Friday, March 10, 2017

How long do chickens live?

Have you ever wondered "How long do chickens live?" This question came up the other day while I was feeding Sally her favorite treat, meal worms! Sally is an Olive Egger hen and she came from one of the first eggs I hatched in an incubator. I realized a year ago that Sally was the last chicken left from that first flock. That makes Sally almost 8 years old. 

There are various reasons why we no longer have the others from her flock. Most of the boys became dinner, we had a fox issue one year, one hen fell sick etc etc. 8 years later, only Sally remains.

Life span of chickens


According to The Guinness Book Of World Records Matilda the hen was the first chicken to receive the title of Worlds Oldest Living Chicken in 2004. She died almost 2 years later at age 16.

Unfortunately, Matilda is the exception rather then the rule. It turns out the average age for a chicken to live to is closer to 8 years. Many chickens meet their end much sooner though due to predators or illness. Of course the answer to the question also depends who you ask...

The My Pet Chicken website believes that chickens live to be about 8-10 years old.
Reference.com says 5-7 years is expected on average, but that pet chickens can live closer to 10 years.
Countryside Daily claims that the average age is 8-15 but it's possible for a chicken to live up to 20 years old!

None of these answers take into consideration breed and some breeds are said to live longer then others. The main cause of a backyard chickens death is often predators. Illness is also an issue but predators definitely take out more hens then sickness.

Hens tend to taper off on their egg production at around 2 years of age. Sally still lays 4-8 eggs a month in the warmer months. That equals out to 1-2 a week which isn't abnormal for older gals like her! The color of her eggs is more of a blue-green now then the olive color they were for the first several of her egg producing years

She's as friendly as ever and still does the 'dance' when I go to pick her up. She loves to mutter and chat with us and still comes running when I call her name, especially if I just came out of the house. She's still spry enough to jump up and try to pull the meal worm bag out of my hand when she see's it! She knows where the treats come from!

Oh, and spoiled miss Sally say's you should definitely get your chickens some meal worms, because they are the best treat in the world! (she loves her meal worms!)

~L 
(this post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something from these links, I will get a small amount from the company to thank me for sending you their way and help support this blog. It will not affect your purchase price)                                         

7 comments:

  1. Wow! I can't imagine having a chicken for 16 years!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That does seem rather long, doesn't it?

      Lisa

      Delete
  2. Nice, I hope my chicken live for 10 years

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! I have some that are real sweethearts!

      Lisa

      Delete
  3. Well folks, I inherited my uncles farm. Along with a bunch of chickens came 28 spanish turkeys and a few dozen canadian geese and an old duck.Some of these birds were here when I was in my 20s. One being that old duck. We figured Lucky was about 20 years old and some of those chickens as well! Not sure how they squeaked by but they did. Duck has died, but I have one hen still and she is a spry old thing. She used to hatch upwatds of 12 chicks at a time! Now I'm lucky to get an egg now and again! Chicken menopause. Hmmm.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have a chicken that's 10years old and still rearing chicks. In fact she has 5 as we speak.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just lost my Buckeye chicken at age 8...she just dropped off her roost during the night and died. I still have one one of her "litter mates", a Welsummer, who survived an attack from our neighbor's dog when she was 2, and still lays a couple of eggs a week. She walks with a limp from the attack, but is otherwise healthy. I also have 2 hens that are 7...a Chanticleer and a Speckled Sussex. Both are still laying, although the Chantcleer has never laid a lot of eggs. She is beautiful, however, and beloved by my granddaughters. I have sadly lost several of my girls to foxes, a dog, and a raccoon.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...