Sapphire Splash chickens are best known for being a breed inspired by the Sapphire Gem breed. Sapphire Splashes are far easier to acquire for a backyard homestead than their novel counterpart, while matching the Gems egg production.
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The Sapphire Splash breed originated in the Czech Republic that is fairly new as far as breeds are concerned.
The exact origin of this breed is unknown as there is very little information available regarding them and their history. It is speculated that this breed is a cousin or descendant of Sapphire Gems.
The Sapphire Splash breed was created as a knock off or rebel breed to Sapphire Gems. Gems are incredibly rare, and while not easy to acquire, Sapphire Splash chickens are in many more homesteads around America.
Sapphire Splash Chickens have not been accepted into the American Poultry Association as of 2023.
Heritage or Hybrid
Sapphire Splash Chickens are hybrids.
This breed is rather new, and little is known about their origin. The general rule of thumb is that heritage breeds are able to breed naturally, whereas hybrid breeds are not always able to do so.
Sapphire Splash chickens are grey and white with dark patches often referred to as "splashes."
A few common features of this breed include:
Comb is Red
4 (Four) Toes
Roosters weigh around 7 pounds on average, hens are closer to 5 pounds on average. This makes them a slightly larger than average sized chicken. On average roosters weigh 6 pounds and a hen weighs 5.7 pounds.
In optimal conditions they would likely live longer, but as such a young breed there is no data on this yet.
Egg Color & Production
Egg production starts between 16 weeks and 24 weeks (4 to 6 months), which is slightly earlier than most breeds.
You can expect 5+ small cream or brown eggs a week and are considered to be excellent layers. In their first year, they can produce up to 300 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.
I will note that information regarding eggs varies, many report eggs being large and brown. Yet our Sapphire Splash lays small cream-colored eggs, and many other homesteaders have shared similar sentiments.
Sapphire Splash Chickens are not known to be broody, in fact ours has seldom shown any tendency towards this.
Roosters and hens are able to and breed naturally without human intervention or insemination.
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 Splash 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. For more tips on keeping your chickens cool in hot weather check out our article.
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 and newness of the breed, Sapphire Splashes are not believed to be 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.
We also offer free choice oyster shells as a source of grit and to strengthen the shells of eggs. If a chicken (especially a strong layer) is deficient in calcium, it can lead to severe health complications and a shortened lifespan.
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 an average sized chicken, they are not considered good for an abundance meat production. However, some would consider them to be dual purpose.
Due to the rareness of this breed, the fact that they are hybrids, and the difficulty acquiring one. We would not recommend them for meat.
Sapphire Splash chickens are considered a quiet breed as far as noise is concerned. This makes 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 makes noise regularly but she is rather quiet compared to some of our more vocal chickens like Leghorns.
The noises she makes as she walks around and explores her surroundings is actually why she is one of our favorite chickens). It's like we can tell what is going on in her brain at any given time.
Many refer to Sapphire Splash chickens as friendly, calm, and well mannered.
In our experience, our Sapphire Splash has never been aggressive towards us. In fact, she is one of our most skittish and flighty birds.
Since they are not prone to aggression or broodiness, they would do okay 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 Splashes 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. Our Sapphire Splash did not have any issues during the winter, even on days it dipped to -22 (negative twenty-two) with wind-chill.
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 Splash 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. Sapphire Splashes are strong egg producers and produce more than average eggs per year but and they are not optimal for meat production.
If you are looking to add a chicken with a unique appearance, an abundance of eggs, or looking for an affordable alternative to Sapphire Gems then Sapphire Splashes may be for you!
On the other hand, if you are looking for a meat chicken or one you can find at any hatchery, it may be worth considering other breeds.
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