How Long Does a Rooster Live?

A rooster is usually needed if you have a flock of chickens. The rooster’s job is to protect the flock from any danger, whether it’s from predators, other roosters, and even humans. If you’re planning to get a rooster or already have one, you may wonder how long they can live for.

So, how long does a rooster live? A rooster will typically live between 8 and 15 years. How long they live is determined by factors such as health, environment, lifestyle, and diet.

How Long Does a Rooster Live In Captivity?

Roosters that are raised in captivity will live for a long time. The average life expectancy is about 5-8 years, but are known to live up to 15 years.

In captivity, the roosters don’t endure much stress like their counterpart that lives in the wild.

Roosters that live on the farm get plenty of food without having to go look for it, they have shelters at night, and predators are less likely to kill them due to the owner providing protection.

How Long Does a Rooster Live In The Wild?

In the wild, roosters do not live a long life. Their life expectancy is about 2-5 years. This is due to many factors such as competition from other roosters, predators, and their diet.

Predators are around the flock day and night. This will cause the rooster to be on alert at all times. By needing to be on the lookout constantly, it will cause them to be stressed.

Another thing that affects their life expectancy is competition. Roosters are always competing against other roosters for their flock.

What Affects The Rooster Life Expectancy?

There are several factors that will affect the life expectancy of the roosters.

Below are the main factors that affect how long they live:


What they are fed will determine how long they can live. Of course, a rooster that has an overall diet of food that provides them with all the nutrition they need will live for a very long time.

On the other hand, a rooster that doesn’t get the proper amount of nutrition will have a short life.


Roosters are very territorial, and they will do everything to protect their flock. They will fight predators that try to harm the hens. Also, the rooster will even fight other roosters that try to invade their territory. Roosters will fight to the death to make sure their flock is safe.

All of this will cause the rooster to become stressed. The more stressed the rooster is, the shorter they will live.

Hereditary Conditions

Sometimes, it can be hereditary, which will shorten their life span. If that’s the case, it’s not something that you can do.

Therefore, it’s best to try to pick a rooster that has good genetic.

Environment Conditions

A rooster that lives in an environment where they don’t have to worry about a lot of things, tends to live a long life.

If they are in an environment where they are always on the watch for predators or even other roosters, it will cause them stress. The more stress they have, the shorter their life will be.

How Long Do Bantam Roosters Live?

Bantam roosters tend to not live very long, even in captivity. These breed of roosters are small, which makes them more susceptible to weather conditions.

They tend to get sick easily even if you provide them all the care and food they need.

Typically, bantam roosters live around 5-6 years. If they are well cared for, they may live upwards of 8 years. There are some that live for much longer, but it’s rare to see one.

How Can You Tell How Old a Rooster Is?

When it comes to determining the exact age of rooster, it’s not that easy. However, there are a few simple ways you can apply to figure out the age of a rooster.

Below are some of the common signs that will help you determine the age of the rooster:


When the roosters molt, they don’t change all the feathers on their bodies. Some of the feathers will stay on their bodies throughout their entire life. The feathers are faded, and you can tell the difference from newly grown ones.


A young rooster, also known as a cockerel, will have colored smooth legs with small spurs. As they begin to age and become a rooster, their legs will change. The spurs will grow longer and start to curve. The color of their legs will be faded and look worn out.

Another way to determine their age is to look at the spurs. There will be a few rings around it. You can count the rings on the spurs to know the age of the rooster in years.

Comb and Face

The comb and face will have scars as the rooster ages. This is a result of constantly squabbling with each other.

Also, on the comb, if there is one or more missing, that means the rooster is at least one breeding season old.

Related Questions

When does a cockerel change into a rooster?

A cockerel is a young rooster that has not matured yet. When they have matured, they are allowed to roost with the other flocks of the same kind. When the cockerel reaches about 1 year, they are fully grown. Therefore, a cockerel will change into a rooster at the age of about 1 year.