With its beautiful appearance and fantastic egg laying abilities, the Sapphire Gem chicken is true to its name! This beauty is not only striking to look at but is also a super friendly breed that will get on well with other chickens.
Developed into the breed they are today origionally in the Czech Republic, the Sapphire Gem is a cross between heritage and hybrid chickens. This breed came about from the crossing of the Blue Blue Plymouth rock and a Barred Plymouth Rock. Not only are these birds great layers but they also love a good forage.
Our comprehensive and detailed overview of this breed will inform you of the characteristics of the Sapphire Gem chicken and enable you to decide whether they are the perfect addition to your flock.
What this article covers
This is a long article, so below are some quick links. Click any of them to go straight to that section – or just carry on reading for the full guide!
Overview of Sapphire Gem Chicken Characteristics
|Weight||4-7 pounds or <3 kg|
|Color||Gray Blue or Lavender|
|Egg Production||<290 eggs per year|
|Suitable for hot environments||Yes|
|Suitable for cold environments||Yes|
|Suitable for wet environments||Yes|
|Cost of Chicken||USD $5|
Pros and Cons of keeping a Sapphire Gem chicken
|Pros 👍||Cons 👎|
|✔ Friendly||❌ Only a handful of hatcheries supply them|
|✔ Suitable for families with children|
|✔ Gets on with other breeds|
|✔ Striking to look at|
|✔ Resilient and hardy|
|✔ Great egg layers|
|✔ Not overly broody|
History of the Sapphire Gem Chicken
The Sapphire Gem chicken originated in the Czech Republic, when a breeder decided to cross a Blue Plymouth Rock with a Barred Plymouth Rock. This breed very closely related to the Old Andalusians, a heritage breed that dates back to the mid 1800’s.
Sapphire Gems get their coloring by carrying a dominant blue plumage gene. As they are hybrids, you cannot breed two Sapphire Gems and get more Sapphire Gems. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
Sapphire Gems can be difficult to find and only a handful of breeders actually supply them. A bit of research online will help you discover which breeders supply them. Just make sure you do your research on a reputable one.
The Appearance and Personality of a Sapphire Gem Chicken
Sapphire Gem chickens are not official breeds and are not yet recognized by the American Poultry Association. Therefore stock is constantly being refined to produce the best examples of the Sapphire Gem. This means that sometimes there may be some chicks that appear more solid blue or black than grayish or lavender. Note that gray to light grey plumage is referred to as blue or lavender feathering in the chicken industry.
These variations in color do not affect the birds temperament at all and they are still a Sapphire Gem by nature, but they may result in a mature bird that is not of the expected typical coloring for the breed.
It is usually easy to identify male and female chicks by the color of their feathers shortly after they hatch, thanks to the sex-linking characteristics of the breed. Female Sapphire Gem chicks tend to be a solid blue color while male chicks tend to show a white spot on their heads or on the wings.
Sapphire Gems have an upright appearance. The feathers of this breed come in a range of medium to dusky blues and lavender. The blue and purple hues of the bird’s plumage are what give its name of ‘Sapphire Gem.’
Sapphire Gem chickens have single red combs, as well as red wattles. Their beaks and legs lean towards black or gray in tone. The skin around their dark eyes is a light red, and their earlobes will have some white.
These chickens are perfect for beginners due to their friendly and easy-going temperaments. They are a hardy and resilient breed which make them suitable for all types of climates. They are keen foragers and love to free range about. They are not generally noisy birds so are a neighbour friendly breed.
With their calm and docile nature, they are great pets for children and are usually accommodating in their cooperation to be held and hugged. They have one of the best chicken breed temperaments overall.
Cooping a Sapphire Gem Chicken
Sapphire Gem chickens are very resilient and hardy and will tolerate a wide variety of weather conditions – from freezing cold to 100F heat.
Just make sure they have the necessary dry, draft-proof shelter and other considerations such as shade, food and water to keep them comfortable.
Inside the Link” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>coop they will need a minimum of 4 square feet per bird.
An average of 8 inches of perch space is enough. In the summer months they will like to spread out a bit more but in winter they will cuddle up together to keep warm.
Nesting boxes should be a 12×12 inch cube or similar. If you give them too much space you will find them nesting together which can lead to broken eggs.
As for roaming space, the Sapphire Gem requires a minimum of 15 square feet per hen is needed for their wellbeing.
Sapphire Gem Chicken Nutrition
You should feed Sapphire Gem chickens high quality feed.
Chicks should be fed a 20% crumble until they are 16 weeks old. Then they can be fed a 16% layer feed of crumbles or pellets when they mature. We like this crumble feed for our chickens.
Always provide a bowl of high quality grit to aid our chickens digestion.
Always provide a waterer with clean water they can drink and easily access.
Egg Laying Characteristics of a Sapphire Gem Chicken
Sapphire Gem hens generally lay around five eggs a week (<290 per year).
Egg coloring is brown.
They generally mature around 5 to 6 months old and will start laying around this time.
Health Considerations for a Sapphire Gem Chicken
The Sapphire Gem chicken is not subject to any particular genetic ailments or health conditions. Sapphire Gem chickens are resilient to cold or hot weather conditions and will cope well given adequate shelter. Overall this breed is very robust and healthy.
Like with all chicken breeds, make sure you are providing them with plenty of exercise and a nutritious diet. Treat them for worms, parasites and lice periodically, as you would for any other chicken breed.
Having some space for them to roam and forage will contribute positively to their overall health and wellbeing and keep them at a comfortable weight.
Another important consideration when buying this breed is the source or breeder where you buy them. Ensure you do your research on breeders and ensure you go to a reputable one with healthy stock.
Overall this is a very healthy and hardy chicken.