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.


  • 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.


  • 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. 



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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