Have you been considering the Sapphire Gem chicken breed or a novelty chicken that is good at laying eggs? Worry no more. We have an answer for you.
The sapphire gem chicken breed is an excellent producer of brown eggs. Although it is not an official breed recognized by the American Poultry Association, it is an attractive, showy, sex-linked hybrid bird.
They have a colorful plumage that came after crossing two heritage and hybrid breeds. Keep reading to learn more about this beautiful chicken breed that is currently taking the poultry world by storm.
History Of Sapphire Gem Chickens
Much is not known about the origin and background of this beautiful breed of designer chicken. If you do a quick search on the internet, you are likely to get little details on the background of the sapphire gem chickens.
According to most breeders and chicken keepers, the original sapphire gem chicken breed hails back to the Czech Republic.
It is an unofficial chicken breed that was first produced by a breeder in the Czech Republic who crossed a Barred Plymouth Rock chicken with a Blue Plymouth Rock chicken. Some sources have also suggested that the Sapphire gem chicken was first bred by crossing a Disallowed Plymouth Rock and a Blue Plymouth Rock.
The breed is closely related to the Andalusian chicken, a heritage breed dating back to the mid-1800s. As the names suggest, the Barred Plymouth Rock and the Plymouth Rock originated from Massachusetts. They were first bred in the 19th century.
They carry the dominant blue gene that is selected for the plumage color. The chicken was purposefully bred both for its high capacity for egg production and its beautiful appearance.
Here are some of the advantages of the Sapphire Gem chickens:
- High egg production
- Attractive plumage
- Pleasant personality
- Adapts to many climates
- Good foragers
- Easy to care for
- Good to raise with other breeds
The Sapphire Gem chickens do not breed true because of the nature of their genetics. This means that you can breed two Sapphire Gem chickens, but they will not necessarily produce actual Sapphire Gem chicks. It would be best to introduce the two original breeds to get the desired color for the breed standard.
Breed Standard And Appearance
As stated earlier, the Sapphire Gem is an unofficial chicken breed. They are being refined in order to come up with the best examples of the breed.
This means that some chicks may appear more solid black or blue than lavender or greyish at some point.
The color variation does not make the chicks less Sapphire Gem chicken by egg-laying capabilities or temperament. However, it may result in a mature chicken that is not of the exact desired color.
Since they are se-linked breeds, you can easily identify female and male chicks by the color of the feathers once they have hatched.
Male chicks usually have a white spot on their wings or head, while female chicks tend to be a blue color.
The Sapphire Gem chickens have an alert and upright appearance. Their feathers are ordinarily medium to dusky blues and lavender.
The chicken’s name (Sapphire Gem) comes from the purple and blue hues of their plumage. Mature male Sapphire Gem chickens are primarily blue in appearance and may have some barring.
On the other hand, hens are more solid purplish or blue hue. In addition, the hens usually have a single comb on the top of their head.
The breed is generally medium-sized, with the roosters reaching a weight of about 6 pounds when mature. On the other hand, mature Sapphire Gem hens have an average weight of about 4 pounds.
Personality And Temperament
Most breeders and chicken keepers describe the Sapphire Gem as a friendly and even-tempered chicken breed. They are calm birds that can perform well in nearly all environments.
You can expect these chickens to be very calm even when under stress. According to some keepers, the Sapphire Gem chicks tend to be quieter than other breeds’ chicks.
The Sapphire Gems are good foragers and make great free-range birds. They are also keen observers.
This means that they can be more alert to their predators’ presence compared to other breeds of chicken.
Sapphire Gem Egg Laying
If you have been looking for a chicken breed that can lay a fair number of eggs in a year, then a Sapphire Gem hen can be a good option for you.
The breed was specifically bred for the production of eggs. It was originally not bred to be a good meat-producing chicken.
Under good conditions and care, a mature hen can 4 to 5 eggs in a week. This translates to about 300 eggs in a year.
The Sapphire Gem hens can be considered great egg layers compared to most chicken breeds. They start laying eggs when they are 17 to 24 weeks old.
Some people sometimes confuse this breed with the Sapphire chicken. Therefore, you can mistakenly think that they lay blue eggs.
However, the Sapphire Gem hens normally lay brown eggs that are mostly large or extra large in size. They are prolific birds with year-round laying habits.
This means that the hens will keep you busy collecting eggs throughout the year. Like most other chicken breeds, the Sapphire Gem hens will likely drop their egg production rate by about 20% after their first two years of laying.
Health Issues And Care
Like their close relatives, the Plymouth Rocks, the Sapphire Gem chickens can do well as backyard chickens because of their quiet nature.
They also do not mind being confined as long as there is plenty of space for exercise and they are provided with some entertainment to avoid boredom.
The breed prefers warm weather and will thrive well in very hot climates. Th Sapphire Gem chicken is also known for being a hardy chicken breed and can also survive in areas with cold winters.
However, you will have to provide indoor shelter for your bird during the winter months if you are raising your chicken in a colder climate.
Offering your birds warm shelter will also prevent various conditions such as frostbite, which can lead to the falling off of the comb. To prevent this from happening, you can coat their combs with Vaseline.
The Sapphire Gems are born healthy chickens without any hereditary issues. However, you will have to treat them for any disease that could come along the way.
The birds are also susceptible to poultry parasites such as mites and lice. Therefore, you will have to check and treat these parasites before they infest further regularly.
Apart from this, you should also provide your chickens with a healthy diet to ensure that they remain healthy for many years.
Any breed of chicken will require a healthy and well-balanced diet in order to live a healthy and more productive life. Sapphire Gem chicks should be fed on an 18% to 25% protein chick feed.
Once your chicks have matured, and the hens start laying eggs, you can introduce a high protein diet.
This will ensure that your birds have enough energy to be active most of the time. It will also ensure that your hens have enough nutrients and protein to lay strong-shelled eggs and remain healthy throughout their lifespan.
Laying hens and those about to lay eggs should be provided with extra calcium feeds to help produce quality eggs with strong shells. The easiest way to achieve this is by giving your chickens laying poultry feed.
In addition to plenty of a balanced diet, you should also provide your chickens with enough clean and fresh water. Lack of water can cause dehydration which can eventually lead to the death of your chickens.
Coop Setup and Roaming
Chickens usually require a good shelter. One of the first things that you will have to consider before establishing a backyard flock is the coop setup. Your coop should be large enough to accommodate all birds.
When designing a coop for your Sapphire Gem chickens, you should create a space of about five square feet for every chicken inside the coop.
Sapphire Gems are average body chickens that will not take large spaces compared to other large chicken breeds such as the Jersey Giants.
Although the birds tolerate confinement, they are natural foragers that should be allowed to roam freely whenever possible.
They are also perceptive and highly sensitive to their environment. This means that they can sense their possible predators in the environment and avoid them.
If you do not have enough space for your birds to free-range, you will have to make the dimensions of your coop larger.
Also, you will have to make sure that they are safe and secure from predators, especially if you are keeping them in an enclosed run.
Sapphire Gem chickens are among the best chicken breed to add to your flock. The breed, a cross of the Blue Plymouth Rock and the Barred Plymouth Rock, is a good egg producer. They will require good care in order to live a healthy and productive life.