A chickens lifespan gets depends on several factors. Some breeds are stronger than others, but even that is no guarantee. On average, chickens live to be 5 to 10 years old, but very occasionally they even reach an age of up to 20 years!
Small chickens get older
The average life expectancy of chickens in our gardens is about 10 years. However, there are big deviations, both up and down. This is primarily due to the breed. The typical brown laying hens often do not get older than 3 to 5 years. This is because they are bred to lay an extreme amount of eggs. They overwork their bodies and are often exhausted at a young age.
Hobby chickens that lay the occasional egg can last much longer. They reach an average age of 10 years. In addition, small breeds, such as bantams and silky chickens, generally live longer than large breeds, such as Brahmas.
Average chickens lifespan
The average life expectancy of chickens not raised for meat varies greatly by breed. The “common” brown hen lives to be about 3 years old. On average, a chickens lifespan is about 10 years, although this depends greatly on the breed. In fact, there are outliers of breeds that can live to be 20 years or even a bit older!
Chickens in the industry
The animals used for human consumption have a much shorter life. Because the point here is to produce meat as efficiently as possible, these chickens live no longer than until they have enough meat on their bones. As a result, the conventional chicken (plump chicken) lives only about 42 days and at that point is already about 2 pounds. A free-range chicken has a longer life, reaching about 56 to 63 days old. The organic chicken, with an average age of 70 to 81 days, becomes the “oldest” of the chickens in the organic industry.
Good living conditions
Not only the breed determines how old your animal gets, you can also do a lot yourself. It goes without saying that a healthy chicken will age. So provide a coop that is cleaned regularly, a large run, quality feed, fresh water and a high fence that keeps out predators. Protect your chickens from pests and worm them regularly. Is your chicken behaving differently than usual? Then take it to the vet quickly, before it’s too late. Chickens are prey animals; they do not easily show that they are not feeling well. When they do behave differently, it’s often high time to intervene!
Mental health is also important for your chicken’s well-being. Chickens are group animals, so never keep them alone. Give them something to do, for example by offering food in different ways. The wider the run, the more space they have to scavenge. Provide plenty of laying nests in the coop and a stick to sleep on.
The oldest chicken in the world
Very occasionally you get to deal with a really old chicken. The very first chicken to make it into the Guinness Book of World Records because of her age was Matilda. She died in 2006 at the age of 16. Matilda never laid an egg in her long life, which is probably part of the reason she lived to be so old. Moreover, she lived a very sheltered life in the house, as part of a magic act. So she hardly came into contact with diseases and other dangers.
After Matilda came Muffy, who lived to be 22 years old. She died in 2011 and still holds the title of “oldest living chicken ever” to her name.