How to Care for Your Sicilian Buttercup Chickens
Believe it or not, some chicken breeds make excellent backyard pets. The key is finding the right breed to match your personality and lifestyle needs. Sicilian Buttercup chickens are low-key birds that go with the flow, maintaining the notably relaxed pace of their country of origin. To ensure your chickens are happy and healthy, you need to maintain certain housing and hygiene habits. To help you get started, here is some insight on raising Sicilian Buttercup chickens.
The King and Queen of Chicken Breeds
This is a fairly rare breed that originates from the Siciliana chicken in Sicily. The first Sicilian Buttercup eggs were brought to America in the 1880s. Today, the American Livestock Conservancy lists them as a threatened species.
Male and female chickens have different looks. Females are typically gold with black spangles, and males are darker orange with a black tail. Both have willow green legs and white earlobes, though British varieties have red earlobes. British and Sicilian varieties come in other colors, too. Males grow to about six to seven pounds and females average about five to six pounds. Sicilian Buttercup bantams, which are a much smaller variety, also exist.
These chickens are mostly raised for their attractiveness. They are known for their red, cup-shaped comb that resembles a crown. Hens are not the most productive egg layers, and their eggs are small and white or tinted in color. They prefer warm to hot climates and are not suitable for colder winter seasons. They are not broody but have a tendency toward flightiness and consistent chatter. They cannot stand being cooped up in small places. As long as you give them plenty of room to roam and forage, you are sure to find raising Sicilian Buttercup chickens easy and fun.
Chicken Feed Demystified
If you are not sure how to properly feed your flock, here is a basic breakdown of the different types of chicken feeds that keep your coop healthy throughout their lives:
- Chick starter is usually around 20 percent protein and made with smaller grind grit, oats, raisins, berries, smashed nuts, mealworms and bugs. Corn, soybean, wheat, barley, rice and lentils can also be used.
- A good growing ration consists of additional wheat, oats, barley, corn, millet, rye and flax. This is essentially the same as chick starter, except the grind is coarser.
- Layer rations for egg-laying hens include more vitamins and minerals, especially calcium for creating egg shells. Feed can also consist of green vegetables and medicines to help facilitate healthy eggs.
- Chicken scratch consists of cracked or whole grains that chickens scratch their feet at and snack on. When raising Sicilian Buttercup chickens, do not let them consume too much scratch to ensure they receive proper meal nutrition.
Chickens also require plenty of water to stay hydrated. Some owners opt for skim milk on occasion, especially for egg-laying hens.
Happy Flocks Won’t Fly the Coop
Raising Sicilian Buttercup chickens is a rewarding and enriching experience. Develop good maintenance and feeding habits so that your chickens stay healthy all year long. Find other chicken coop owners who have experience raising flocks for more insight on how to troubleshoot your concerns.