Golden Comet Chicken: Pros and Cons

Find Out Why Golden Comet Chickens May Be a Good Fit for Your Flock

by Erin Snyder

The Golden Comet chicken has many pros, but some poultry enthusiasts consider this breed to have cons uncommon to many heritage chicken breeds. Before we discuss the pros and cons of owning these egg layers, let’s discover what makes a Comet.

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What Makes a Comet

The Golden Comet chicken is a cross between a New Hampshire Red or Rhode Island Red rooster and a White Plymouth Rock, White Leghorn, or Delaware hen. Upon hatching, these chicks can be sexed by color instead of the traditional vent sexing. Male chicks are yellow at hatching, and females hatch a reddish brown.


Golden Comets are part of the sex link group of chickens. Sex Link chickens get their name because they can be sexed by color upon hatching. Golden Comets are not the only name these chickens go by: Golden Buff, Golden Sex Link, Red Sex Link, Red Star, and Cinnamon Queen are also common names.

Golden Comet Chicken Pros

Sexing Guarantee

With their sex link characteristics, Golden Comets have a one hundred percent sexing accuracy. Not worrying about unwanted roosters has saved many chicken keepers from headaches and heartaches.

Extremely Hardy

Golden Comets are both heat and cold-hardy. Unlike many heritage breeds, these lively hens tolerate summer heat and winter chills without ill effects and will even lay through the hottest summer months.

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Fewer Health Concerns

Golden Comets do not breed true (more on that later). Since they are consistently bred from new parent birds, they are not at a high risk of developing breed-related illnesses. These healthy hens may also be less likely to develop certain other diseases, including Marek’s disease.

A Family Pet

The Golden Comet chicken is a delightful pet. Comets have a calm and relaxing personality and make ideal family companions. While they are known for their quiet nature and affectionate temperaments, Comets have an attitude that sets them apart from other flock members. Hens of this breed love interacting with their owners and will sit on your lap for hours.

When not bonding with their favorite person, Comets can usually be found at the backdoor begging for a treat. These hens are food-motivated and will do anything for a tasty snack.

Peaceful Harmony

Golden Comets are peaceful chickens who dwell with other flock members without a hitch. These hens prefer to stay out of flock squabbles and will move to the opposite side of the run to avoid conflicts.

Their calm and peaceful nature may make them vulnerable to bullying when housed with more aggressive breeds.

Egg Laying Champions

If there is one thing everyone agrees on about the Golden Comet chicken, it is that you can’t beat its egg production. Golden Comets are egg-laying champions and will easily outperform all your other brown egg layers.

Golden Comets were bred to lay, with each hen laying as many as three hundred extra-large eggs annually. Eggs come in various browns, ranging from tan to deep reddish brown. Some eggs even have speckles similar to those of a Welsummer’s egg.

Quiet Disposition

Comets are naturally quiet chickens, which gives them an advantage for backyard flocks with close neighbors.  While they do sing the egg song and make other noises, they don’t feel the need to make a fuss all day long.

Good Feed-to-Egg Ratio

The Golden Comet chicken is the brown egg-layer answer to the Leghorn. These hens were bred to produce eggs without costing the farmer too much money.  With their small bodies, Golden Comets do not need to consume as much feed to lay an egg as heritage breeds. This attribute has made Comets the most popular brown egg layer in backyard flocks and factory farms worldwide.


Golden Comet Chicken Cons

Doesn’t Breed True

Did you know? The Golden Comet chicken is not considered to be a breed. If you breed a Golden Comet Rooster to a Golden Comet hen, they will not produce offspring that can be sexed by color.  Therefore, all sex-link chickens are not recognized as a breed because they do not breed true.

High Risk of Cancer

Due to the large number of eggs they produce, Golden Comets are at a higher risk of developing oviduct/ovarian cancer than other breeds. While this is a disadvantage for pet chicken owners, there are ways to help reduce the chances of ovarian cancer in your flock, including diet and avoiding artificial lighting in the coop.

Shorter Lifespans

Golden Comets may have a shorter lifespan than heritage breeds or bantams. These hens live an average of four to five years, although some individuals can live up to eight years.

Strong Fliers

Anyone who has owned a Comet can attest to them being strong fliers. These hens can clear six-foot fences to access a growing garden, visit the neighbors, or whenever they want to escape the run. While this isn’t a huge con, owners must ensure runs are covered so no Comets can escape.

The Golden Comet chicken may not be for everyone, but these delightful hens make an excellent addition to the backyard flock for those looking for a friendly pet or an excellent brown egg producer.

This article about Golden Comet chickens was written for Chickens magazine online. Click here to subscribe to Chickens magazine.

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