How long does a hen lay? How long does a hen live?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by missychicky, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. missychicky

    missychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 10, 2009
    Milwuakie. OR
    My girls are all just over a year old. I am wondering how long I can expect them to lay. How old is a hen when it stops laying? How old does a hen live to be?
  2. midget_farms

    midget_farms Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Dunlap Illinois
    Chickens will live 10 years and beyond if well cared for & not taken by a preditor. They will lay eggs that entire time. However - a hen will only reliably produce eggs for the first 2 years. After that the egg laying begins to slow down & may stop all together for months at a time. This is why most production houses replace the birds so often - as long as they produce lots of eggs they make money - when they become unreliable it costs too much to feed & house them.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    The maximum life span varies with the breed.

    True breeds live longer than 'production hybrids' usually (like ISA brown), but it seems that most hens die due to disease and predation when kept by individuals and are culled as soon as they start to lay less 18month to 2.5 years in the poultry industry.

  4. gallusdomesticus

    gallusdomesticus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 14, 2008
    Lynn Haven, FL
    If you google 'worlds oldest chicken' you'll find a Guiness Book entry on a hen who lived to be 16yrs old. My experience is 8-10 years with good care however predation and disease normally gets them before that. Enjoy your hens. Regardless of their life span, they bring joy to our lives.

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