HOW LONG DO CHICKENS LIVE?

How long do chickens live?

How long do chickens live?

 
Chickens tend to have short lifespans, but that doesn't mean they can't live to a very old age! Many factors determine the age of chickens, including genetics, hereditary diseases, breeding, environmental conditions, predator risks, diet and daily care. Despite all these risks, you can help your flock live a healthy and productive life with proper care and nutrition! 

How long do chickens live?

The average lifespan of a chicken is about 5 to 10 years. This is a broad average, but you have to take into account many different types of chickens. The type of chicken plays a role in its longevity.

 Here are the average lifespans of some common chicken breeds:

  • Isa Browns: 2-3 years
  •  Rhode Island Red: 5-8 years
  •  Plymouth Rock: 8-10 years
  •  Silkie: 7-9 years
  •  Orpington: 8-10 years
  • Leghorn: 4-6 years
  •  Wyandotte: 6-12 years
  • Australorpe: 6-10 years
  •  Cochin: 8-10 years
  •  Easter Eggers: 8-10 years

 Even among chickens of the same species, some species or types (colors) of the species can be longer than the lifespan. In general, breeds of chickens raised for laying eggs or meat will have the shortest lifespans and heritage or landrace breeds of chickens will have the longest lifespans. 

Longevity and productive lifespan are two different things. Chickens may be long-lived but short productive lifespan. Productive lifespan is the length of time a hen is capable of laying eggs. Most types of poultry live a productive life of about 2 to 3 years. Dual-purpose and heritage chicken breeds tend to have longer lifespans, but they don't lay eggs as hard as their productive lifespans as production breeds. 

Read also:WHAT DO CHICKENS EAT TO GROW BIG?

Do hen live longer than roosters?

 In many cases, a roosters natural lifespan is the same as that of the hens of his breed. On average, a rooster's lifespan is about 5 to 8 years. Sometimes, a rooster's life span can exceed that of his hen because he is not under the stress of producing eggs. On the other hand, he is the one who protects his flock and often puts himself in dangerous situations to protect his flock, which can shorten their lives.

Predators and friendliness are two things that can limit a rooster's life. Protective roosters always guard their flocks to death, which obviously does not help longevity. However, when predaor measures are implemented around chickens and coops, the rooster's role in protecting the flock is not endangered. He can live a healthy and productive life without any wild animals threatening him or his flock. 

The Rooster's kindness can also be useful in his life. Chickens that are overprotective of their flock can be intimidating to their caretakers, and are often cared for in ways that will shorten their lives. However, even a cruel rooster can find a new home. Free range, less contact, more roosters are good for roosters who are keeping the boundaries of their lives without harming people.

What types of chicken breed live longer?
 
A chicken's lifespan will depend on its breed. There are four common types of chicken breeds that can fall into and that can explain the longevity of the animal.
 
Hybrid chickens

 hybrid  chicken have the shortest lifespan, about 3 to 5 years. Hybrid chickens usually grow faster, mature early and are bred for higher production rates. The result of rapid growth and high production demands a lot from the chicken's body, shortening its lifespan. Production chickens are also more prone to diseases such as cancer, organ failure or heart attacks due to genetic defects in high production breeds. Hybrid chickens raised for egg production are usually replaced after two years, making longevity unnecessary in the commercial egg industry. The same is true of hybrid chickens that are raised for meat production, where they are bred to grow quickly and are slaughtered before they reach the age of one year. Some examples of hybrid chicken breeds include Isa Brown chickens and Cornish Rocks. 

Dual-purpose chicken

Dual-purpose chicken breeds have longer lifespans than hybrid chicken breeds. Dual purpose breed chicken can be either a heritage breed or a hybrid breed. Chickens are reared with dual purpose for egg production and meat production. The average lifespan of a dual chicken is about 6-8 years. Chickens from two purpose breeds grow at a better rate and mature more slowly than hybrid production breeds. Energy production does not increase once the bird reaches maturity. Some dual purpose chicken breeds include Black Stars, Austra Whites and Sapphire Gems. 

