Before asking my question, I should mention that I just lost one of my girls today, Big Betty, so I'm sad and I would prefer not to talk about meat or hearing opinions on vegetarianism or pet chickens being silly. Usually I manage to have thicker skin but I'm just really sad as I get so attached. I respect anyone who raises their own meat, but my chickens are pets and I am a long-time vegetarian for spiritual reasons. I also grew up in the country and understand and respect the practical reality of farming. Anyway my question is whether anyone has ever tried to develop a breed of chicken that will live a long healthy life. I have raised chickens a total of ~20 years including about 10 in the country as an adolescent and 10 in the city as an adult. I've had a few live to 8 years of age but too many have died young and of those, I've learned (through autopsies done by vet) that many die of reproductive issues. It's taken a long time for this to get into my thick skull, but finally I get it - chickens have been selectively bred for thousands of years to provide humans with as much meat/eggs as possible in a short time period, with little attention to long-term health. That makes sense, I have no issue with that as people have to survive. This selective breeding has left chickens with bodies that a prone to a wide variety reproductive problems. I know I'm not alone in wanting a breed that can live a long and healthy life, even though it means keeping some old retirees that don't lay a lot. Any ideas? Rest in Peace, Big Betty.