Most chicken keepers prefer to raise mainstream chickens due to their high popularity. However, there are a few that love to raise rare breeds that are considered designers due to their unique characteristics. The Sapphire Gem chicken is one of these breeds.
Now, the Sapphire Gem is a notable breed that’s easily recognized by its beautiful shades of blue and lavender on the feathers and gold or grey feathers around its neck. This breed is a hybrid and a result of crossing a heritage breed (Blue Plymouth Rock) and a hybrid (Barred Plymouth Rock).
It’s also a sex-linked chicken, which means breeders can determine the sex of the chicks soon after hatching. Lastly, this chicken breed doesn’t breed true, meaning breeding two Sapphire Gems won’t guarantee you another Sapphire Gem. It’s due to this setback that this chicken breed isn’t recognized by the APA. That said, this guide will cover everything you need to know about the Sapphire Gem.
Specifications of Sapphire Gem Chicken
|Lifespan||5 – 10 years|
|Weight||Roosters: 7 Pounds; Hens: 5 Pounds|
|Color||Blue or Lavender|
|Temperament||Docile, Friendly, Easy-Going & Alert|
|Egg Production||280 – 300 Eggs Annually|
|Egg Size/Color||Large to Extra Large Brown Eggs|
|Price Per Chick||$3 – $5 Per Chick|
|Coop Size||4 Square Feet Per Chicken|
A Short History of Sapphire Gem Chicken
Now, the Sapphire Gem is a breed that doesn’t have a lot of information on the internet. This breed of chicken is new and quite rare. However, most chicken experts agree that this chicken breed was developed by a Czech breeder who crossed the Blue Plymouth Rock with a Barred Plymouth Rock.
If you compare this chicken to one of its parents, the Blue Plymouth Rock, you’ll see a lot of similarities in the appearance, which verifies the information. In fact, the Sapphire Gem carries the dominant blue gene, which makes it a close relative to the Andalusian chicken.
The Andalusian breed existed around the 1800s and is the father of the Blue Plymouth Rock, with the mother being the Plymouth Barred Rock. Although the Blue and the Barred Plymouth Rocks were bred in Massachusetts, United States around the 19th Century, the Sapphire Gem was bred by a Czech breeder thus making it a breed exclusive to the Czech Republic.
Now, the Sapphire Gem did not just inherit the blue plumage gene from one of its parents, the Blue Plymouth Rock. It also inherited the high egg-laying ability, which makes it a hybrid chicken specifically bred for high egg production.
Physical Appearance and Breed Standard of Sapphire Gem Chicken
The Sapphire Gem is a chicken breed that bears a unique, beautiful, and eye-catching appearance. Both males and females bear a mix of bluish and light greyish colors on the feathers, which most breeders refer to as lavender.
About the chicks, the Sapphire Gem is considered an auto-sexing breed, which means the chicks can be sexed soon after hatching. Here, the males have a white spot on their heads or wings while females will bear a solid blue color.
Once the birds are mature, you’ll see a noticeable difference in their plumage despite both of them having blue or lavender feathers. For instance, the roosters will have blue feathers with white spots on their heads or wings. The females, on the other hand, will feature blue feathers with a decorated patch of grey or gold feathers around the necks.
Now, the Sapphire Gem is among the many breeds that bear the single comb atop their heads. The hens have small combs and wattles while roosters have big combs and wattles.
Size and Weight
Regarding size and weight, this chicken is considered a medium-sized breed. When fully grown, the hens will weigh an average of 4 – 6 pounds while roosters will weigh 5 – 7 pounds. These chickens also stand in an upright posture, which is a trait they’ve inherited from their parents.
Also, despite being medium-sized, Sapphire Gem chicken eggs are large to extra-large in size. This is important if you’re raising the bird for egg production.
Although we mentioned this earlier, the Sapphire Gem breed is not officially recognized by the APA. Although this chicken has some amazing features, its lack to maintain consistency has made it hard to officiate.
Productivity of Sapphire Gem Chicken (Egg Laying and Meat)
Now, the Sapphire Gem is a utility chicken that was specifically bred to lay plenty of eggs. Since it was bred from great egg-laying breeds, this hybrid breed has not failed to deliver. In fact, egg-laying is one of the renowned features of this chicken breed.
Speaking of egg production, this chicken can manage to lay around 4 – 5 eggs weekly, which translates to around 300 annually. However, how many eggs this chicken can produce will depend on the amount of care it receives in terms of diet and living conditions.
Now, just like other good egg layers, the Sapphire Gem pullets begin laying eggs at around 18 to 24 weeks old. During the first two years, production is at its best. However, after two years, egg production tends to lower by a whopping 20%.
