Sicilian Buttercup Chicken

Sicilian Buttercup chicken originated from the Italian island of Sicily. It is a pretty rare breed and popular mainly for it’s beauty, rich coloring and glorious golden feathering.

The name comes from the unusual cup shaped comb. This chicken breed was first imported to the United States in 1835, to Britain and Australia in early 20th century.

Sicilian Buttercup chicken derives from the indigenous Siciliana breed of Sicily. But long separation from the original stock has led to marked differences between the two.

During the year of 1918, this chicken breed was included in the American Poultry Association’s Standard of Perfection. The American Livestock Conservancy has listed this breed as ‘threatened’. There is also a bantam variety of Sicilian Buttercup chicken.

Characteristics of Sicilian Buttercup Chicken

One major characteristic of Sicilian Buttercup chicken is the difference in coloring of the male and female birds. Both of the male and female have very different plumage.

The females are a wonderful gold with black spangles running in parallel rows producing an almost spotty appearance.

While the males sport rich deep orange feathers with a greenish black tail. This chicken breed has an unique look with it’s cup-shaped comb (which is actually two single combs).

The comb is a cup-shaped crown with a complete circle of medium sized regular points and is of red color.

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Both males and females have willow-green legs. They have red wattles and white earlobes. On an average, Sicilian Buttercup roosters weight about 2.95 kg and hens weight about 2.50 kg.


Sicilian Buttercups are mainly raised for ornamental purpose. But they are also good for meat and eggs production. Like other Mediterranean poultry breeds, Sicilian Buttercup chickens are also very hardy and good layers.

Hens lay pretty good number of medium sized white or tinted eggs. They are good for hot climates and can’t tolerate extreme cold temperature. They are good foragers and excellent for free ranging. They are intolerant of confinement.

They are particularly calm, but very active. Hens do not go broody. Sicilian Buttercups are flighty and are fast maturing birds. But the cup shaped comb takes a while to develop fully. Review full breed profile below.

Breed NameSicilian Buttercup
Other NameNone
Breed PurposeOrnamental
Breed TemperamentFlighty, Active, Restless, Sometimes Friendly
Breed SizeLarge
Climate ToleranceHot Climates
Egg ColorWhite or Tinted
Egg SizeSmall
Egg ProductivityMedium/Low
Feathered LegsNo
VarietiesButtercup Variety with Males and Females in Different Color

The Good

  • Unique appearance
  • Beautiful
  • Unique buttercup comb
  • Males and females are of different colors
  • Very active
  • Hardy
  • Good foragers
  • Perfect for free range
  • Sometimes very friendly

They Bad

  • Flighty
  • Not good for confinement
  • Small eggs and low egg production
  • Can be noisy sometimes

Is Sicilian Buttercup Chicken Good for You?

Sicilian Buttercup chicken is good for you if you…….

  • Want to raise some beautiful chickens with unique appearance.
  • Are looking for some very active chickens.
  • Are looking for such a chicken breed which is great forager and perfect for free range system.
  • Have pasture and are willing to add some chickens there.
  • Are living in hot areas and want to have some chickens which can perform well in hot climates.

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