Two Goats and a Donkey!
Bonus Entry: Golden Comets - Posted March 10, 2021Welcome to the Golden Comets bonus entry, posted on March 10, 2021! Here, I'll discuss in-depth the Golden Comet chickens I've raised. If you've read the Rhode Island Reds bonus entry, you're familiar with the fact I had raised, and then given away, a small flock of 6 RIRs, since 5 of those 6 turned out to be roosters. That happened in mid-July. On July 31, I couldn't stand not having chickens any longer, so I took myself over to Tractor Supply, just to "see what they had". What I found was day-old Golden Comet chicks, and when I saw that they were pullets (young hens), that they laid large brown eggs, and that they laid every bit as well as the RIRs, I just had to get them! Thus began my journey into the world of raising hybrid chickens! Golden Comets are the result of a New Hampshire rooster with a White Rock hen. They are sex-linked, which means the pullets look different from the cockerals (young roosters). Thus, it's very easy to ensure you only get what you want!
So I brought home the young'uns and got them set up in a box in my laundry room just like I had 3.5 months earlier with the RIRs. They stayed inside for a much shorter time than the RIRs, however, since it was the middle of summer and I already had the pen ready for them. I put down a thick layer of hay in the pen when it was time to put them out, got their brooder plate set up at the entrance of the little chicken house, and proceeded to let them grow. And boy did they grow! Another reason I wanted the Comets was that they would be ready to start laying eggs at around 4 months of age (ha! Not entirely true, as it turned out), about 2 months earlier than the RIRs. So, I watched them grow, interacted with them as much as I could to ensure they'd be tame, and loved and doted on them, dreaming of the day I'd start collecting their eggs. They went through the ugly teenager stage, although honestly they weren't as ugly as the RIRs at that stage lol. And they grew into lovely young ladies.
Four months passed, and no eggs. Five months came, and no eggs. The first week of January, I began working from home due to several reasons, the main one being that I suffer from IBS and working from home makes dealing with that so much easier. Working from home meant I could spend a bit more time with the chickens as well, as I get one fifteen minute break each morning, a thirty minute lunch break, and then a fifteen minute break each afternoon. So, on my breaks, I could go out and check on the chickens, as well as let my dog go wander in the back yard for that time, and just spend a pleasant quarter hour in between the craziness of the phones. Well, on my fourth day working from home, Thursday, January 7, I went out to check on the chickens, and lo and behold, what do I see? Four gorgeous brown eggs lying around the coop! One of the four was deep inside the little house where I couldn't reach it (until after I got a stick), and man, was I just so thrilled! So now it was time to look into getting some nesting boxes! That weekend, I trudged over to Tractor Supply - and found a single little wooden nesting box that I didn't much care for, but other than some huge plastic ones that wouldn't work for my set up, I went ahead and bought it. I then went over the our "co-op" in Oak Grove, only to find they had even less to work with than Tractor Supply. The hubby came down shortly thereafter, so Sunday we drove to Wiggins to check out an antique store there, thinking I could find an antique type of multiple nesting boxes. I found one alright, but it was ugly and it was also several times greater than what I wanted to pay. Later, we went to Sam's, and they have these cute little wooden crates. I decided to try two of those, so with the one I bought at Tractor Supply (I also bought a bucket, turned it on its side, and made that into a nest also), I now had 4 nesting boxes. And over the course of the next few days, the hens laid eggs in each and every one of those boxes.
After that, they ended up all laying in one of the wooden crates. Every. Single. Time. They'd only use that one box, which I'd already read up on how hens tend to have a favorite. Now, each of the four nesting boxes is out in the coop itself, not in the little house, and 3 of the four are in corners of the coop. The favorite box is more protected, being along the middle of the house wall, next to the little steps leading to the house. So I guess they feel safer laying there, which I don't mind at all, as it's much easier collecting eggs from a central box than from four different ones! I still keep the others in there, just in case, but honestly I could remove them and the hens wouldn't care.
So now, every morning (except Sundays) since Friday, January 8, 2021, I've enjoyed 2 farm-fresh eggs from my own flock for breakfast. And man, absolutely nothing beats the taste of fresh eggs! I store them in true farmer fashion, I only wipe off any excess dirt/soil/poop with a dry paper towel to ensure the bacterial bloom on the shell is kept intact, then store them on my countertop, and only washing them off with a wet paper towel just before using them. Right now, I keep them in egg cartons, but I've a more attractive egg holder from Amazone that should be arriving Friday. As for my excess eggs, I give them away to my neighbors once I reach a certain number. As long as I keep 2 for myself for the next morning, I'll give all the others away. Right now, I pretty consistently get 5 eggs a day, occasionally only 4, once in a while 6, so I can build up a dozen in just a few days. As I mentioned previously, I'd love to get some different varieties of chickens so I can start collecting blue, green, or dark chocolate brown eggs. There's a whole spectrum of colors available, from white, through cream, light blue, blue, green, light brown, brown, dark brown, and dark chocolate brown eggs. Some day, I hope to have enough land, time, and money to be able to raise several different flocks, along with ducks, geese, miniature cattle, rabbits, goats, alpacas, etc. I want it all, man! My hubby thinks I'm crazy, and he's probably right, but I've always been an animal lover, and would love to have my own farm, earn my own living on it, and be able to give back to my community.
Anyway, this entry is quite long enough, so I'll end it here. Please enjoy the many, many images below of the Golden Comets from purchase as day-old chicks through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, as well as images of some of the eggs I have collected. Have a fantastic night, gentle reader, and I'll talk to you on the morrow!