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Sicilian Buttercup is a widely adored breed of chicken known for their unique pattern, buttercup-shaped comb, and friendly temperament. The breed isn’t that bad at egg-laying either, and most owners note that they are fun to watch. No matter what breeds in your flock the Sicilian Buttercup can fit right into your home.
The Sicilian Buttercup can lay around 180 golden-colored eggs per year, but they are usually small in size. They can also provide a bit of meat, although there are several breeds that outshine them in this use. They are great as show birds and are recognized by the APA.
Sicilian Buttercups may be a bit hard to find depending on where you live, as they are a rare breed of chicken. If you are looking for one, you may have to do some research online to find a reputable breeder.
The breed usually lives somewhere between 5 to 8 years with proper care. They can be a bit of a handful to keep though, as these birds love to explore and can fly short distances. Any chance they get to fly the coop, they will take, so you will need to be vigilant when feeding or going to check on them.
If you are up for the challenge of trying to keep this delightful breed in check, then keep reading the guide below to learn all about caring for the Sicilian Buttercup chicken.
Sicilian Buttercup Chickens
|Size||6 Pounds (Rooster)|
5 Pounds (Hen)
|Hardiness||Not Cold Hardy|
History and Origin
The Sicilian Buttercup is a breed that comes from the region of Sicily in Italy. The breed is quite old, and chickens looking similar to the Buttercup are even in paintings from the sixteenth century. While the exact age of the Silesian Buttercup isn’t known, we do know that they were brought over to America during the nineteenth century, and by 1918 the breed was recognized by the APA, just 6 years after the organization was founded. At the time they were brought over, they were even being used as a food source.
Sadly, the breed is now listed as “threatened” but will likely bounce back thanks to renewed interest in the breed. The breed also sometimes goes by another name; the Sicilian Flowerbird. In the past, it seems that other color varieties existed, but those have now been phased out.
What do they look like?
The Sicilian Buttercup chicken has a very prominent coloring that should be relatively easy to recognize. The hens mostly have gold feathering, while the roosters will appear a bit more orange in their coloring. Hens have small black markings dotting their feathers that begin at the neck and travel down their bodies, while roosters have solid coloring. Their tails have a slight angle upwards with black at the ends, and they generally have a solid coloring on their head and neck.
One of the most notable features of the breed is their two single combs that connect in the center. The combs resemble that of a buttercup, making it instantly recognizable; the upright standing combs are usually bright red in coloring.
The legs of the Buttercup have a green hue, and they have red, medium-sized wattles. In some Buttercups, you may even find that spurs have grown on the chicken’s leg. This isn’t something to worry about as it is a common occurrence in Mediterranean chicken breeds.
Sicilian Buttercup hens grow to be around 5 pounds, while the roosters will grow to be around 6 pounds. There is also a smaller Bantam version of this breed. Once upon a time, there were other colorings of Sicilian Buttercup chickens, but these seem to currently be lost to time.
As for now, the only breed is the standard gold, but this could change at any time with breeding; just don’t expect new varieties to easily be accepted by the APA or even the BPA.
The Buttercup chicks don’t yet have their combs, but they have some similar black marking to the full-grown version. If you are looking at chicks, it can still be hard to identify a Sicilian Buttercup chick from other breeds.
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The Sicilian Buttercup is not an aggressive breed of chicken, so you can integrate them into a docile flock of other breeds. The Buttercup roosters even have docile temperaments. If you plan to house multiple Sicilian Buttercup roosters together, you should still keep a close eye on them to identify any fighting, as most roosters will get aggressive around one another. If all goes well, though, your flock should be peaceful.
Handling the Sicilian Buttercup chicken may be a bit hard, especially if you didn’t spend a lot of time socializing them as chicks. One of the biggest reasons this isn’t a cuddly breed isn’t because they hate people though, they are just full of energy.
This is why many owners note that they are entertaining to watch; these chickens love to be on the go. You can often see them happily running around your yard since they adore exploring. They also have the ability to fly, so keeping them in one place can be rather tricky.
Buttercups hate to be confined, so it’s best to have an area for them to roam freely outside. Keep in mind that these energetic birds like to try and escape whenever their coop is open, so keeping them all in one place can be a task.
You should consider building a large run for them to get their energy out in; just make sure that they can easily clear the fence you use to make it. The last thing you want is for them to go on an adventure in the nearby woods.
What is their purpose?
Sicilian Buttercup chickens have quite a few uses. To begin with, they lay a decent amount of eggs throughout the year. You can expect to get around 100 or so small eggs from your hens throughout the year. A small flock of hens can provide you with a good amount of eggs during the year.
