Topic/Question of the week - How long do chickens live?

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
Staff member
Premium member
Jul 16, 2015
37,752
58,969
1,312
central Wisconsin
My oldest so far was 9. I currently have a couple of 8 year old buff Orpingtons and a few 7 year olds bantam cochins and d'uccle. I find about half mine pass around 4 years of age, the other half goes on to live 6 plus.
 

mellcrowl

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 17, 2013
63
9
36
My boyfriend has 13 hens at his place, all 6+ years old, but our oldest girl is 13 years old. She is an EE hen from our local feed store and she still lays a nice lil blue egg once or twice a week. She's quite the trooper!
 

gsim

Songster
10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
1,997
36
196
East Tennessee
I have a Barred Plymouth Rock hen who is 8. Still sleeps on the roost, but is the last one down each AM. I nearly always set her on the floor so that she doesn't have to make the 4 ft. jump. She quit laying 2 - 3 yrs ago, best I could tell.
 

Fantail Leghorn

Hatching
Dec 26, 2015
6
2
9
Cant say her age for sure, but we have had her 10 years now and her previous owner was deadset that she had been with his son for that many years too. In any case, when we got her she and her sisters were old and had already stopped laying.
Her two sisters died within the year, but shes still going! She got pneumonia around christmas but managed to pull through (with lots of love and help) and is still going happily, and all the other hens respect her as leader even though shes slowed down.
 

cluck333

In the Brooder
Jul 5, 2015
47
4
26
Where the Orps Jump On You
I got my first batch of five chickens when I was five, from hatching them out in our Kindergarten class. One of those from the original batch, Little Peep, survived through predator attacks, free ranging, winters, you name it. She eventually died when I was in high school at age 11. I've had others live to be around 7 or so but none that old. Interestingly enough, she never went broody until she was around 10 or so and hatched herself a young one, though not from her own egg which she would lay about once per week. Maybe she felt her time was near and had to become a mother finally hahah. She laid light blue eggs so my best guess is she was an Ameraucana or Easter Egger. I believe Matilda was the oldest living chicken on record, living to be 16. The important part of that sentence being "on record" who knows how long they can really live.
A chicken living 16 years? O.O That's longer than some dogs and cats live!
 

MayhemMarr

Chirping
Sep 2, 2016
456
46
96
Michigan
I just started and was wondering this same thing, ours are about 6m and just started to lay eggs we are getting 10-11 a day from 20 hens might be up to 11-12 since our new little rescue a white leghorn just gave us her first egg since being here, I think she might be older than my girls. I read a book (granted a kids bedtime story type) but the hen in it was like 10 or so named Josephina lol
 

Sylvester017

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 29, 2012
7,466
1,613
421
So. Calif.
I was wondering how long a CCX rooster would live and how big it would get, if you didn't process it at at 9 weeks.
The likelihood of a large CCX living much past 6 months without some ailment like large internal organs, heavy muscular growth on weak skeletal structure, cracked/splintered leg bones, or some other malady prone to CCX is slim. CCX have been engineered/crossed to be processed by 8 to 10 weeks -- they are large heavy meaty juveniles. They are difficult to keep alive even as chicks. My friend experimented with a dozen CCX chicks and they are so lethargic and heavy that they are easily picked off/killed by crows through coop wire. Some CCX are so lethargic/heavy they can't walk 10 steps to get to their waterer and die from thirst. The Self-Sufficient HomeAcre site says they processed some CCX but one pullet was too small so they allowed her some extra time to grow out. Well, she never grew grotesque like her CCX flockmates and stayed relatively small, lived a comfortable physical health, and turned out to be one of their best egg layers -- but she was a rare exception. CCX even on a limited diet to prevent fast muscle growth on slow-growing skeletal bones, it's still an iffy endeavor to get them to make it to 6 months without some physical debilitation. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try if you wanted to allow CCX to live past 8 or 10 weeks to see how much meatier they get but without a restricted diet regimen to slow their fast growth or without plenty of grazing grass in a chicken tractor it's difficult to keep them healthy after they develop that wide grotesque body of theirs. Another thing to consider about CCX is that the younger they are butchered the less tasty their meat. My friend had to brine her processed CCX for 24 hours prior to cooking to give the flesh any kind of flavor. The restaurant, fast-food industry, and supermarket chickens are 95% CCX. Think about restaurants or fast-food chicken dishes that are so highly seasoned, sauced, or breaded, just to give the chicken meat any kind of flavor.
 

Sylvester017

Crowing
7 Years
Nov 29, 2012
7,466
1,613
421
So. Calif.
The humane rescue farm, Black Hen Farm in Santa Cruz, CA, claims a chicken can live up to 25 years although I haven't seen anyone claim having a chicken live that old. The oldest living Silkie is recorded at 17 years with most Silkie owners claiming 8 to 12 years average for their Silkies. My oldest Silkie is 51/2 yrs but she is already showing signs of slowing down. She still toodles around foraging but has never been a truly spunky personality so we'll see how things go for her. We have another Silkie approaching 5 yrs soon and she is much more active and spunky.
 

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