If you're a chicken enthusiast looking to add a new breed to your flock, the Sapphire Olive Egger might be just what you're looking for. This guide covers everything you need to know about this unique breed, including their appearance, temperament, egg-laying abilities, and care requirements.
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The exact origin of Sapphire Olive Egger hybrids is unclear as there is limited information available regarding them and their history. They are said to be a mix from a chicken originating in China that was cross bred with an English chicken in the 1840's.
The Sapphire Olive Eggers are created through careful crossbreeding of a chicken that has the gene to lay blue eggs such as Ameraucana, Araucana or Legbar, and a Sapphire Gem (commonly known as a Blue Plymouth Rock).
Similar to the colorful eggs produced by Easter Egger chickens, this unique combination of chickens produce green eggs.
Sapphire Olive Egger chickens have not been accepted into the American Poultry Association as of 2023.
Heritage or Hybrid
Sapphire Olive Eggers are hybrids.
Like many hybrid breeds, there can be variety of potential genetics and inconsistent features, Olive Eggers. Therefore, they are not a recognized breed by the APA since they do not meet standardized features. This includes a consistent color, type of comb, coloring on ears, and much more.
Sapphire Olive Egger chickens are grey with shades of blue, black, and brown.
While the coloring is consistent, birds of this breed tend to have a wildly diverse appearance as some Olive Eggers have feathered legs, others have a single or pea comb.
Roosters weigh around 6.5 pounds on average, hens are closer to 5 pounds on average. This makes them an average sized chicken as roosters weigh 6 pounds and a hen weighs 5.7 pounds.
Sapphire Splash chickens have an average lifespan of 5 to 8 years in backyard confinement, which is above average as most chickens live between 3 and 7 years.
In optimal conditions they would likely live longer.
Egg Color & Production
Egg production starts between 20 weeks and 24 weeks (5 to 6 months), which is slightly later than most breeds.
You can expect 3 to 4 medium to large eggs a week. Most notably their eggs will be beautiful shades of green. In their first year, they can produce up to 208 eggs with proper diet and care.
Note that egg production does decrease by 10 to 15% per year as chickens age until they stop laying altogether.
Sapphire Olive Egger Chickens are seldom broody.
The general rule of thumb is that heritage breeds are able to breed and yield the same breed of offspring, whereas hybrid breeds are not always able to. Even two hybrids of the same breed will likely produce a mixed breed chick. This is because each hybrid will provide genetics for one of their parent breeds.
The only way to do this is to breed the pure-bred rooster and hen.
Due to the fact that the breed was specifically designed to have certain characteristics, there are health issues that may come up with breeding your birds, leading to unhealthy chicks.
Sapphire Olive Egger chickens are well known for being a cold hardy breed as well as heat tolerant.
While they are tolerant to the heat, they do need access to shade in hot and sunny weather. It is important to know how to keep your chickens cool in hot weather, view our complete guide for more tips and tricks.
In the winter it is important to ensure they are warm, have access to clean water, and are not showing signs of frostbite on their combs, wattles, or feet. They likely will not require accommodations such as a heater or brooder in the winter unless there is extreme cold.
Due to their hardiness, Olive Eggers are not ailed by any notable illnesses.
We provide our chickens with vitamins in their water as a precaution to ensure they do not have any deficiencies. This is especially important for younger birds still integrating into the flock.
Of course, it is still possible for them to get parasites and other general illnesses, so it is always good to keep a watchful eye on your flock.
As a small bird they are not considered good for an abundance meat production.
Sapphire Olive Egger chickens are considered a noisy breed. I would still consider them a good candidate for more urban farms in populated neighborhoods.
While the hen doesn't make an abundance of noise, roosters will crow and can be generally noisy. We would definitely not recommend this breed of rooster for densely populated areas.
In our experience, our hen seldom makes noise and are extremely quiet, similar to our Black-Sex Links.
Many refer to Sapphire Olive Egger chickens are friendly, docile, and mild.
In our experience, our Sapphire Olive Eggers have never been aggressive towards us. In fact, they tend to be on the skittish side, particularly our rooster.
Since they are not prone to aggression or broodiness, they would do well around children.
While by nature the roosters are rarely aggressive, if the ratio of hens to roosters is not appropriate, they can be aggressive with each other roosters. An ideal rooster to hen ratio for this breed is 1 rooster to every 12 hens.
As an average sized breed Sapphire Olive Eggers require 4 square feet per bird in the coop. It is important to ensure your coop has adequate space and height to ensure your birds are comfortable.
Our coop is secure from predator's and limited drafts, but still is unheated.
In an enclosed run, 8 to 10 square feet per bird is recommended for happy and healthy birds.
During hot sunny weather we keep our chickens in a roofed run with lots of airflow and free access to the coop which tends to be shady and cooler. This was sufficient for days that got upwards of 90 degrees and sunny.
Are They Right For You?
Sapphire Olive Egger chickens can be a suitable option for beginners due to their cold hardiness, heat tolerance, and friendly personalities.
Ultimately the purpose of the chicken is a key factor in this decision. While Sapphire Olive Eggers produce a uniquely colorful egg, they are not strong egg producers and produce less than average eggs per year.
If you are looking to add a chicken with a unique appearance, green eggs, or looking for a gray chicken, then Sapphire Olive Eggers may be for you!
On the other hand, if you are looking for a meat chicken or heritage breed, it may be worth considering other breeds.
Raising Chickens 101: A Comprehensive Guide for Beginners: Ready to embark on your chicken-raising adventure? This comprehensive guide is tailored for beginners, covering all the basics of raising chickens and ensuring a successful and rewarding experience.
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