As for meat, the roosters are large enough to get an ok amount of meat off of, but you will probably do better with a dual purpose chicken breed like a Rhode Island Red, Sussex, or an Australorp.
The Sicilian Chicken can be pets and their energetic nature makes them rather fun to interact with. To ensure that your chickens are friendly, you will need to start socializing them as chicks. By petting them and holding them securely, you can make them easier to handle as adults.
The breed is a docile one, but you shouldn’t leave children unattended around them to avoid any accidents from occurring. This can be especially troublesome as young children may want to indulge the Sicilian Buttercup and chase after them as they bolt around your yard.
Sicilian Buttercup chickens are popular as show birds and accepted by the APA. You can easily enter them into competitions, and with the proper care, even win some. You will want to be careful when purchasing chicks for shows as the APA has strict standards, and the last thing you want is for your “Sicilian chick” to grow into another breed. Be sure to check out reputable breeders online and take notes of who is reputable.
You can also talk with Sicilian Buttercup chicken keepers at shows and possibly buy chicks from them. Meeting breeders at shows gives you the ability to inspect the hens and roosters that they use for breeding.
Please be aware that buying chicks that are the offspring of show winners will also cost a bit more money as they are from a proven competitive lineage. On the bright side, getting a chick from a show champion can give you a leg up on some of the competition.
Breeding the Sicilian Buttercup can be a bit tricky as they are not a broody breed. If you plan to raise chicks, then you should go ahead and invest in an incubator. Without one, you will rarely ever see a chick hatch in your coop, if it ever even happens at all.
This breed of chicken is a bit more expensive than others, as chicks can cost you around $11. While this doesn’t reach the heights of special varieties like the Ayam Cemani, this is still pretty pricey in comparison to regular chicks. If you want a flock, you may even want to save up for a while. Keep in mind that you may have to drive a ways to get this breed or even have them shipped; this can greatly add to their overall cost.
Care and Health
The Silesian Buttercup Chicken needs a large coop to rummage around in, especially during the winter. These birds can get frostbite, and while the cold won’t kill them, you should avoid your flock getting too cold at all costs. To help offset the cold, be sure that your coop has proper insulation and that it is as draft free as possible to provide warmth for your chickens when the temperature starts to drop.
These birds do well in the heat; just make sure that they have access to fresh water at all times. You will also want to provide them with nutrient-rich food every day; this is especially important if you want them to consistently lay eggs.
The larger challenge comes from the fact that these birds don’t like confinement. The Sicilian Buttercup isn’t a breed that you can keep in the coop year-round; they need room to run. This makes them pretty hard to keep if you have limited room in your backyard.
You will want to build a run, as they will go off and explore their surroundings with little to no fear. The run will need to be on the larger size, and you should make sure to use tall fencing as these birds can and will fly out of the run.
Be aware that they will most likely make a run for the door whenever you open the coop, given that they aren’t asleep. When taking care of the chickens, you need to be extra careful when entering and exiting the coop.
This is more important on days with bad weather as you don’t want a sopping wet chicken because they boldly ran into a downpour. You will also want to consider how to let them get exercise in winter without exposing them to the cold for long periods of time.
You won’t need to worry about bathing. These chickens are doing anything out of the ordinary for their coop. They are very hardy, and aside from normal problems like mites, you won’t find yourself with sick birds. Be sure to inspect your flock regularly just to ensure that there are no signs of health problems; mites can be especially annoying once they show up as they waste no time invading every single chicken in the coop.
What color eggs do Sicilian Buttercups lay?
The Sicilian Buttercup Chickens lays a small egg with a golden coloring.
Are Buttercup chickens friendly?
They are friendly, but due to their energetic nature, they aren’t likely to sit on your lap or allow you to hold them for long periods of time.
Are Sicilian Buttercup chickens good layers?
Yes, these chickens lay around 180 eggs a year.
Are Sicilian Buttercups rare?
They are a rare breed, and finding them may be difficult depending on where you live. Both the APA and BPA consider them to be a threatened breed.
Are buttercups Bantams?
They are not Bantams, but there is a smaller Bantam variety of Sicilian Buttercup chickens.
Are Buttercup chickens broody?
No, this breed rarely gets broody, so you will need an incubator to hatch chicks.
How big do Sicilian Buttercup chickens get?
Sicilian Buttercup Chickens rooster will reach around 6 pounds while hens only reach around 5 pounds in size.
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