How Long Will Free-Range Chickens Live vs Caged Chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sheebadog, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. Sheebadog

    Sheebadog New Egg

    Apr 29, 2012
    Will free range chickens typically live longer than caged chickens?

    (I hope that doesn't seem to be the wrong forum, this seemed to be the closest one to the topic)
  2. DAFox

    DAFox Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2009
    SW MO in Vernon Co
    If you mean caged like those found on factory farms where each hen is in a tiny cage -- the question isn't the quantity of life, but rather the quality that matters. And free range wins.
    If you mean caged as in a nice sized chicken run that is predator proof in a predator prone area -- then penned would probably win. Especially one with a solid cover to keep wild birds out.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    If it's free range vs factory farm the answer is broiler chickens 5-8 weeks, battery hens about 1.5 years. Free range chickens or rather chickens kept as pets will live up to 7/8 years. Provided they don't get sick, caught by a predator or turned into chicken soup.
  4. dolly85

    dolly85 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 1, 2010
    I agree with the previous two posters. The typical backyard chicken kept in an enclosure with shelter and an enclosed run will live longer then a free range chicken. Chickens, especially hens, have very little defense mechanisms to protect them from predators. Hawks, owls, eagles, raccoons, large snakes, possums, weasels, fishers, dogs, wild cats, etc. all pose a threat to a poor defenseless hen.
    I think it is common knowledge a cornish/rock cross typically only lives a few months before succumbing to leg or heart problems unless feed is severely restriced and plenty of exercise is available.. A battery hen kept in a small cage also has a decreased life span due to the conditions she is kept in.
  5. 98cummins

    98cummins Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 17, 2012
    Hinckley, ohio
    at my house a free range chicken wouldn't last a week (hawks)
    I have a chicken tractor to keep them safe
    commercial birds don't have a life

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