Golden Comet Chicken: What to Know Before Buying One

Golden Comet Chicken What to Know Before Buying One Blog Cover

The Golden Comet is one of the more recent hybrid chickens that has been bred for great egg production.

It was initially ‘made’ for the commercial industry, but it has successfully transitioned into small farms and backyards across the world and is possibly the most widely kept hybrid hen.

In this article we are going to delve into its’ history and personality and learn a bit more about this cheerful and productive little hen.

After reading this article you will know if it’s the right hen for your flock.

History of Golden Comets

Flock of Golden CometThe Golden Comet is a sex linked chicken. A sex link is not a ‘breed’ in the true sense of the word. It is a cross breed or ‘hybrid’ chicken. This is an important distinction as you will see.

If you mate a pure breed chicken with its’ own kind, the chicks will look the same as their parents.

A sex link chicken is a bird that is sex-able at hatching; that means it’s easy to tell the males from the females. This is a useful trait for us hatcheries, as it means that the hens can be retained for laying and the males are unfortunately disposed of.

If you live in an area where you are not allowed roosters, sex link chickens are the best bet for having all girls with no ‘oops’ in the pack.

They chicken is the result of a mating between a New Hampshire rooster and a White Rock hen.

There are several red sex link hybrids:

  • Gold Sex Link
  • Golden Buff
  • Red Star
  • Cinnamon Queen

Sometimes all or some of these names are used interchangeably which confuses people and individual hatcheries may have a different name for their ‘line’ of sex link birds.

Golden Comet Roaming Purchase Golden Comet Chickens


The Golden Comet is generally a light/medium reddish brown, possibly flecked with some white feathers. It’s actually quite a small bird for a standard chicken, with females weighing around 4lb and males weighing in at 6lb.

They have a single upright comb – comb and wattles being red in color.

The beak is a yellow/brown color and eyes are a yellow. Legs are also yellow and the bird has four toes on each foot.

The body of the hen is an inverted triangular shape with a ‘U’ shape between the head and tail which is held quite high, almost perpendicular.

Breed Standard

As a hybrid, there is no standard set for this bird.

Egg Laying and Broodiness

Golden CometGolden Comets are excellent layers of medium to large brown eggs. They can lay from 5-6 eggs per week which puts them on a par with the Rhode Island Red hen. They are able to put out a whopping 330 eggs per year – that’s almost an egg every day!

True to their reputation for production, these girls can start laying at 16 weeks and will continue to be very productive up to around the two year mark, after that egg production will drop off noticeably.

They will seldom go broody – it has been bred out of them so if you want to hatch some chicks you will have to fire up the incubator.

This is where the ‘hybrid’ part becomes important. You will not get Golden Comet chicks from Golden Comet hens, the offspring will be cross breeds.

Remember the original pairing was a New Hampshire rooster over a White Rock hen. If you want to ‘create’ a Golden Comet, this is the pairing you need. In effect, to maintain your flock of you need a flock of White Rocks and a couple of New Hampshire roosters.


The Golden Comet is described as a personable and curious hen, is very mellow and doesn’t mind being picked up by folks. In fact, some folks say this breed actually seeks out people over its’ own flock mates.

They are resilient, tolerating a wide variety of temperatures. As with most single comb chickens keep an eye open for frostbitten combs if it is very cold where you live.

They easily become family pets as they are so friendly and gentle. In a flock situation, they are peaceful members. They dislike any squabbling or pecking generally and will move away from the troublemaker if they can.

As such, they are better to keep with breeds that are calm and non-aggressive as this will avoid them being picked on. Suitable breeds to mix with would be Cochins, Plymouth Rocks, Faverolles or Orpingtons.

Health Issues and Welfare

Golden Comet RoamingA Golden Comet should not have any real problems in her first 3 years other than the usual possibilities of worms, lice, mites etc.

As they were bred to maintain a high production rate, their lifespan is usually rather short (generally less than four to five years).

As with all high production hens, they most often succumb to reproductive tumors, egg yolk peritonitis or other reproductive issues.

Is the Golden Comet Right For You?

If you want hens that will produce an abundance of eggs for your family, look no further than the Golden Comet.

She has a prolific output and lays very early. The downside to that is after 3 years you will need to replace the flock with new girls if you want to maintain egg production.