Heritage chicken breeds 

have a longer lifespan than two breeds or hybrids. Heritage chicken breeds have an average lifespan of about 8 to 10 years. They have a fast growth rate which allows them to reach maturity before they start laying eggs. For many heritage chicken breeders, preserving the breed's genetics is very important. Clean genetics make birds healthier, stronger and disease-free. Heritage chicken breeds accepted by the American Poultry Association or the American Bantam Association must meet breed standards. As chicken breeds are considered heritage, they must be long-lived. Some examples of heritage chicken breeds include Australorps, Brahmas, Cochins, Buckeyes, Rhode Island Reds, and Plymouth Rocks. 

Landrace chickens breeds

Landrace chickens breeds are known to live longer. Landrace chickens can live more than 10 years. What makes the landrace chicken species unique is that they thrive without human intervention. They often adapt to their environment and bring in clean genes. Due to the unmistakable genetic inheritance, landrace chickens often have a strong immune system, making them less susceptible to many diseases and poultry conditions. Some examples of landrace chicken breeds include Icelandic chickens, Hedemoras, Swedish Black Hens, and Swedish Flower Hens. 

Read also:HOW TO REDUCE POULTRY LOSSES(MORTALITY) AND INCREASE PROFITS

6 factors affect the lifespan of chickens
 
Besides the type of chicken, many other factors also affect the life of the chicken. Some of these are things you can control to help your flock live a long and productive life.

 1. Diet
 
Chicken feed will play an important role in improving his health, which affects his life. Inadequate or incorrect feeding can lead to malnutrition which can shorten the life of chickens. A healthy diet also helps chickens develop a strong immune system to fight disease. 

2. Environment
 
The place where the chicken is raised will also affect its life. Chickens that are raised in the environment and exposed to the outdoors will be able to develop immunity against various pathogens in the environment. Natural immunity in the environment means that chickens can get better as they age. 

3. Genetics 

Genetics play an important role in a chicken's appearance, but they can also play a role in a chicken's health. Breeders can choose to specifically breed birds that will increase the longevity of the breed. A clean, sterile gene results in disease-resistant birds. Healthy chickens usually do not develop diseases such as organ failure, seizures or heart attacks. In general, hatcheries and large farms do not pay attention to good genetics. Breeders and small farms often specialize in certain breeds and pay close attention to the genetics of their chickens.

 4. Free ranging

Free range can have two effects on the life of your flock. Free range gives your flock the opportunity to eat meat and get plenty of exercise. These two factors make the bird healthier, which will lead to a longer life. On the other hand, free-ranging birds tend to be carnivorous. Protecting the coop and chickens from predators can be a fine balance between allowing your flock to live a healthy life while trying to protect them.

5. Veterinary care 

 Another factor that can affect the quality of life of chickens is the how much vertinary care you can provide to your flock. First aid for chickens and the treatment of common chicken diseases are often skills that most backyard chicken keepers can learn on their own. However, getting a professional veterinarian who can take care of chickens, or even better, getting a veterinarian, can help when chickens are sick. 

6. Disease
 
Finally, disease and parasites are two important factors that can limit the life of chickens. While all the things mentioned above help keep your chicken  healthy and disease-free, diseases and parasites can occur. Some common poultry diseases to be aware of include Marek's disease, coccidiosis, internal and external parasites, and bumblebee. Practicing good biosecurity practices can help reduce your chickens exposure to disease and parasites.

 Here are some simple biosecurity practices to implement to help your backyard sheep stay healthy:
 

  •  Don't borrow poultry or equipment to farmers.
  • Have shoes specifically for chicken work and even some clothes that you only wear with your flock 
  • Minimize all contact of your f;ock with wild birds
  •   Clean the chicken coop and chicken coop regularly
  • Prevent the accumulation of feces or the formation of a muddy area in the chicken house 
  • Always give your flock clean drinking water

Conclusion:
 
Chickens can live to old age if they are raised properly, fed nutritious food, and trained well. Keep in mind that no matter how well you take care of your flock, it is the type of chicken that can depend on the life of some chickens. Some breeds of chickens are shorter than others. However, by keeping your flock healthy and feeding them a nutritious and balanced diet, you can help them stay productive and live a happy life on your farm!

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