The sapphire gem chicken is a beautiful, friendly chicken that does well in both hot and cold climates.
A fantastic egg layer, the sapphire gem chicken is the perfect addition to any backyard flock.
Keep reading for all the details about this amazing breed.
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Origin of the Sapphire Gem Chicken
The sapphire gem chicken is a relatively new breed that is quickly becoming a favorite amongst chicken fanatics.
It’s so new, in fact, that it is not yet recognized by the American Poultry Association as an accepted breed. This means there are no develop standards for the way a sapphire gem is supposed to look.
Not much is known about the origins of the sapphire gem, but it appears that a hatchery called Hoover’s Hatchery in Iowa has the name trademarked.
According to Hoover’s Hatchery, the sapphire gem chicken originated in the Czech Republic.
The hatchery’s website also states that the breed is closely related to the Old Andalusian breed, a heritage breed dating back to the 1800s.
Again, not much is known about the breeding of the sapphire gem chicken. However, many speculate that it is a cross between a Blue Plymouth Rock and a Barred Plymouth Rock, a heritage breed originating from New England in the early 1800s.
Interestingly, the sapphire gem chicken does not breed true. Meaning that if you breed two sapphire gems, they would not necessarily produce another sapphire gem chicken.
All About the Sapphire Gem Chicken
There are many reasons to consider adding a sapphire gem chicken to your flock.
This section will cover all the details you’re dying to know about the sapphire gem’s appearance, personality, and productivity if you’re thinking about adding one to your flock.
Appearance of the Sapphire Gem Chicken
The eye-catching appearance of the sapphire gem chicken is likely one of the main reasons they are becoming so popular.
Backyard chicken owners love keeping up with the latest chicken trends and the sapphire gem chicken’s gorgeous looks are helping make it the cool new chicken on the block.
Ask anyone outside of the chicken industry and they would probably describe the feathers of the sapphire gem as gray or light gray. Because that’s exactly what they are.
Their beautiful and unique gray to light gray plumage is striking amongst the more common brown, white, or black chickens.
In the chicken industry, this feather color is commonly referred to as blue or lavender. And it’s a color often sought after by chicken enthusiasts for its beauty and allure.
Another great feature of the sapphire gem chicken is that their sex is easily determined shortly after they hatch due to the color of their feathers. This is known as sex-linking.
Sex-linking happens when two chickens are cross-bred to produce another breed.
Notably, this is useful for hatcheries trying to sex chickens for sale as many backyard chicken enthusiasts only want to raise and keep female chickens, also known as hens.
In my opinion, personality is truly where this breed shines.
Described as docile on Hoover’s Hatchery, I can say from personal experience the sapphire gem chicken lives up to that title.
In my own flock, my sapphire gem chickens are always the first to run up to me for snacks. They are calm and curious. And of all my chickens, they are the easiest to pick up and handle.
If you are looking for an easy going chicken that you can interact with, the sapphire gem chicken makes for a great option.
Now, onto the primary reason most people decide to raise chickens in the first place – EGGS.
Eggs are, or should be, a big factor in deciding which breeds of chickens you want to keep. After all, you’re spending the money to keep the chickens so you might as well get as much as you can from them.
The most important consideration when it comes to eggs is production.
A good layer can lay nearly an egg per day during peak laying season. And on average, a hybrid breed, such as the sapphire gem, can lay anywhere between 250-280 eggs per year.
The sapphire gem chicken, according to Hoover’s Hatchery website, is expected to lay about 290 extra large eggs each year.
Color and Size
As previously mentioned, the sapphire gem chicken lays extra large eggs.
These chickens lay a beautiful, brown shaded egg that makes for the perfect dozen to share with friends and family.
While the sapphire gem is not known for going broody, they are slightly more likely than other breeds to sit.
Broodiness is an important consideration when selecting a breed. When a hen becomes broody, she stops laying and sits on her clutch of eggs trying to hatch them.
This leads to a decrease in egg production and the potential for the hen to starve since she will not leave the nesting box to eat.
The sapphire gem chicken is not considered a meat chicken due to it’s medium size.
Therefore, many people raise sapphire gems solely for their excellent laying abilities.
Caring for the Sapphire Gem Chicken
Since the sapphire gem chicken is so easy going and adaptable to many climates, caring for them is quite simple.
This next section covers coop and space requirements, preferred climate, and health issues.
Sapphire gems require all the same basic necessities that most other chickens do.
Chickens require access to a complete and balanced chicken feed and fresh, clean water at all times. Because predators can be an issue, it is recommended to keep food inside the coop instead of in the run. Also, keeping the feed off the ground is helpful to prevent the chickens from knocking it over. I recommend a hanging feeder, like this one, which allows easy access for all hungry chickens.
Additionally, fresh, clean water is a MUST at all times. Since chickens will not eat if they do not have access to water, it is important they can easily find water if they need it.
Water can become an issue if you live in an area that drops below 32°F in the winter. Not surprisingly, water will freeze if it becomes cold enough, leaving chickens without anything to drink.
There are many solutions that are used to keep water from freezing. My preferred method, and the simplest one, is to use a heated chicken waterer.
It is recommended to provide each chicken with approximately 3 square feet of coop space and 8 square feet of run space.
Both the coop and the run should provide an area that allows the chickens to shelter from strong winds and other harsh weather conditions.
Additionally, each chicken needs space to roost at night. Provide at least 8 inches of roosting bar per chicken.
The sapphire gem is both heat tolerant and cold hardy, which means they do well in both hot and cold climates. This is great for sapphire gem lovers living in very warm or very cold climates.
If you live in a very warm climate, it is extra important that your chickens have access to fresh water and a shady spot they can use get out of the sun.
On the other hand, those in colder climates would be wise to provide their chickens with an area that allows them to get the cold wind off their backs.
My sapphire gems are always the first to leave the coop after a snow storm. Of course, I have to clear a path for the little princesses, but they don’t mind some snow on their feet.
The sapphire gem makes for an excellent free-range chicken as they are fantastic foragers and are alert and aware of predators.
Mine are always finding the tastiest treats in my backyard. I also notice how closely they follow me or my rooster whenever they are free-ranging.
So, if you love to let your chickens roam free in your backyard, the sapphire gem would work well in your flock.
The sapphire gem chicken is not susceptible to any breed specific health issues.
However, keeping an eye out for common chicken health issues such as mites, lice, respiratory infections, and impacted or sour crop.
Another issue to watch out for, especially if you live in a colder climate, is frost bite on the chicken’s comb. Some recommend using petroleum jelly to prevent frost bite, but coop management is considered to be a better way to deal with the problem.
5 Reasons Why the Sapphire Gem Chicken is One of My Favorite Breeds
- Beautiful feathers
- Great egg layers
- Excellent free-rangers
- Friendly and calm personalities
- Adaptable to many climates