Average Lifespan of a Chicken: How Long Do Chickens Live?

Every newbie chicken raisers have a question: What is the average lifespan of a chicken and how long do my chickens live? In this guide, we will find out the correct answers.

Most of the time we see that similar breeds sometimes undergo drastically different lifespans if we raise them naturally. Here we will share with you our personal experience about chicken age.

Also, we will discuss the average breed by breed life expectancy. Like other animals, there are different breeds of chickens are available worldwide.

So, the average lifespan of chickens mostly depends upon various factors like breed gene, weather, feed, safety, vaccination, disease, etc. So, sometimes it’s very hard to know the exact lifespan for mixed and hybrid chickens.

Although a chicken’s lifespan is usually about eight years. As I have told you, the life of a chicken is based on several variables, comprising species, lifestyle, and climate?

What is The Average Lifespan of a Chicken?

The average lifespan of a chicken is around 3-7 years naturally. That is such a broad range? This might be perhaps because of so many distinct types of chicken breeds under a wide variety of circumstances.

For example, a well-cared hen, which is kept protected from predators, might live for as much as 12 years. But on the other side, chickens bred for meat like broilers have a very short life.

Since there are so many chicken breeds, each to their period of life, the durability is better reflected on the case-by-case level.

Examples of Lifespan in Few Chicken Breeds

1. Rhode Island Red Chicken Lifespan

Rhode Island Reds Lifespan
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Rhode Island Red

How long do the Rhode Island chickens live?

A Rhode Island Red, the classic heritage type, could be reared for both meat and eggs (dual-purpose use). As it is a heritage chicken, this is kind of the same genetic stock as when it was first to come in.

Such chickens can withstand most environmental conditions and well tolerate all confinement or free-range environments. Rhode Island Reds have an average lifespan of 5-8 years or more with better caring.

2. Cornish Rock Chicken Lifespan

Lfespan of Cornish Rock chickens
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Cornish Rock Chicken (pxfuel.com)

How long do the Cornish Rock chickens live?

If we regulate a good feed to the Cornish Rock chickens may live a full life. However, Cornish Rock crossings develop health issues, including arthritis before eight weeks of age because of their rapid development.

If we raise chickens for short periods like Broilers and Cornish Rocks they put a lot of fat on their body. It is the major cause of their short lifespan and durability.

Their mass is much greater than their frame could accommodate and hold these birds for much over 8 weeks is not advisable. The average life expectancy of Cornish Rock chicken is around 6 months to 1 year.

3. Hy-Line Brown Chicken Lifespan

Lfespan of Hy-line Brown chickens
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Hy-Line Brown Chicken

How long do the Hy-line Brown chickens live?

Hy-Line Browns were also cheaper to buy and have a slightly shorter lifespan compared to a good, true breed of chicken–it may be for the greater production of eggs born into such chickens. They have only 5-6 years of lifespan.

4. Buff Orpington Chicken Lifesoan

Buff Orpingtons Lifespan
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A Buff Orpington Hen

How long do the Orpington chickens live?

A Buff Orpington Chicken is my favorite heritage breed. They may live longer than in other breeds’ mean birds. 

It requires a lot of time to get all the Orpington chicken too nervous, as a laid-back, docile creature. When produced in perfect conditions, this chicken can live for 8 years more naturally.

5. Silkie Chicken Lifespan

How long do the Silkie chickens live?
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Silkie Chicken

How long do the Silkie chickens live?

Silkie chickens on average live around 7-9 years. There are certain things you could do to guarantee they live a full long or successful life. We have seen few Silkie have a life expectancy of around 12-13 years.

Above are a few examples of chickens to explain to you how much variation of lifespan you can see from one chicken breed to another.

Factors that Affect Lifespan of A Chicken

Whether it’s a heritage or hybrid chicken there are a few key factors that help us to decide the average lifespan of a chicken. Also, you can take care of these factors so that your chickens can live a little bit more life.

1. Disease

The major cause of decreased lifespan in chickens is repeated diseases with no medicinal treatments. Most of the poultry diseases are very harmful to flocks which may cause death.

Not only these small problems such as parasites, mites, lice, will slowly exhaust a chicken’s nutritional reserve or reduce the total lifespan. In worm infestation, various types of worms internal and external attack chickens’ bodies.

They suck blood and nutrients Here is our guide on chicken dewormers and worm infestation.

