Owning chickens will make you wonder about a lot of things. One of the things you’ll wonder about is how long chickens live. Most people will raise a chicken not knowing how long they will live and will be saddened by it when their chicken die. If you know the lifespan of your chicken, this will let you know when you can expect to have them around.
In this short guide, we’ll go further in-depth on the lifespan of the chickens. Also, we’ll let you know what you can do to keep your chickens living longer.
How Long Do Chickens Live?
When it comes to how long chickens live, it will depend on many factors. Some factors include the breeds, sex, and how often they lay eggs. All of these contribute to how long the chickens will live.
Generally, chickens can live for between 5-10 years.
Below we’ll go more in-depth on the lifespan of each type of chicken.
Of all the chickens, this type of chicken will have the shortest lifespan. Most broilers will only live for 18-24 months.
Most people will think it’s due to the chicken being butchered, but it’s really not the case. Broiler chickens don’t live for a very long time because they tend to grow very fast.
These chickens are bred to grow quickly in little time. From the time they are born, they will reach full maturity in a few months. At this point, their bodies are heavy and oversized.
All the weight on the chicken makes it difficult for them to move around. Also, their heart will have a hard time keeping up to supply the needed oxygen.
Therefore, if the broilers are not butchered, they will still have a short lifespan.
Egg Producers Lifespan
When it comes to hens that lay eggs, they tend to live for about 3-5 years. Their body is put under a lot of stress to produce eggs.
An average hen will produce more than 250 eggs a year. Some will even produce more than that.
Since these prolific egg layers use a lot of their energy for eggs, they tend to not live very long.
Their body is always under stress which they typically suffer from reproductive illnesses. Due to that reason, they have a hard time keeping their immunities up.
Most of them will end up having chronic egg binding, egg yolk peritonitis, and other reproductive deformities.
If you want them egg producer to live more than 5 years, you should get a breed that lay less than 250 eggs a year.
For the average rooster, they will live for about 8-10 years. Unfortunately, most will never live for that long. It’s not for the reason you might think.
Roosters tend to not live that long due to their duties. Their main duty is to protect their flock. For most roosters, they take their job very seriously and for that reason, they will die an early death.
Whether it’s dying from wounds they sustain fighting another rooster or fighting a predator. Therefore, most roosters will live for only about 5-8 years.
However, if you provide the same setup as the females, they can live to their expected lifespan of 10 years and even longer. So if you want them to live for that long, keep them safe from predators and other roosters.
The Longest Living Chicken Breeds
There are some chickens that have been bred to live for a very long time. Most are able to live for 10 years or longer.
Below are some breeds you can expect to have a very long lifespan:
- Rhode Island Reds
- Plymouth Rocks
The Shortest Living Chicken Breeds
Broilers and egg producers will almost always have the shortest lifespans. If you’re not looking to keep your chickens for a very long time, these breeds are ideal for you.
- Golden Comet
- Cornish Hen
These breeds are mostly used for meat and eggs only.
How Do I Get My Chicken To Live Longer?
Chickens will usually live for a long time if there is no stress in their lives. This means they don’t have to worry about predators, no shortage of food, and don’t need to lay eggs.
For most chickens, this is never the case as there will always be something that will cause them to be stressed.
If you want to keep your chickens living for as long as possible, here are some things to consider:
The breed of the chickens plays an important role in how long they will live. With the best care you can give them, if their breeds are known to live for only 5 years, you can’t make them live past that.
Broiler chickens have a lifespan of only 2 years or less. If you take care of them very well and feed them a well-balanced diet, they will still live to only 2 years.
For that reason, choose a breed that’s known for its longevity.
The next on the list is genetics. Chickens that are known to have genetic defects will have a very short lifespan.
When choosing a chicken, make sure you only choose one that doesn’t have any genetic defects.
It’s best to find breeders who specialize in pet chickens. When it comes to these types of chickens, the breeder will usually choose the ones with the best genetic.
These are bred to live for a very long time. Most will live past the ten-year mark.
The third on the list is their diet. What the chicken eat will result in how healthy they will be. The healthier the chicken is, the longer it will live.
For chickens, there are many types of feeds available on the market. There are starter feeds, growers, and layer feeds. There are a couple more, but these are the popular choice for chickens. Each of these feeds is specifically made for each type of chicken.
If you don’t provide them the diet that the chicken requires, it will result in them having a short lifespan.
The most common reason for premature death in chickens is predators. Chicken makes a tasty and nutritious meal for many predators. Some of them include foxes, raccoons, minks, hawks, and snakes.
To keep them safe, you should provide them with a coop that no predators can get in. This is especially true at night when most of these predators are out on the prowl for prey.
Besides a well-sealed coop, you should install chicken wire around the perimeter of the coop. Also, it will be a good idea to install motion detection sensors all around the coop as well.
The longer the chicken lives, the more they are prone to diseases. It’s something that can’t be avoided, especially if you allow them to roam freely throughout the yard.
If the chicken does get ill from a disease, they are very good at hiding it. Chickens are at the bottom of the food chain, and it will make them an easy target for predators if they appear to be ill or weak.
The best solution to preventing any illness is to do a health check every few days. You can monitor their eating and drinking habitat. If they seem to eat and drink differently, it should be a cause for concern.
Chickens that live in a filthy environment will most likely live a very short lifespan.
The coop should be kept clean at all times. Over time from not cleaning the coop, feces and urine will start to build up. This will cause ammonia to build up as well.
Due to all the feces and urine being left in the coop for too long, the ammonia will make the chicken sick. This ammonia causes respiratory infections and leads to many other health problems.
Besides the chickens getting sick, a dirty coop also increases the chances of them getting parasites, mites, and bacterial infections.
Chickens are hardy animals and can withstand cold and hot weather. However, when the season changes, they tend to get sick easily.
During the spring, it will usually rain a lot. Due to the constant fluctuations in temperature, chickens will get ill from it.
The same goes for the fall when the temperature starts to get colder.
To keep them from becoming ill, you should provide them protection from the elements such as rain and snow.
Most chickens will live for about 5-10 years. With the proper care, choosing the right breed, and feeding them a well-balanced diet, your chicken can live for a very long time.