General Question

srmorgan's avatar

Assuming that he is not destined for the stock pot, what is the life expectancy of a chicken?

Asked by srmorgan (6084 points ) December 6th, 2013

Most fowl are destined for consumption, but if you had barnyard chickens, used, say as egg-layers only. How long would they live?

(I am a city kid from The Bronx, raised nowhere near a farm)
Just curious

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

http://www.backyardpoultrymag.com/5-1/top_10_chicken_questions_answered/

#2. How long do chickens live?

The life expectancy of most standard chicken breeds shielded from predators and deep fryers can range from 8 to 15 years. There are many reports of pet chickens living as long as 20 years! With the increasing popularity of raising chickens as pets, I imagine someone will develop a new line of chicken coops such as nursing coops or assisted living coops for the growing population of elderly chickens. All joking aside, chickens are very hardy animals that rarely need a trip to a veterinarian, no matter how long they live.

This sounds like a great magazine (and remember that hens make better soup than roosters, please).

Coloma's avatar

Yes, @gailcalled is correct. I had a banty hen “Gertrude” that was still hatching chicks at the tender age of 10, and my goose Marwyn is 15. Geese can easily live into their 20’s, some longer, if they do not get their necks wrung by a predator.

Coloma's avatar

Chickens also have amazing healing powers. They can be severely wounded and recover. They heal remarkably well from serious wounds. I had a hen that had a huge bite taken out of her side under the wing by something.

Cleaned the wound well, put her on an antibiotic for a week, kept her in a screened box so no flies could get to the wound.
The giant hole in her body just filled in and she was up and running around doing chicken things again in no time.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
wildpotato's avatar

@Coloma One of our little peeps got attacked by something that partially eviscerated him, and the vet just cleaned him, poked his intestines back in and sewed him up and within four days we couldn’t tell him from the other chicks.

Coloma's avatar

@wildpotato Awesome! Yes, they are hardy little things for the most part, prone to a few conditions, illnesses, but, all in all, resilient birds.

gailcalled's avatar

@wildpotato: That is a story that warms my heart, as does the idea of “assisted living coops.” The guy who wrote the article about “Ten Top Chicken Questions Answered” sounds like he’d be fun to hang out with.

Smitha's avatar

@gailcalled is right.
I’ve heard 5–7 years on average but can go upto 22 but it’s very rare for a chicken to live that long. My friend’s hen is 10 years old and still laying.

Blueroses's avatar

My friend has an 9-year-old rooster and a 6-year-old hen.
They raise a lot of fowl for fair competitions and for home use and those are the oldest natural-lived birds (free range, no cages, natural predators).
They are still going… I saw that rooster kick some sense into a shepherd dog. (And that hen is a righteous bitch!)

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