life span of a pet chicken

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pfgjudy, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. pfgjudy

    pfgjudy New Egg

    Feb 17, 2010
    I'm planning to keep chickens as pets. What is the productive time span for hens? How long do they live on average? I want to keep them as pets and have some production each year, so I want to stagger the purchases so I'll always have some that are laying. Do the smaller varieties live longer or shorter lives than larger varities? Thanks everyone!
  2. Three Cedars Silkies

    Three Cedars Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 17, 2008
    Gainesville, Fl.
    I think this is quite variable. See below:

    There is no agreement on the specific number of years as regards to
    the lifespan of chickens. It seems that based on the articles I was
    able to find, the lifespan of chickens is 5 to 10 years but can go as
    long as 12-15 years.

    "Chickens and ducks can live anywhere from 5 - 10 years depending on
    the quality of life provided."

    "7 years"

    "The average lifespan of a factory farmed chicken is 7 weeks .The
    natural lifespan of a chicken is 7 years."

    "7- or 8-year normal lifespan for a chicken."

    "The natural lifespan of a chicken is about ten years."

    "The average lifespan of a chicken is eight to 10 years..."

    "The 'natural' lifespan of a chicken could be over 12 years."

    "Pet chickens average lifespan is about 15 years."
  3. usschicago1

    usschicago1 Suburban Cochins

    Aug 11, 2009
    Taunton, MA
    Very Informative Oldtimer :)
    I agree [​IMG]
  4. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a RIR, she lived to be 10, lay her last egg at 8 1/2. No, never had a clutch hatch out with her.
  5. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I recently met a 15 year old rooster. But I saw if its a quality bird for laying (not a meat bird) Expect between 7-12 years of feeding... with an after thought of maybe beyond that. Its really just based on their good health over that time.

    Don't expect eggs for all that time! You'll get the majority of eggs for the first 3 years, after that it will slow... but can still go on and off for years to come!
  6. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    I would think 10 would be a good average lifespan with a 7-12 range and would agree that you should expect the majority of her production in the first 3 years. Also the length of their life would depend on the lack of preditors, these can include pet cats and dogs, among other things. I also want to add that in button quail males have a longer lifespan due to the amount calcium the hen sacrafices to lay, the majority of chickens don't live to die of old age so I am unsure if the same is true for chickens.
  7. Harleena

    Harleena Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 29, 2009
    Menifee, CA
    I gave my mom some hens and she still has one or two of them that must be about 9 or 10 years old now! "The old gals."
  8. SilverPhoenix

    SilverPhoenix Bantam Fanatic

    Dec 15, 2009
    Penn Valley, CA
    In my experience, standard sized laying hens usually live seven to nine years, and bantams can easily reach ten to twelve years, and I'm sure fifteen isn't a stretch at all! I have several bantams that are eleven years old and still going strong, very healthy and they behave like any normal hen. I lost a few around age ten one by one to simple old age, but I've still got those few left that are doing great. I won't be surprised if they make it to fifteen.
  9. RockwaterFarm

    RockwaterFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 17, 2010
    East Hartland, CT
    If you feed it correctly and don't breed it, she can live up to or past 15 years. i'm aiming for that goal with my first chicken, Rosetta, she is 2 years old. All her brothers and sisters got killed by a dog. She mainly stays to herself though, sitting on the highest nest box, over seeing her coop.
  10. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Reviving this thread to ask a question: do these estimates apply to hatchery birds and breeder stock alike? I started with 4 hatchery birds and lost one at 6 mo, another at 18 mo and now a third is sick at 2 yrs - good chance I will lose her too. No definitive cause of illness on any of them. All were/are optimally cared for and under veterinary care.

    Is it a coincidence or are hatchery birds more likely to die young?

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