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

If you’ve recently started raising chickens, you may think, How long do chickens live? Read this complete guide to understand more about chicken’s lifespan.

It is said that similar breeds sometimes undergo drastically different lifespans. Here I will share with you my personal experience about chicken age and give you an average breed-by-breed look at 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 weather, feed, safety, vaccination, diseases, breed, etc.

Chickens have become popular pets for vast numbers of people nowadays. So, it’s essential to know something about what to expect.

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?

How long does chicken usually live?

The median chicken can live anywhere around 3 to 7 years. That is such a broad range? This might be perhaps because of so many distinct types of chicken lifespans 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 Few chicken breeds

1. Rhode Island Red Life Expectancy

Rhode Island Red Life Expectancy
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Rhode Island Red

A Rhode Island Red, the classic heritage type, could be reared for both meat and eggs. 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. 

They will live 8 years more than if loved and cared for.

2. Cornish Rock Chicken Life Expectancy

Cornish Rock Chicken Life Expectancy
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Cornish Rock Chicken (pxfuel.com)

Unless their diet is regulated, 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.

Also Read:  How to Raise Baby Chicks? Raising Chickens Tips : Week 1 to 20

In a very short amount of time that chickens are raised mainly to put on a lot of fat, not really for 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 is 5–6 years and some are shorter.

3. Hy-Line Brown Chicken Life Expectancy

Hy-Line Brown Chicken Life Expectancy
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60066Hy-Line Brown Chicken

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 3 years of lifespan.

4. Buff Orpington Chicken Life Expectancy

Buff Orpington Chicken Life Expectancy
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An Buff Orpington Chicken is my favorite heritage breed. Its bird may live longer than in other breeds’ mean bird. 

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 can live for 8 years more than!

5. Silkie Chicken Life Expectancy

Silkie Chicken Life Expectancy
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Silkie Chicken

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, so I’ve heard of Silkies living up until the age around 12-13 years.

Factors that affect lifespan of a chicken

When being born as the heritage and hybrid chicken is a key factor in deciding how much the chicken can live, these are lots of certain life-extending and existence-abbreviating things to address.

1. Disease

Although, most of the diseases that typically affect backyard flocks lifespan, there are those that could be harmful and even fatal. Also, minor problems, such as parasites, mites, lice, will slowly exhaust a chicken’s nutritional reserve or reduce the total lifespan.

For instance, parasites such as mites, lice, or worms can all cause skin irritation, feathers damage, anemia, and discomfort.

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 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.

Also Read:  Can We Keep Chickens As A Pet? with Pros and Cons

2. Housing/Care

Luckily, that isn’t a factor that plays its role in lifespan of a chicken, even if you were contemplating the life of a bird. Chicken housing 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 quarter or anything, but just let them fend to themselves, thus decreasing their lifespan.

Nowadays, people have uniquely constructed coops which 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 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 some best vitamins for chickens.

Today, however, chickens have access to food which 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 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 the 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 Read:  What is a Pullet Chicken? Definition, Eggs, Characteristics

5. Breed

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 is 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 and 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 lifespan of a chicken is gender. This is important in the context of people; guys just don’t last as much as ladies.

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

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

You can also read an interesting article on Hen VS Rooster here.


You can expect a lifespan of a chicken in hybrid forms to live in about 6-8 years, 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 publishing of Records at sixteen years of ages.

As a simple law, hens which have a pleasant shelter, food and care and 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.

Hope you liked this informative guide on average lifespan of a chicken. Tell us below which breed you keep in your backyard and what’s his lifespan?

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