The Comet is great for kids; they are gentle, enjoy people and aren’t easily ‘rattled’ in most situations. They seem to take everything in their stride.

Golden Comets are also great for a 4H project or for a chicken beginner as they are a pretty low maintenance bird that can be almost self-sufficient. They tolerate confinement well but if allowed to free range they are good little foragers.


Hybrid hens such as the Golden Comet are great birds for a small backyard as they take up relatively little space, they aren’t particularly noisy and they are egg laying dynamos!

As you may imagine, two or three years of fairly constant egg laying does take a toll on their bodies which is why they don’t usually live to ‘old age’.

In a commercial setting these hens would be replaced after two years maximum. Golden Comets are often the hens that people receive when they rescue hens.

They do go on to ‘pop out’ those eggs for another year or so usually, but not as prolifically as before. Folks that have rescued them say they are delightful and enjoyable birds to have around your yard.

Do you have any in your flock? Share your story with us in the comments section below…

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  1. ME says

    A neighbor gave me a GC. I had no idea her age. I figure she was pretty old since there wasn’t much production in the way of eggs. She was still fun to have around and I let her free range to get as many bugs as she wanted. She’d come to me when I called her.

  2. Karin Kelly says

    The majority of my flock is made up of Golden Comets. The are calm, affectionate, easy to manage and easy to pet. They love to sit on my lap or legs. I take these girls out of the run and let them forage and they are really easy to catch and put back in the run. They are great for children to pet. By far, my fave hens to have. I also have some welsummers (all named skunk as they are ornery and hard to catch, 2 bantam leghorns (impossible to grab), a barred rock, a lacy wyandotte,and 2 americaunas for a total of 24 hens.

    • Jimmy says

      I have 11 GC chickens and one of them just started laying. I have received 2 small brown eggs in 2 days and expect to get more as the week passes… they are great chickens I love them a lot. My one granddaughter catches them for me to clip their wings and she loves them as well they are a great addition to are starter farm where we have ducks and goats as well… I just found out that you need to not only keep a cut down 5 gal bucket with water(about2inches) in your coop but also you need to spray them mostly under their wings for lice and other bugs we live in Arizona so we try to keep them as cool as possible

  3. Laurie says

    I bought 4 different breeds for my first flock. The golden buff was one of them. She was immediately my favorite because she was so smart and friendly. She laid every day. Through the winter and through her molt. She died shortly after her 4th birthday. Now I have a whole flock of them and they are even friendlier than Goldie was. I love them and i love the eggs. All the eggs are laid every morning before breakfast !

  4. Merle Schmidt says

    I’m caring for a flock of 11 GC’s in Thailand for a period of 5 months. I’m new to chicken care and find them easy to maintain. I let them free range while I’m nearby doing other work in the morning & evening and then they readily follow me back to their hutch when I feed them. They are nearing the end of their egg production laying every other day on average.

  5. Yvonne Thorburn says

    This breed looks very much like the ISA Brown. Initially bred for their hardy character and egg production for battery hens. I have an ISA ( marjorie). Shes quite a character .

    • Rachel Walters says

      They both have a hybrid parent in common, if I’m not mistaken. I got three of each for my backyard and it is quite difficult to tell the Comets from the Browns!

  6. Megan Whitten says

    These sound like amazing birds! I’m looking into getting some but I do live in a colder climate and I was wondering if there was anything I should do to keep them comfortable.

  7. Candy M says

    We have 11 Golden Comets that we fee range during the day in summer and they are so friendly. They meet my son at the bus stop and walk home with him, come when called and one will ring the doorbell when they want attention. Great layers and doing well during their first winter in New Hampshire.

  8. Eugene Leigh says

    My son gave me a GC that he found in his backyard one day. I had no clue what she was, but imediately saw that she was very gentle. I had a very hard time introducing her into the flock. A couple of my black sex links hated her for some reason and would not leave her alone. They would not let her out of the hen house, and every chance they could they would jump on her, bite her comb, pull feathers out of her neck. I had a friend that agreed to take her and she’s doing very well there. Although she never laid an egg for me, after the first day with my friends flock she started laying eggs everyday. I purchased four more GC’s that are only a couple of weeks old right now. BTW, the two black sex links that were so mean ended up in freezer camp.

