Golden Comet

Golden Comet henIf
you want lots of huge, brown eggs and are willing to buy chicks every
few years to renovate your flock, the Golden Comet should be your top
choice.  This variety is a hybrid between a White Rock female and
a New Hampshire male and is one of the hybrid varieties in which the
males are very easy to tell from the females as soon as they
hatch.  As a result, if you order all female Golden Comet chicks,
you’re nearly guaranteed to receive all females (as opposed to many
other chicken varieties where sexing is a chancy business and you’ll
often end up with a rooster amid your hens.)

 Scientists use the
term “hybrid vigor” to explain the way an offspring
of two different varieties (or even species) may be bigger or stronger
than either parent.  For example, mules are often stronger and
larger than both their horse or donkey parents.  Similarly, Golden
Comets seem to show true hybrid vigor in the egg-laying
department.  The internet notes that Golden Comet hens lay around
300 eggs per year, and I would add that while most chicken varieties
slack off or stop laying completely in the winter, our girls lay
straight through.  We even have some hens who are starting their
fifth year of life and who are still laying (though at a lower rate
than their younger friends.)

Brown eggs

On the other hand, the
one major disadvantage of Golden Comets also
stems from their hybrid nature.  Gardeners among you are probably
aware that there’s no point in saving seeds from hybrid vegetables
since the seeds will sprout into dozens of different kinds of
plants.  Golden Comets are the same way — you’re not going to
get Golden Comet chicks if you breed a Golden Comet hen with a Golden
Comet rooster.  Instead, you just have to buy new chicks every
time you want to expand your flock.

Free ranging Golden Comet

Thrifty Chicken BreedsWe’ve found our Golden
Comets to be good foragers, adept at scratching
in the dirt and very alert to the grubs I toss their way while weeding
the garden.  They’re friendly too, and lie down in a submissive
when I get too close, making them easy to catch if they end up
somewhere they shouldn’t be.  They enjoy scraps and quickly wolf
down any compost we drop into their tractors.  All in all, unless
you want to be completely self sufficient, Golden Comets are hard to
beat as a backyard egg-layer.  Small surprise that they’re the
most commonly pictured breed in chicken-related articles and blogs.

When you put in your
chick order this spring, don’t forget to order our
automatic chicken waterers to get your birds off to a
healthy start.

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