Thanks it's good to know we aren't doing anything wrong. I think our Cockerel is wanting some new young wives lol he's only a year or so himself and I think he's only just become top chicken but he still gets a lot of rejection when he does his special dance for them. What's your experience with Cockerel lifespan do they live longer than the girls as they aren't producing eggs?It is very normal for birds to get elderly at 3+ years. And really, if they are gone in the morning, well they have had a good life and a quick end. Personally, I like a multi generational flock. So when I lose some, I add some.
I have an older rooster too, and he is getting grumpy. Course he is also molting, I have a young boy growing up in the flock now, and come the spring, I may cull the older boy. It is the circle of life, adding and subtracting.
My granddaughter and I feel a bit sad, but not devastated when we loose them. Nothing new chicks can't help with.
People often times do have much older chickens, but I have never had them live like that. I am not doubting them, but don't feel guilty if yours don't live that long, a lot of chickens don't.