Sicilian Buttercup

Sicilian Buttercup cock

Key Characteristics

The Sicilian Buttercup is not a hardy breed and has an edgy and excitable character. It has a flighty temperament, so perhaps not suitable for nervous novice poultry keepers or families with young children.  The breed likes to forage and should be free range where their temperament becomes a survival advantage if there are foxes around. The comb could suffer from frostbite and housing should be quite tall so the bird does not bang its comb on the roof.

History

  • Ancestors of the Sicilian Buttercup breed are depicted in European paintings dating back to the 16th century, but the breed was not stabilised into a proper breed with a specific type, plumage colours and pattern until centuries later, and that happened in the USA.
  • Sicilian immigrants are believed to have brought such cup combed birds to America in the 1830s, although the first detailed recorded importation was not until 1860, when a Captain Dawes brought them from Sicily to his father in America.
  • Little success was achieved until 1908, when Mr Dumaresq and his friend Mr Audinger, publisher of a poultry magazine, formed a Club which produced a breed standard, and which had over 500 members by 1914.
  • Their popularity in the USA did not last however, because virtually the entire American commercial egg production industry concentrated on White Leghorns by the 1930s.
  • Around 1912 Mrs Colbeck of West Yorkshire, imported the breed to Britain from America and a thriving Club was formed in Britain with entries up to 100 birds in the first few years after the First World War.
  • In the mid 1920s numbers went into sharp decline, and they have been very rare since then.

Appearance

  • The Sicilian Buttercup is a light breed.
  • There are both large fowl and bantam varieties
  • Earlobes should be at least two thirds red
  • There are two standardised colours, the Golden and Silver. 

Uses

Eggs

This bird is not kept for its egg laying. Depending on the strain it lays 50-80 small white eggs per year.

Did you know?

The breed is known for their cup combs. These are a particularly unique feature in this breed. They are formed from two single combs joined at the front and back. 

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