How long do chickens really live? How long have chickens in your flock lived?

How long do your chickens live on average?

  • 2 years

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • 3 years

    Votes: 4 14.8%
  • 4 years

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • 5 years

    Votes: 2 7.4%
  • 6 years

    Votes: 5 18.5%
  • 7 years

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • 8 years

    Votes: 3 11.1%
  • 9 years

    Votes: 1 3.7%
  • 10 years

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 11+ years

    Votes: 3 11.1%

  • Total voters


6 Years
Jun 10, 2013
I just realized most of my flock will be five this year! I hope I have a long time more with them.

I looked it up on google but found a variety of answers. I assume age will very breed to breed? That bantams will live longer than large fowl, especially since they don’t lay as much.

So, BYC, who have had birds who have not died from a predator, how long have they lived? Why did they die?

AllenK RGV

Chicken Addict
Jul 23, 2017
Deep South Texas Laureles,TX 10A
No clue on this one I plan on mine being around for the next 10+ years. It might realistic or maybe it isn't. I do keep a gamefowl breed that weren't supposed to be good layers. Some say they lay well others say they don't.

I am planning of adding some Malays in the spring to have worse layers going forward, plus I like their upright stance.

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
10 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
To me, an old chicken is a 3 years + chicken. Some will live longer, but it must depend on the breed, the heritage, genetics and the climate.

Many people on here tell of birds living much longer, but mine have never done so, I would not think a 5 year old flock would be very productive, but if you have not lost any, you must be doing something right.

I like a multi- generational flock, some older and some younger.

Mrs K


Project manager
Premium member
Aug 1, 2015
My Coop
My Coop
I sell (or eat) birds at 2 years of age, but the one I did end up keeping the longest was still kicking at almost 9 when she was given back to my neighbour. She might be still living, who knows. I'd say 6 is a good average age for a bird.

As of now the oldest birds I have are 3 years old and still acting like younguns.

I have very few birds die from anything other than predators or accidents. Let me see what I can remember...
EE cross hen that was probably about 4 turned up dead one day. She was a really weird bird, chronically skinny and she sounded weird. Should have been culled a long time before she died.
Buff orp hen that turned up dead at 3--4 for no known reason. Wait, she might have had blood on her? I don't remember, that was 4 years ago.
PR hen dead in the nest boxes one day. Maybe egg binding, I didn't do a necropsy.
Leghorn hen that was prone on the floor after hearing thrashing in the coop. Maybe she got knocked off the roost---I don't know. She died that night.
PC chick that died at 1 month of age, cause unknown.
2 cockerels that died from weak constitutions combined with negative degree Fahrenheit highs for over a week.
RSL hen or two to EYP, age one
PC pullet to Marek's
EE hen to eye infection, age three
OEGB hen found dead in the feed box. Probably about 4 years old but possibly much older.
Probably a few other layer birds I've forgotten

I think that's about it, really. I've had close to 200 fowl, counting some birds sold at a few months of age.
Last edited:


May 28, 2017
Eating halos in a corner somewhere
I've seen this question floating around a lot lately, so I may as well give you my opinion.
Yes, there are lots of different sources that will tell you different things. I think in general it's 8-10 years. Although hens will probably stop laying before that, I've heard of 6 year olds laying wonky eggs every now and then.


Apr 10, 2016
Dorchester, NH
Never had the pleasure of having a pet chicken die of old age. I started out in my very early pre teens and early teens and I really didn't' know any better about predators and all that. Apparently my parents just have crappy parental judgment skills as well. My current flock will be hitting three this spring and all but one is a hatchery bird. I started out with 11, two from predators. Gave free ranging a go again after listening stupidly to my parents once more, ended poorly. Two where re homed as they turned out to be cockerels and it was just to much having three roosters around. They went to a sanctuary and are doing rather well. One died of internal bleeding I didn't have a necropsy performed. What I do have left are still doing very well and laying like champs. I'd be a very sad guy if they only lived for three years and died of 'old age'.


Wattle Fondler
May 23, 2017
Greenville S.C, formerly Noneya U.S.A
I fully expect this flock to at least make it to 6 barring any disasters. I've had hens live to be nearly 9 and a roo that lived to be a teen. I tend to think it has to do with their living conditions, out to forage at dawn no pressure, no chicken hassles. I had hens that were confined to a fairly large run and coop they did not live as long, i think 5 was my oldest girl in that flock. :)
Top Bottom