How Long Do Chickens Live as Pets? (A Look at Keeping Hens for Many Years)

How Long Do Chickens Live and Lay Eggs?

While most commercial operations will cull their flock after 2 or 3 years, backyard chicken keepers usually allow their egg-laying hens to live out their natural life expectancy.

The average lifespan of a pet chicken is around 8 and 10 years. However, there are many factors that can influence how long your chicken lives. Some of these include diet, exercise, genetics, and disease.

Backyard chickens that are well cared for and have access to good, nutritious food and clean water tend to live longer than those that do not.

Also, raising chickens with a spacious chicken coop and run (Amazon) where they can stretch their legs and flap their wings, and where they can stay safe and away from predators, will help them live a long and healthy life.

How I Built My Chicken Coops & Runs

I know close to nothing about building anything. However, I’ve successfully built all of my chicken coops myself by using the Easy Coops’ chicken coop plans.

The coops might not be the most beautiful coops, and might look too minimalist for some, but they’re made to keep your chickens safe from predators, harsh hot and cold weather, and common airborne illnesses. A well-built coop reduces your hens’ stress, which will ultimately increase egg-production.

Can Chickens Live 20 Years?

There have been alleged reports of chickens that have lived up to 20 years old but it’s never been certified by the book of Guinness World Records.

Although, there was a little Red Pyle hen named Matilda that is known to have lived 16 years, and that information was certified.

Unlike most hens, Matilda didn’t lay eggs. Veterinarians explained that her lack of egg production was probably a contributing factor to her exceptionally long-lasting life of 16 years.

So, 16 appears to be the maximum lifespan for chickens at this time.

What Breed of Chicken Lives the Longest?

There are many different breeds of chickens, each with its own lifespan. However, there are a few breeds that tend to live longer than others.

Here’s a look at the approximate lifespan of different chicken breeds:

Breed Approx. Lifespan
Barred Plymouth Rock10 – 12 years
Wyandotte6 – 12 years
Lohmann Brown10 years
Cochin8 – 10 years
Orpington8 – 10 years
Australorp6 – 10 years
Jersey Giant6 – 10 years
Ancona8 to 9 years
Silkie7 – 9 years
Ameraucana7 to 8 years
Barnevelder8 years
Sussex8 years
Marans8 years
Hamburg8 years
Rhode Island Red8 years
Brahma5 – 8 years
Leghorn5 – 7 years
Bantam Breeds5 – 7 years
Easter Egger4 – 7 years
Golden Comet4 to 5 years
Isa Brown2 – 4 years

Being Self-Sufficient

Raising chickens is great because you become a little more self-sufficient and the work is truly rewarding.

However, being 100% self-sufficient on your own land might not be for everyone. It’s a lot of learning, planning, hard work, and patience to get yourself set up.

But this sweet, down-to-earth couple have done just that. They’ve been self-sufficient on their little 1/4 acre land for over 40 years! And, now they’re showing other people how they save and make money by being self-sufficient in things like food, heating, and electricity.

You should definitely check them out because you might get ideas on how to save or make money from your own backyard!

Conclusion: How Long Do Pet Chickens Live?

Birds that are free-range or live in natural environments often have longer life expectancies than those kept in cages or confined spaces.

Pet chickens can live for a relatively long time if they are well-cared-for and have access to plenty of quality food and fresh water.

So, if you’re thinking about keeping poultry as pets, it’s important that you’re prepared for an 8 to 15-year commitment.