Hybrid question from a newbie - Golden Comets, Orpingtons, and Australorps, oh my!

The Buffest Orpington

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2020
13
44
36
I'm pretty new to the chicken scene, but I feel I'm catching on enough that it's time to think ahead to the next generation of chickens in my flock. I don't know much about breeding, so I thought I'd run a breeding idea by BYC to see what some more knowledgeable people think.

I currently have 3 buff Orpingtons, and will soon be adding 4 black Australorps. I'm attracted to these breeds due to their sweet disposition, decent egg output, large size, and appearance.

I don't have any roosters, but am thinking about adding one so there will be future generations for this flock. With chickens in high demand like they are, I can probably give away or sell any unwanted birds too.

But the question is, what breed of rooster do I introduce? Certainly an Orpington or Australorp would make sense, right? But of course that seems too simple! So what I wondering is, what do people think/know about breeding a Golden Comet rooster with Buff Orpington or Australorp hens?

I know golden comets are hybrids, so that alone may introduce genetic roadblocks I'm just not aware of. But if not, would this be a potentially desirable crossbreed? I'm wondering if it might be, for the following reasons:
  • Golden comets are supposed to have gentle dispositions like Orpingtons and Australorps.
  • Orpingtons can be quite broody, Australorps a bit less so, and Golden Comets aren't supposed to be broody at all. A crossbreed might produce a chicken of low-to-average broodiness.
  • Golden comets are fantastic layers, on the order of 330 eggs per year, while Orpingtons and Australorps can do 220-280ish - not too shabby either, but not burning the candle at both ends like the comets, so they have better lifespans. Maybe if they averaged out their production you'd have solid layers who might live a little longer?
Those are pretty much the two factors that make me wonder if these would make a good cross.

As I said, I'm totally new to chickens in general and to genetics, so I welcome any feedback on this suggestion - even if it's to tell me "You're a dummy and here's why!" Thanks for your time.
 
Last edited:
May 9, 2020
181
375
136
Clark County, KY
Interesting choice, I don’t think there is any real right or wrong to it, just comes down to what your goals are and what best suits them. My main concerns are two. One is that with the GC, they are already a crossbred and the results of using that may give a lot of variation in the offspring. It may or may not matter. The other concern is that since you have selected Orpingtons and Australorps presumably for disposition. The GC being a bird bred for egg production, the birds used in that cross may not be as good of disposition as some others. Roosters can be aggressive from any breed but I would be cautious depending n your situation to maybe not bring in a rooster that is more likely to be problematic. I’ve never had any GC roosters so I can’t speak from experience just a surmising generalization. For what it’s worth I have some young Orpington roosters coming on for our flock.
 

The Buffest Orpington

In the Brooder
Apr 8, 2020
13
44
36
Thanks for the insights! Yeah, I imagine with a hybrid you'll get more variability, though as you say, that may not matter too much. As to disposition, Golden Comets are reputed to be generally gentle birds, so I think they may actually be a good fit with the Orpingtons and Australorps.

As for egg production, I read that generally you can expect production to be somewhere between the level of the parent breeds. Somewhere between 250 and 320 eggs a year works for me!

Still thinking I may give this cross a try when I'm ready. Probably not this year but maybe next.
 

humblehillsfarm

Crowing
Mar 27, 2020
3,173
6,045
431
Southwestern Pennsylvania
My Coop
My Coop
In my opinion, having the ability to potentially sell a pure-bred bird would want me to get either an oprington or australorp roo, but that isn't important to all buyers, or all sellers. In my "early days" of chicken tending I had fancies of selling pure breds, but now have 10 different pure breeds (I am including EEs and olive eggers in that mix). For me, my roo is a maran, so I could hatch eggs from my female maran for a pure breed, or from my EEs, Ameraucana, or olive eggers, for more olive eggs. I'd love to add an Ameraucana roo so I can keep some pure blue eggs!
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom