“I poop breakfast; what is your superpower?” These superpower birds have become one of the most productive pets for many people, and maybe you are one of them who love to pet chicken. However, do you know how long do chickens live? You would have known it already but if you don’t know, do not worry! This blog will help you to know that and also make you understand other important things related to chickens that can affect their life from their breeds to their diets.
Of course, you would like to have your pet by your side for a longer time span; therefore, you should be clear with all these things so that you can help them live a long, happy life.
How Long Do Chickens Live For On An Average Basis?
There was a time when people kept chickens only for food purposes, but now the world is changing, and so are their habits and choices. Now numerous people all over the world prefer to have chickens as their pets. Cats, dogs, beautiful small birds are some of the common choices that pop up in your mind, but chicken can be a good pet too, in fact, a productive pet you can ever have.
However, like other pets, these do not live for a very long time too. On an average basis, chickens live for five to ten years, but there are a number of factors that can actually decide how long your chicken will live. One of the most important factors is breed and the category the species falls into.
Different Categories of Chicken & Their Life Span
There are basically three categories of breeds: Production, Dual Purpose & Heritage.
Production chickens are the ones that are raised for the special purpose of eggs or meat. They tend to grow faster and reach their maturity quickly so that they can serve the purpose they are raised for. However, when it comes to the lifespan of these chickens, they do not serve the best. On average, the production chickens live for about three to five years,i.e., they live for a very short period.
Dual Purpose Chickens
Dual-purpose chickens are also ones that are raised for productive purposes,i.e., eggs and meat. However, these chickens are not specialized as production chickens, so they have some different traits. Dual-purpose chickens do not reach their maturity as quickly as production chickens and tend to live for a longer time than production chickens. They live for up to six to eight years.
Heritage Chicken Breeds
These are one of the longest living categories of chickens. These chickens are not raised for dinner purposes like production and dual-purpose chickens. Because these are often grown in a natural environment, they tend to have slow growth and live longer than the other two categories. Most of the heritage chickens live for at least eight years, while some can make it for ten years.
“One chicken of a category live for just a few years while other chickens of the same category live for a much longer time” – This generally happens, and that is because of different factors that affect their lifestyle.
Different Factors That Decide How Long Do Chickens Live
Being a production chicken, a dual-purpose chicken, or heritage chicken can greatly affect the lifespan of the bird, but there are some other factors too that play a crucial role in a chicken’s lifespan.
#1 Housing & Living Conditions
Living conditions play a very important role in everybody’s life, and the same goes for the chickens, or you can say hens. A chicken having a proper shelter leading a happy and healthy life will obviously live for a longer period than the one with no proper shelter, with no healthy diet. Some major concerns you should focus on to give your chickens a quality life are:-
- Building a fortress for your chickens so that they can get a safer place to stay.
- Make sure that there is enough space in your chickens’ coop so that they can live freely there without attacking each other.
- Make sure to create a temperature control environment for them. Keep them under the roof in harsh weather conditions like snow and rain and during hot days, make sure to offer them an airly cool environment.
- Also, keep in mind that you also have to protect your chickens from dust and dirt along with different weather conditions as these can cause respiratory diseases to your birds.
If you keep the above-mentioned concerns in your mind, it will help you create a more healthy living environment for your chickens that may help them live for a longer time.
#2 Health Problems
Like cats and dogs, chickens can have health issues, too, that you should never ignore. For instance, they can catch some infections from parasites, and some of them may not seem severe to you but can seriously affect their health and can also lead to their death. Some of the major diseases that chickens can suffer from are:
- Coccidiosis targets a chicken’s gut and results in lost appetite. Also, it erases the ability of the chicken’s body to absorb nutrients.
- Fowl Pox impedes the growth of a chicken and can also cause an inability in them to lay eggs. What can be more dangerous for a chicken than an inability to lay eggs?
- Fowl Cholera, one of the most dangerous diseases that can lead to the immediate death of an affected bird. It majorly targets a chicken’s organs and joints. However, this disease mostly affects roosters (an adult male bird) more often than hens.
- Avian influenza (bird flu) is one of the most known bird diseases that not only spread from bird to bird but can also spread from bird to human. The most common way used to stop the spreading of disease is to kill the affected chicken.
All of the above-mentioned diseases can be harmful to your chicken’s health and can directly affect its lifespan too. So, do not ignore your chicken’s health if you want it to stay longer by your side, and if there is a need, do call the veterinarian.
It is important to know how often your chicken can lay eggs. Check it with this article.
#3 Regular Checkup
As regular health checkups can help humans live a healthy and long life, they can also help a chicken lead a longer lifespan. Yes, it may be difficult for you to find a perfect vet for your chicken as facilities for a chicken still lag far behind the facilities available for dogs and cats. However, take the help of your nouns or technology and get a perfect vet for your chicken so that you can take your feathery pet for regular checkups and also can help it with necessary vaccinations are important to protect it from different diseases.
Popular Chicken Breeds & Their Average Life Span
This breed is one of the most known breeds of Australia and generally falls in the dual-purpose category. Chickens belonging to this breed are awesome egg layers, and they can make up to six to ten years if they live in a healthy environment with proper care.
#7 ISA Browns
This is one of those breeds that are often used for commercial egg layers because of their excellent egg-laying capability. However, they are not able to make it for a much longer time. They generally live for around two to three years.
These are one of the calming chicken breeds that do not get affected by usual chicken stressors and do not require constant handling. However, their egg-laying capacity is not that good and their cool temperament and lower egg-laying capacity contribute to their longer lifespan of six to twelve years.
This breed’s chickens belong to the product category and thus have a shorter lifespan. They can normally makeup to four to six years and not more than that at all.
This is one of the other breeds that has a good temperament, and thus they are famous in the chicken world as a lovely chicken breed. They have a relaxed, tolerant nature and therefore do not require constant caring. Plus, this breed belongs to the heritage category, and both of these factors result in a longer lifespan of Orpingtons. They can easily make it to eight to ten years if they are properly taken care of.
#3 Plymouth Rocks
These are one with the longest life span that can live for up to eight to ten years. These are hardy birds that have the capacity to face different climatic conditions and rarely catch any disease. These factors contribute to their long lifespan.
This is one of the other hardy breeds that can make it up to a longer time period. However, they too have a low egg-laying capacity, and that is why they have a long lifespan of seven to nine years on a general basis.
#1 Rhode Island Reds
This breed is one of the most famous breeds of chicken that have a good laying capacity. They belong to heritage capacity that prefers to spend time outside. In spite of their good egg-laying ability, they have a longer lifespan. On an average basis, they live for about five to eight years but can also make up to a longer time than this if raised with proper care.
Above mentioned breeds are some of the famous breeds with their lifespans. Some breeds have a shorter lifespan, while some have a longer lifespan. Yes, other factors have a great impact on the life expectancy of chickens. However, the main factor that reflects how long chickens live is their breed and their egg-laying capacity. There is also a case that proves that a good, healthy lifestyle and a lower egg-laying ability can help a chicken to live for a longer timespan.
Matilda, World’s Oldest Living Chicken – Proves Different Factors Matter!
According to Guinness World Records, Matilda is the world’s oldest living chicken, born in 1990 and left away from the world on 11th February 2006. That means she made it to 16 years. She was the first chicken to receive the title of the longest living chicken and was also a famous television star. As per research, she had a life expectancy of just five to ten years, but she was able to live for about sixteen years, i.e., she lived for six more years than the expected lifespan.
The reason estimated for this surprising lifespan was that she never laid eggs, i.e., her body was never put under the strain of laying eggs. That is one of the most possible reasons that contributed to her longer lifespan, and this proves that besides breed, other factors matter too.
You can also have such a chicken; just make sure to take good care of her and follow some simple tips:-
- Build a good coop for your chickens. It will help your chicken to stay safe in different weather conditions and can also protect from dust and dirt that can prevent them from different respiratory issues.
- Prefer to have a long-living breed if you want your chicken to stay by your side for a longer time. If you are not sure of which breed is it and what its lifespan is, then ask the seller for how long do chickens live for different breeds.
- Find a good vet for your chicken, and make sure to take her for regular checkups. Also, do not ignore the symptoms that can reflect that your chicken is suffering from a health issue.
- Last but not least, make sure to serve high-quality food to your chicken. Let your chicken have all essential nutrients and if she is laying eggs, then make sure to add enough calcium to her diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1 How long backyard chickens live?
Backyard chickens mean heritage chickens. These are usually long-livers that normally live up to five to ten years and can also make it for more than this if properly cared for.
Q2 Do chickens get sad when their eggs are taken by others?
Several searches show that chickens do not get sad when somebody takes their eggs. It is a part of their life that they need to do, and they do not perform this part with the thought of hatching eggs. That is why they probably do not get sad when others take their eggs.
Q3 Why has my chicken never laid an egg, and how can I make her lay an egg?
Different breeds have different egg-laying capabilities, and that can also decide how long do chickens live. However, if your chicken is not laying an egg at all, then it may be because you are not able to fulfil your chicken’s dietary requirements, or maybe your chicken is suffering from any health issue. It will be better if you contact a veterinarian for the best advice.
Having a chicken as your pet is one of the best things as you have a productive pet. That’s wow! However, like cats and dogs, these also have a shorter lifespan, and you should know how long chickens live or should know how long can your chicken live. So that you would know in advance what and how much you should expect in your life and can also take the measures to have your pet have a happy, healthy life.
God knows it can also help your chicken to live for a longer lifespan than it is expected. Either it is a dog or a cat, or a chicken, make sure to take care of them. They are now part of your life.
Check out the life cycle of a chicken. Beautiful Story!