Production blue chickens are also known as Sapphire Gems or the Blue Rocks. These blue chickens are a new breed that was developed in the Czech Republic.
They were developed after crossing the Rhode Island Red with the Blue Australorp chickens. The motive of their development was to come up with a hardy breed that was more tolerant to harshness and achieve more or combined features of the parent stock.
These desirable features have led them became a favorite backyard chicken breed among many. Do you want to know more about the Production blue chicken breed?
History and origin of the production blue chickens
Since this is a relatively new breed, not much information is available about the production blue chickens. This breed originates from the Czech Republic after the crossing of the Rhode Island Red with the Blue Australorp chicken breeds.
They are a fast growing chicken breed and reach maturity early than other heritage breeds. These chickens with blue feathers were developed to achieve hardiness and other desirable characteristics such as fast maturity, egg laying, and temperament among others.
Farmers in the Czech wanted a breed that could reach maturity early and offer much meat and eggs. This pushed researchers to look for a bird that could mature early.
There was a huge demand for eggs and meat that created a good opportunity for business. All the heritage breeds in that country could not meet this demand.
Appearance of the Production Blue Chickens
The production blue chickens have lavender and blue body plumes. This makes them look beautiful and will be a good color to add on your backyard.
The female birds hatch in blue while the gents hatch in blue with a yellow dot on their heads. This will be a very good and easy way to sex the birds while they are young.
The production blues are medium sized birds with single combs that are somehow tall. They also have a tall appearance that would make one assume that they are different colored Plymouth Rocks.
They have tight feathers and they are hardy birds a trait that makes them able to withstand cold weather. Their legs are greyish to black with four toes on each foot. They have no feathers on the legs like Cochin chickens.
They have a short strong beak that makes it easy for them to collect grains and worms they get in the backyard.
According to thechickdepot.com, production blues will have yellow shanks free from feathers. Females will vary in shades of dark blue and light. Some may even have gold, Orange or red feathering on their heads.
Temperament and hardiness
Production blues are hardy birds that can tolerate winter very well like Orloff chickens. The only thing you should consider is the exposed parts such as combs and wattles as they will require you to smear them with a jelly to prevent frostbites.
Ensure their coop is dry and warm by supplementing the warmth with heat lamps to help raise the temperatures a little bit during the cold seasons.
The Production blue chicken is a very calm bird that will easily get along with children and even other chicken breeds. They are docile and love attention and will never mind when they are held on your lap because they love to be cuddled a lot.
Call them nice chicken names and let them eat from your hand if you want to bond easily. My girls are calm and live comfortably with my Salmon feverolles.
They are excellent foragers as they know how to search for their own worms and grabs. In confinement, the production blues chickens will be equally fine as long as they get a well formulated diet, enough space and plenty of clean drinking water.
Egg laying and Uses
These chickens will start to lay eggs at the age of 22-24 weeks old. At this age, the roosters will start to crow while the pullets will often hang near nesting boxes scouting for a suitable laying spot.
When it comes to what these chickens can offer, the Production blue hens are good layers of 300 eggs in a year.
The eggs are of a medium size and have a brown egg shell. However, in rare cases, some hens will lay eggs that have a bluish egg shell.
These chickens are a reliable breed to anyone looking for new layers. However, they are not known to get very broody and make awful chicken mothers.
Production blue roosters can weigh 7 to 8 pounds while hens can weigh 5 to 6 pounds meaning they can still offer meat though not much of it .
I would not be wrong to say that these birds meet the qualities of dual purpose chicken breeds by looking at their body weight plus the number of eggs they can lay.
Lifespan of a Production Blue Chicken
These chickens have a lifespan of 3-5 years. This time is shorter compared to most breeds of chickens like Silkies that can live for more than 10 years.
This is because their bodies will get worn out because of the large number of eggs they produce. During the first three years, these chickens will lay consistently and then stop and they are culled.
However, the roosters can live for long for long when given a chance. Chickens raised on confinement or as pets will live for long.
On the other hand, free ranging chickens will not live for long because they have a lot of challenges they will encounter.
Chicken predators, ill health, malnutrition and poor living conditions are some of the key reasons that will reduce the time a chicken can live.
The production blue chickens are strong, healthy and robust chickens. They are hardy, cold tolerant and also do fine on hot climates.
However, during the cold winter months, their single combs and featherless feet will suffer from the cold. To keep them safe, confine them in a heated coop and put their waterers in to prevent chicken water from freezing.
Common parasites like chicken lice and scaly mites are a serious threat to their health. These parasites will infest their plumage where they suck blood and do serious damage to the juvenile feathers.
To control them, add small amounts of diatomaceous earth powder in your chicken dirt bath. Diatomaceous earth works by removing body oils and moisture from insect parasites thus, dehydrating them to death.
Chicken worms are another serious threat to these chickens. The most common internal parasites are thread and gape worms.
To control worms in chickens, seek advice from a qualified bird vet on the right chicken wormer to administer.
Apart from using a chicken wormer for water to control worms, some chicken treats like pumpkin seeds and cilantro are a good remedy. They are believed to be a good natural dewormer for chickens.
Although this breed is still new and not known by many, I would give it credit. Based on features and qualities these chickens are a thumb up for me.
For me, this is a breed I would recommend to anyone who wants to keep chickens. Additionally, to anyone willing to add a different breed on their flock, these chickens are worth keeping because they are friendly and easy to tame.
These chickens are hardy and will do well on both cold and hot areas. They will offer enough meat for a small family and lay lots of eggs for you.
Production blue chickens will tolerate confinement as well as free ranging. Letting them to range is good because it will help bring down the cost of feeding them.
Do you have Production Blue chickens? Talk to us on the comment section.