To support and minimize these issues and encourage your chickens to live longer, healthier lives, try to feed a healthy, nutritious meal to your chickens if you are keeping them in a close coop.

Various pathogens of poultry were widely studied in recent times, the findings of which suggest that hens who live in cramped live environments are more likely to suffer from communicable diseases.

This one instance was the outbreak with avian influenza, which killed 90% of all its victims within crowded commercial environments. Also, do proper vaccination of your flocks.

2. Housing and Care

Luckily, that isn’t a factor that plays its role in the lifespan of a chicken, even if you were contemplating the life of a bird. The chicken coop is much better now than it used to be.

Several years ago, chickens also used to live inside large barns with other animals and livestock. While there were some advantages to this, it’s quite common for chickens to be still trampled on by greater animals.

Besides, animals could also get inside, so chickens might freeze to death. Some people didn’t keep their chickens living coop or tractor. Just let them fend to themselves, decreasing their lifespan because of climate and predator attacks.

Nowadays, people have uniquely constructed coops that are constructed to secure them during the summer or winter months. Your chickens would not only be safe from one of the harshest weathers, but they will also be safe from predators.

Here is a list of the Best Portable Chicken Coops or Tractors For your Farming.

3. Nutrition

Another way wherein the chicken’s life expectancy has improved is by diet or nutrition. Throughout the past, chickens ate table scraps or whatever the farmer threw away. Check out the list of some best vitamins for chickens.

Today, however, chickens have access to feed that is specifically manufactured for their every single phase of life. This diet helps to improve the growth of a chicken so it can survive.

There are forms that you can control the diet with your chickens to help them suffer longer, healthier lives. You can also treat your chicken occasionally with other nutritious things. Read a complete list of more than 120 treats that a chicken can eat.

For example, you might like to avoid eating many such medications because they can cause obesity, or you also might want to prevent major protein. Not only does this add to weight issues, and it can also cause kidney disease.

4. Genetics

In the back days, many did not treat the chickens as pets. Farmers bring them up for eggs, and sometimes even for meat. Truly little interest has been paid to the lifespan, health, and other genetic characteristics of a bird.

Beginning in the 19th century, people began gathering chickens or playing about with genetics to see how they can better suit our human needs or desires.

More wild behavior was suppressed, it developed although few hybrid chickens that contributed to a reduction in survival, other breeds have seen a rise.

Also, most of the free-range and open area living chickens with friendly genes are seen to be longer life than large size chickens.

5. Breed of The Chicken

The tenacity or intellect of the breed is yet another aspect to remember apart from genetics. Although it may seem a little unfair to say, some chickens are smarter than others.

Certain chickens, particularly while free-ranging, are quite attentive to their environment, while some wander blindly towards danger.

Much of these attributes are passed on from a generation, which can help to boost the average lifetime of a chicken. An intelligent bird is far less likely to fall prey to a predator, so that’s a particularly beneficial trait when it relates to evolution.

Remember though that these features are mostly breed-specific, they are often unique to only one or two people in a flock. If you still can try to keep certain chickens along as breeders. It’s lucky to get those traits!

6. Gender

The final factor which can affect the lifespan of a chicken is gender. This is important in the context of people; roosters just don’t last as much as hens.

Of course, this depends on several other things because roosters don’t last as much as hens. This is possible because of their propensity to drive against a threat rather than an escape. This may cause them to fall prey to a few attacks.

Although if raised under the same environment as hens and there are no environmental risks, a rooster has the potential (health-wise) to survive almost and a hen.

You can also read our details comparison on Hen Vs Rooster.


You can expect a lifespan of a chicken in hybrid forms to live in about 6-8 years naturally, as a rule; this can differ from bird to bird and various factors described above.

We can say the average age is about 8 years. Landrace chickens are primarily robust, self-sufficient, and have a strong genetic foundation as well, so we expect them to live to a praiseworthy age of over 8 years.

The oldest hen that ever tape-recorded is Matilda, who created the Guinness World Records (GWR) at sixteen years of age.

As a simple law, hens that have a pleasant shelter, food, and care can expose the all-natural behavior for thriving. If they are safe, happy, and well cared for their body’s immune system is still in excellent condition to fend off the potential threats of illness.

I hope this article solved your confusion on the average lifespan of a chicken. Also, you might know how long do your chickens can live?

Bijaya Kumar
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