The buttercup chicken, originally developed in Sicily

Although the eggs are small and few in number, the Buttercup is a dependable layer. Controversy exists, however, in the attributes of keeping this variety as a pet. Some experts recommend it as a pet because it is a curious and friendly breed.
The buttercup chicken, originally developed in Sicily in the 1800’s, is otherwise called the Sicilian Buttercup. According to history, one male and one female had been imported to the US as a couple in the late 1800’s and today’s stock remain the direct descendants of that very same couple. The breed is beautiful, rare, exhibition worthy, a long-time layer and a fairly good pet.

Their eggs are few and small but the Buttercup hen is a dependable layer. All experts do not agree, however, about this breed as a pet. Some experts recommend it as a pet because of its curiosity and friendliness.

Some experts state that although the Buttercup can be friendly, it prefers to be independent, is very active, and flies well. Others declare that this breed prefers to avoid human contact. All experts recommend that chicks are the best choice to start out with because they can be trained to enjoy human contact.

Current reports state that the number of baby chicks is limited but can be purchased online from several hatcheries. Owners and experts agree that males are the friendlier of the breed. For the most part, Buttercups do not like confinement but will enjoy human contact when other conditions are suitably met such as outdoor places to roam and fly in addition to a warm habitat for resting and nesting.

Providing a warm coop will protect this chicken’s unique comb from frostbite. The breed had acquired its name because of its golden toned feathers and its butter-cup shaped comb which looks exactly like a crown.

The stunning crown and golden feathers make the buttercup chicken quite an attractive bird and its is often displayed at exhibitions. The variety was admitted to the “American Poultry Association Standard of Perfection” in 1918. The hen’s feathers are normally rich amber, or golden in color, complimented with rows of brown spots or “spangles”. The males usually sport a dark green tail and their feathers orange-reddish with black “spangles”.

Hens mature early and start laying by the time they reach 5 months of age. They are not extremely productive but average approximately 2 eggs a week and lay their whole life. Some controversy exists also around the eggs’ appearance. There is claim that the eggs are always white and small. Others insist that they will have a slight hew or tint to them.

It might seem odd, to some, think of chickens as pets. Granted, even the name, chicken, tickles the funny bone and many people will find the thought of it funny. However, chickens are a good choice as a pet if they are given adequate living quarters and sufficient area outdoors where they can fly, lay in the sun, walk, peck and scratch. They are definitely not the sort to be confined indoors.

Buttercup chickens can be engaging and very entertaining and some will even learn to sit in one’s lap. Hand-raised baby chicks will learn to respond when their name is called, be stroked or cuddled and trained to eat from human hands. Chickens, like all pets, enjoy food as a reward and respond well to love and positive reinforcement.

Investing in a Buttercup Chicken for show or as a pet would be fun and interesting provided they are kept in a warm, clean, living environment. It would not be a wise choice, however, to depend on this breed’s eggs as a source of food given that they lay only a couple of eggs twice a week. Given a loving home, a buttercup chicken will, like any other pet, provide hours of entertainment, company and last but not least, a truly unique conversation piece.

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