the truth about how long chickens live...looking for answers.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 4ladies, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. 4ladies

    4ladies Out Of The Brooder

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    Well my super sweet silkie just died. And now I have 4 that have died over the years of various different things and 3 that are alive. I expected them to live between 5 and 10 years but my oldest is about 2 1/2 years old. Farmers who regularly kill their birds during the winter always give advise about how easy they are to raise, but if they only live to be a year then that advise is pointless for someone who intended to keep them as pets even past their egg laying years. Anyhow.

    Can people please post, the number of hens they have had and how many have lived to what ages. I and I think others would find it to be wonderfully informative.

    Thanks in advance.

    Ame
     
  2. Gullygarden

    Gullygarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one 8 year old hen going strong. There were three in this group that made it to seven. I also had a banty rooster that was fine at 8 but got eaten by a dog, which is why my current batch lives behind an electric fence.
     
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    someone on here said hers was still laying eggs at 13! mine are only 32 months, but I have high hopes!
     
  4. 4ladies

    4ladies Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Thanks for your answer. How nice that you have an 8 year old lady! How many did you start off with?
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2011
  5. 4ladies

    4ladies Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I certainly had high hopes too! but am not interested in the rare anomaly. I've had a goldfish, a parakeet and a ferret that lived guiness worldbook record lives but also goldfish, parakeets and ferrets that lived normalish lives. I am wondering what the normal death rate/lifespan is of backyard chickens. It's just too heartbreaking to not know. : C
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

  7. Gullygarden

    Gullygarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for your answer. How nice that you have an 8 year old lady! How many did you start off with?

    I got a group of three older ladies from a friend in 2009. Before that I had several singles that just arrived and lived free in my yard. Now I have built a real coop and got 4 pullets As babies in May. They are laying now! The old hen is bossy so although she ranges with them in the daytime, she is kept separate at night.
     
  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I've had 1 live to be over 5yo. Several have lived to 3+ yo. A couple died mysteriously at about 1 yo.

    Imp
     
  9. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The truth is, it depends on genetics. Chickens do have the potential to live 5-15 years. However, if people are not breeding for longevity you are not going to see it. Breeds bred for super high egg production are extremely likely to develop ovarian or other reproductive cancers by the time they are 2 years old and are practically guaranteed to have it by the time they are 3 or 4. Most hatchery birds I would not be surprised if they did not make it past 5 because they are bred for egg production and the genetics that have led to a high rate of production have also led to a high rate of cancer and other reproductive problems. Birds bred by a serious breeder who is breeding only the healthiest birds in their flock and looking for a self-replacing flock with more than one or two years of reasonable egg production are less likely to have health problems caused by high volume breeding with emphasis on one or two production traits.
     
  10. 4ladies

    4ladies Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:ok interesting. I skimmed through this and it looks like only 1/3 to 1/7 survive into late age (7 years +). so, that means 2/3 die before 4 years and 6/7 die before before 6 years. I just did a very rough skimming. But yes this was helpful. A complete survey would be great.
     

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