls, but you can control them through regular inspection, cleanliness, and the use of insecticides.
Where to Buy Golden Comets and Prices
You can buy Golden Comet chicks or mature hens from hatcheries and farms near you.
Their adaptability to varying weather conditions and easygoing nature makes them popular and widely available.
Many farms have websites where you can access their products and make online purchases.
The chicken cost varies depending on age and sex. Besides, some hatcheries offer you discounts on bulk orders.
An example table shows the price per bird when you order different quantities.
|Quantity||1-24 (cost per bird)||25-39 (cost per bird)||50-99 (cost per bird)||100 (cost per bird)|
We have other chicken hybrids descending from Rhode Island Reds, White Rock, or Rhode Island Whites.
The ISA brown hybrid is an example.
They show similar characteristics to those of the Golden Comet.
- They are docile and intelligent.
- Their sizes, color, and productivity are also similar to Comets.
- Their lifespan is short.
The Golden Comet is ideal if you want hens that produce many eggs. Whether you are raising them for home consumption or commercial venture, the breed is economical.
It matures fast, has a high growth rate, and can endure varying temperatures. Besides, the breed enjoys good health during its productive years.
Since the Comets are friendly, children and beginners can easily handle them. Their even temperament and intelligence make them ideal for urban and rural rearing.