Considering the Sapphire Gem has a lifespan of 5 – 10 years, it’s obvious this chicken will lower production even further by the time it’s 10 years old. So, to maintain a high egg yield, it’s recommended that you rotate your flock by removing aging hens and replacing them with young pullets.
Now, this takes us to the next point of meat production. Considering Sapphire Gems are medium-sized birds, they’re not superior when it comes to meat production. However, you can consider turning your aging hens into meat chickens rather than keeping them as pets.
Lastly, there’s the issue of Sapphire Gem chicken egg color. The reason why I’ve included this is that most people tend to mistake this chicken for the Sapphire chicken. So, to clear the air, the Sapphire chicken lays bright blue eggs while the Sapphire Gem lays large brown eggs.
Sapphire Gem Chicken Characteristics (Personality and Temperament)
Now, if you’re worried about the temperament of the Sapphire Gem, then you don’t have to worry as this chicken is described as being friendly and even-tempered. This chicken is docile, quiet, easy going and low maintenance making it a suitable choice for beginners.
They’re also highly adaptable meaning they can survive in a wide range of environments from very cold to very hot climates. Something else about these birds is that they’re good foragers that love to free-range. They’re also very alert meaning they can detect oncoming predators pretty well.
According to Hoover’s Hatcheries, the Sapphire Gem was selectively bred as a calm bird that could survive in all environments. As you can see, the results are actually a bird that’s less aggressive and calm enough to get along with other chicken breeds.
In fact, this chicken has proven to be a great asset in most coops as it can detect predators and alert the rest of the flock by flapping the wings. Although it can be paired with friendly breeds such as Cochins, Silkies, Plymouth Rocks, and Buff Orpingtons, it can fall as an easy target if paired with aggressive birds.
When it comes to getting broody, the Sapphire Gem is sadly a poor candidate. Actually, this is one common weakness with most hybrids as they use most of the energy in laying eggs. However, if you want to hatch the chicks, perhaps you can incubate fertilized eggs. But, you need to note that this chicken doesn’t breed true meaning you won’t get Sapphire Gem chicks.
When it comes to noise, these chickens are known to be quiet and less noisy. The only noises you’ll expect to hear are little chatters and murmurs when they’re free-ranging. However, this only applies to hens. If you have roosters, then you can expect a few crows early in the morning.
Sapphire Gem Chicken Male vs Female
|Bred for meat produce||Bred for egg produce|
|Weigh 5 – 7 pounds||Weigh 4 – 6 pounds|
|Quite aggressive and territorial. They also crow early mornings||Calm and very quiet with just low chatters during the day|
|Have white spots on their heads or wings||They wear a grey or gold necklace around their necks|
|Male chicks have white dots on their heads or feathers||Female chicks have a solid blue color|
Sapphire Olive Egger vs Sapphire Gem
|Sapphire Olive Egger||Sapphire Gem|
|Lays 240 – 260 Eggs Annually||Lays 280 – 300 Eggs Annually|
|They can lay brown, blue, olive, and pink eggs||They lay brown eggs|
|Have ridge of feathers atop their heads||Only a single comb without any feathers atop the heads|
Common Health Issues of Sapphire Gem Chicken
The Sapphire Gem is a hybrid breed that doesn’t suffer any hereditary health issues. In fact, this breed is considered hardy with very few health problems as compared to most heritage breeds. However, that doesn’t mean that keepers of this breed will have nothing to worry about.
This chicken can be susceptible to several health concerns such as parasites, worms, and lice. If raised under poor conditions, such as dirty and overcrowded coops, the Sapphire Gem can suffer from various chicken illnesses such as Avian Influenza, Coccidiosis, and Fowl Pox among others.
Required Environment for Sapphire Gem Chicken
Now, the Sapphire Gem is a chicken breed that comes with many noticeable benefits. Other than its beautiful plumage, this chicken is a great forager, lays lots of eggs, is heat and cold hardy, appreciates confinement, and is docile and very friendly.
Being a forager means that this chicken can roam around the backyard to fend for itself. This chicken is also calm and very gentle, which is a huge advantage if you want to introduce it to a new flock.
The Sapphire Gem is also a less flighty chicken. So, if you have a short fence around your backyard, you won’t have to worry about the chickens flying over and getting to your neighbors’ backyards and property
But, other than being a prolific free-ranging bird, the Sapphire Gem breed also appreciates confinement. However, for the bird to live happily inside the coop, you must provide ample space and ensure the coop is clean at all times.