  9. jGonzalez says

    I bought some. At tractor supply and one of them came out with fuzzy feathers and feathered feet. Shes so cute and small. I can’t recall how old i would say about. 7 weeks or so not quite sure. But she’s one cute and joyful little one!

    • Robin allen says

      I have one gc that is my pet. The flock has 4 buff orphingtons 4years old and 7 3 month old blue laced red wyabdots. Comet is from last spring. The chicken yard is fenced but comet flies over and runs to me whenever she sees me. I love that breed and will get more..

  10. Heidi says

    We have a large flock of gc’s. They are wonderful chickens. Very calm, not flighty, and their production – WOW! Every chicken laying a daily egg all the way through the depths of winter! We’ve just passed their 2-year mark and have noticed a drop-off in production. We will tag our “older girls” and bring in a bunch of gc pullets to keep production up, but allow our older girls to “go to pasture”. I’m hoping the older ones teach the younger ones good manners. 😉

  11. Barbara Stephenson says

    I had three comets. They were the most friendly and funny hens I have had. I loved them! All three died of reproductive issues shortly after their second birthday. Maybe I just got poorly breed chicks but I will not get any more. That was too sad to go through and I hear that it is not uncommon for that to happen with any red sex link type chicken.

  12. Natasha D Huddleston says

    We raised our first batch of Golden Comets last year, and they were amazing egg layers! We ended up with a couple of Sebright Bantams as well which we put in with the GC girls. I don’t know if it was peer pressure, hormonal, or something else, but those little bantams weren’t supposed to lay more than a couple eggs a week. We got an egg a day off the Comets, and we got at least 5 a week from the bantams! We are on our second batch this year, as unfortunately our flock was ravaged by a bird dog that wormed it’s way into the pen. Needless to say, we beefed up security and now have a flock of 12 that just started laying. Great birds and so friendly!

  13. Jack Speese says

    I have raised both red and black sex links and my experience with them has been pretty much identical with everyone else’s who posted here. Although one of the best setting hens I ever had was a black sex link! But because of the burn-out issue and other health issues associated with commercial egg layers, I prefer breeds over hybrids.

  14. KB in NH says

    GCs have been the most child-friendly and amusing chickens we have had. Smart, too. One learned to jump through hoops, another learned to “knock” on the door for snacks. And amazing layers. Do take the lifespan warnings into consideration. I have nursed too many GCs through tumors and egg yolk peritonitis–an ugly death–none lasted more than 4 years, most only about 2-3. My heritage-breed chickens still lay the odd egg and are over 8 yrs. old.

  15. Emily says

    Several years ago I started with a pair of golden comets. I got them at 5 months old and they started to lay shortly after that. It took me a year but I named them Thelma and Louise. Perfect names for them. Last fall something attacked Thelma and I ended up getting Louise three new flockmates. An assortment of hens. We just added 5 more chicks mid-March. Louise gets along with everyone but often just does her own thing. She 3 1/2 years old and still lays an egg every day. This morning she lasted a jumbo, double yoked egg. I don’t think she read the part where she suppose to be laying fewer eggs. As long as she’s happy, I’m happy.

  16. Michael says

    We have one GC for three years now. She is a great layer. She is so sweet and friendly, always comes to our back door to visit. We have five chickens and she is the favorite. The other ones are road island reds and coco Moran’s. We just got three GC chicks.

  17. Dr. Donna B. Donache says

    I have 5 Golden Comets (1 is a Cinnamon Queen) and they frequently lay very large eggs with double yolks. They chatter and trill and follow me around the yard, curious about everything! The other day, I ran a skill saw and noticed later they were trying to imitate its sound! I couldn’t be happier with my cheerful companions.

  18. Marcele says

    My GC girls are an amazing joy..from 2nd day of life my pit bull dog is very protective of them…they all think there best friends together..very friendly and child friendly too.!!

  19. Margaret Anne says

    My father has eight Golden Comets, and I love those girls! They are so funny to watch, and they are always happy to see me. They really do like to be held and petted!

  20. Meghan Kohl says

    I have six GC and they are so sweet, friendly, and just awesome. They do like to travel to neighbors home but we can pick them up without trouble. They are about 9 months and I get an egg a day from them. They are so funny and have made me the crazy chicken lady. They follow me around the yard like a dog!

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