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Breeds of Livestock, Department of Animal Science

Poultry Breeds - Buttercup Chickens

Poultry Breeds - Buttercup Chickens


ButtercupOrigins: The Buttercup or Sicilian Buttercup Chicken was imported to America from Sicily, Italy around 1835. It has been portrayed in paintings in the 16th century by Italian artists. The Buttercup may have even been known in the biblical era.

Characteristics: The Buttercup is a striking breed with bright colored plumage. The male has brilliant reddish feathers with a black tail. The female has bright golden yellow feathers closer to the head with black spangles patterned around rest of the body and ending with a black tail. An interesting feature of the Buttercup is the cup comb, which is actually made up of two combs joined together in the front and the back, to make what appears to be a crown. The Buttercup has white earlobes, on both the male and female and pale greenish white legs. The skin color is yellow. The Buttercup is not known to go broody.

Standard Weights: Cock: 6.5 lbs; Hen: 5 lbs; Bantam Cock: 26 oz; Bantam Hen: 22 oz

Varieties: None (According to APA’s standards)

  • Gold, Silver

Egg Shell Color: White

Uses: The Buttercup is used primarily for eggs or as ornamental fowl. They lay a fair number of small eggs.




Chicken Breeds and Varieties (A2880), John L. Skinner, University of Wisconsin-Madison

"Buttercup Chicken." The Livestock Conservancy. The Livestock Conservancy, n.d. Web. 22 June 2015.

Lewis, Celia. "Breed Profiles: Sicilian Buttercup." The Illustrated Guide to Chickens: How to Choose Them, How to Keep Them. New York: Skyhorse Pub., 2011. 154-55. Print.

Ekarius, Carol. "Chickens: Sicilian Buttercup." Pocketful of Poultry: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2007. 156-57. Print.

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Updated November 14, 1996


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