Lastly, the Sapphire Gem was bred to be both cold and heat tolerant. Since it can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, this bird is a perfect candidate for breeders living anywhere in the content.
Raising Tips for Sapphire Gem Chicken
Although raising requirements are similar in almost all chicken breeds, hybrids such as the Sapphire Gem have some exceptions which you must learn before raising them. But, as a member of the Plymouth Rocks family, most of the care requirements of this bird are similar to those of its parents.
Feeding and Nutrition
Starting with the diet, Sapphire Gems are hybrid breeds that require a well-balanced diet to stay healthy and productive. For instance, the chicks require at least 18% – 24% of proteins in their starter feed. When they become juveniles, you can lower the protein intake to around 16%.
Once the chickens are mature and ready to lay eggs, you can proceed to feed them with layer feeds. Since commercial feeds have various nutritional gaps, it’s recommended that you offer your chickens treats in the form of fruits, herbs, seeds, nuts, and vegetables to offer protein and calcium supplementation.
When it comes to coop setup, Sapphire Gems require ample space to stay happy and healthy. The best thing about these chickens is that they’re medium-sized. This means that a moderately sized coop that offers at least 4 – 5 square feet of space per chicken will be enough to confine them.
While in confinement, you should make sure the coop is cleaned at all times to prevent any infestation of parasites, worms, and diseases.
But other than enjoying confinement, Sapphire Gems are chickens that will appreciate some freedom if allowed to free-range. In fact, these birds are believed to be perceptive and highly sensitive to ground and air predators and will even alert other chickens in case of an attack.
So, to avoid losing your chickens, it’s important that you build a secure coop, erect a high fence, and feed your chickens with enough food so that they don’t ever think of flying over the fence.
The Sapphire Gem is a breed that’s believed to withstand both hot and cold climates. Although it doesn’t lower production as most heritage birds do, this chicken is a single comb, which makes it susceptible to frostbites during cold climates.
So, in case it’s cold, you can consider insulating the coop and warming it with coop heaters. During summer, the Sapphire Gem will only need some shade to protect itself from the scorching sun. It will also need some ventilation and a lot of cool drinking water.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. What Color Eggs Do Sapphire Gems Lay?
Now, hybrid chickens are known for laying colored eggs. Since Sapphire Gem is among the many hybrid chickens that are available, it’s common for enthusiasts to ask about Sapphire Gem chicken egg color. If this is what you’re asking, then this chicken lays large to extra-large brown eggs.
Q2. When Do Sapphire Olive Eggers Start Laying?
Just like the Sapphire Gem, the Sapphire Olive Egger is considered a hybrid meaning it’s specifically bred for laying eggs. This chicken starts laying at around 5 – 6 months, which is the average age when most egg-laying chickens commence their laying journey.
Q3. Are Sapphire Gem Chickens Friendly?
Yes, they are. Sapphire Gems are considered some of the friendliest chicken breeds around. These chickens are known to form great social bonds with other breeds in the backyard. They’re also known to socialize with humans and will even enjoy following you around to receive some treats. Children are also free to play with these chickens as they don’t mind being held or cuddled.
Q4. Is Sapphire Gem a Sex-Linked Chicken?
Yes, it is. The Sapphire Gem is a sex-linked chicken, which means its gender can be determined soon after hatching. The males have a white spot on their heads or wings while the females have blue feathers. This is a huge plus to poultry farmers who dislike having roosters in their flocks.
Q5. Where Do I Buy Sapphire Gem Chickens?
Sapphire Gem chickens can be bought in major hatcheries such as Hoover’s Hatchery. They can also be bought from local farms that specialize in breeding hybrid chickens for egg production. About the cost, a chick can cost you around $3 – $5. However, you can expect to receive a discount if you buy in large quantities.
So, there you have it. If you’re looking for a hardy chicken that’s easy to raise as a beginner, then the Sapphire Gem is an excellent choice. This chicken is docile, friendly, and easy-going meaning it won’t cause a problem in the coop.
It can be confined inside the coop or allowed to free-range around the backyard in search of pasture. This chicken does well in both cold and hot climates provided extreme care is observed.
Lastly, the Sapphire Gem chicken is among those breeds that are specifically raised for egg production. So, if you’re looking to harvest lots of eggs for commercial purposes, then this is one of the breeds you should consider raising.
Hello, I am John Reid. I have been raising chickens for the last 15 years. I have got my experience from my father. My father is the owner of a large chicken farm. This is our family business that has been continuing for over 35 years. I am very interested in backyard chickens and I know how to take care of them. You can learn more About Us here. Happy Reading!!