Sapphire Olive Egger chickens produce beautiful olive-colored eggs – sometimes over 200 per year! However, you won’t always find these egglayers for sale in hatcheries.
Want to add these olive orbs to your eggscape? Here’s the scoop on the new bird in the coop.
How To Hatch Sapphire Olive Egger Chickens&Nbsp;
As the name suggests, Olive Eggers are prized for producing beautiful olive-colored eggs. But Olive Eggers are not their own breed. Instead, they are a hybrid of two chicken breeds.
The poultry breeding science is pretty simple here.
To get an Olive Egger, you need to breed a dark brown egglayer with a blue egglayer. The rooster should be from the brown egglayer breed.
Sapphire Olive Egger is a variety of Olive Egger chickens. The only difference between these birds of a feather is their appearance.
To get a Sapphire Olive Egger, the most reliable route is to cross-breed a Sapphire Gem (also known as a Blue Plymouth Rock) with an Easter Egger (also known as an Ameraucana) or Aracuana.
You can also purchase olive egger chicks from hatcheries. However, since they aren’t a true chicken breed, you might find them difficult to track down.
Where do these birds fall in the pecking order? Olive Eggers are docile chickens who will quickly assimilate with other birds. However, they are active hens, so be sure to provide plenty of space for them to peck and scratch.
The exact temperament will vary depending on the breeds of the parents. So if you want to be sure your chicken has a pleasant disposition, you might want to breed your own Olive Eggers.
Here’s a quick look at the personalities of popular Olive Egger parents:
Blue Egg Layers
- Araucanas – docile, sometimes nervous
- Cream Legbar – alert, don’t like to be cooped up
- Easter Egger – curious, friendly
Brown Egg Layers
- Barnevelder – active, chatty
- Marans – friendly, sometimes skittish
- Sapphire Gem – calm, agreeable
- Welsummers – intelligent, busybodies
A cross between Easter Eggers and Sapphire Gems, Sapphire Olive Eggers tend to be friendly.
As a group, Olive Eggers tend to exhibit average broodiness. But this trait will also depend on the parent breeds.
Because various pairings can produce regular olive egger chickens, there’s not one single look for these birds.
In general, Sapphire Olive Eggers tend to exhibit bluish-gray feathers. Sapphire Olive Egger hens have a small tuft of feathers on their head, with darker necks. Their lower body plumage features dark and smoky grays.
Olive Eggers are medium-sized birds. Olive egger roosters will weigh six to seven pounds when fully mature. Their female counterparts are slightly smaller, weighing roughly four to six pounds as adults.
On the larger end of this range, male and female Sapphire Olive Eggers get as big as seven and six pounds, respectively.
Proud as a peacock, these chickens walk with an upright stature – a posture they inherit from their Easter Egger mother.
Sapphire Olive Eggers start to lay beautiful olive eggs at the young age of five months old. Once they start, they will lay three to four eggs a week – over 200 per year!
Despite their name, Olive Eggers don’t always lay green eggs. In some cases, they can lay dark brown, blue, or even pink eggs.
If your Olive Egger isn’t laying green eggs, it results from genetics. Remember, Olive Eggers (including Sapphire Olive Eggers) are hybrids. They are not genetically stable, so you really can’t know what color egg your Olive Egger will produce until she starts laying eggs.
Fortunately, appearance is the main difference between a carton of blue eggs and a carton of olive eggs. Therefore, all other things being equal, the flavor will remain the same.
These olive-colored eggs also offer the same nutritional benefits as brown or blue chicken eggs.
So what’s the benefit for small-scale farmers? First, having exotic colors in your egg carton becomes a selling point. Especially when you’re promoting your goods via image-based social media platforms.
Different breeds of chicken will lay different-sized eggs. The chicken’s health, size, and age will also impact egg size. Healthier, bigger, and older hens tend to lay larger eggs.
Appropriate coop size will depend on the size of your flock.
Allow for one nesting box per four birds. At a minimum, you should provide 10 sq ft of run space per chicken.
Sapphire Olive Eggers love to forage, so the more space they have to explore, the better. That said, remember to provide a safe area for chickens to hide from predators.
And, of course, make sure they have access to clean water and quality chicken feed. In addition, the calcium-boosted feed will improve eggshell strength.
Cleaning the coop regularly might not sound like a fun job. But it’s an essential step for preventing diseases and parasites.
Oliver Eggers are healthy chickens that tend to resist common diseases like Fatty Liver Hemorrhagic Syndrome. The most recognizable symptoms of this syndrome are lethargy, slower egg-laying intervals, and pale combs. But again, Oliver Egger chickens won’t likely develop this disease.
Diarrhea is another common symptom in sick chickens. A healthy dropping will be a combination of brown and white liquid. Diarrhea in chicken excrement may look like a foamy, bloody, or yellow liquid.
If you notice your chickens are producing diarrhea, ensure they have plenty of fresh, clean, easily accessed water. Drinking water will help them rehydrate.
Contact your vet if the problem persists.
Even healthy birds can fall prey to parasites such as mites and lice. The easiest way to prevent these critters is to keep the coop clean (especially by changing the bedding).
Parasites are tiny, so it takes some detective work to determine if your chickens are under attack. Signs of infestations can include loss of feathers, irritated skin, and general chicken discontentment.
If you suspect a mite or lice infestation, clean the coop as soon as possible, burning any bedding.
There are several home remedies for exterminating chicken parasites. The easiest method is to dust your chickens (regular dust baths are essential) and their habitat with diatomaceous earth.
If the problem persists, spray the coop with neem oil (diluted with apple cider vinegar and water). You can also apply the diluted oil directly onto the chicken’s skin, but watch out for irritable beaks.
What age do Sapphire Olive Eggers start laying?
The hens typically start laying at around 5-6 months of age, which is the same as most other chicken breeds.
However, it’s worth noting that the age at which a chicken starts laying can be influenced by various factors, such as the bird’s genetics, diet, and living conditions.
Providing your chickens with a healthy diet, plenty of water, and a clean and stress-free living environment can help ensure they start laying at the appropriate age and produce high-quality eggs.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.