The world's oldest known chicken was a hen which died of heart failure at the age of 16 years according to the Guinness World Records. Lots of people use lights in the coop to simulate artificial daylight, which can provide a boost in laying. After all, they will be more likely to fall victim to predators and the elements than if they were being raised in captivity. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. The trouble is that backyard chicken owners often want something very different from their hens than industrial producers. The oldest bird in the world is named Matilda, a chicken raised in Alabama by two aspiring magicians who used Matilda as part of a popular stage show. Daisy. After the first 4 years or so their laying gets less and less. Raised predominantly for meat, the Cornish Cross grows to massive sizes very quickly. Sep 8, 2011. Let's look at a brief overview of reasons to give you some ideas, and you can click on each possibility for more details and a more in-depth discussion. ... 12 Years. But even among reds, laying hens from a production strain live shorter lives than their sisters from the heritage strain of the same breed. After these two years your chicken will start laying fewer eggs per week, down to 3-4, and, as time passes, decreasing to one a week, and eventually one a month, and then none at all. In the same way that larger birds need more energy and their bodies need to do more to stay alive, a chicken that lays five or six eggs a week uses up a lot of energy and nutrients to produce those eggs. Because this chicken is so large, it has a short lifespan – often, it will only live for five to six years, even if raised in picture-perfect conditions. Luckily, this isn’t a factor that comes into play very often anymore when you are considering the lifespan of a chicken. However, when it comes to raising chickens for high production, the Golden Comet is one of the best breeds to lay eggs. Chickens live eight years on average, but hens only productively lay eggs in the first two, maybe three years of their lives. They don’t live as long as heritage chickens. Write us at info(at)knowyourchickens.com with any questions or concerns! There’s also the little fact that most chickens people raise are intended to be food – and you can bet those poor souls don’t get to live 8 years (try 8 weeks). Be mindful of your birds’ living conditions and make sure their home is clean and sanitary at all times to reduce this threat. Even minor issues, like parasites and lice, can slowly drain away the energy reserves of a chicken and reduce its overall lifespan. This means a lot of production birds, especially the modern hybrids, are laying eggs almost every day for 18 months or two years and then stop or reduce capacity dramatically. We're always looking to improve our articles to help you become an even better gardener. Breeds like Rhode Island Reds live eight years or more and Plymouth Rocks might survive 10 to 12 years when they are raised in a good environment. If you live in a region with mild winters, you may have chickens that lay later in the season. This hybrid chicken breed is another to cross off your list if you’re interested in raising chickens until they are geriatrics! I mean, do these wacky little birds lay eggs throughout their entire lives? Not only can this also lead to weight issues, but it can also create kidney problems. Report This Post. Most hens lay the most eggs in their first year of production and begin to drop off after that. And here again, the essential question is whether to prioritize high production or a longer laying period, as the two are usually mutually exclusive. Chickens that are well-fed and cared for can live for years, much longer than most people realize. That doesn’t mean that their production stays high for their entire life; it gradually decreases. As your birds age, egg size will even out, and egg count will gradually drop. During this period of less egg laying, the eggs may be larger. How long do chickens lay eggs? Feb 7, 2008 2,951 64 261 PA. Opps I put it in the wrong place . Within their first year of life, most laying hens will be at their peak production at about 30 weeks of age. Generally speaking, chickens can live for many years. When asking how long does a chicken live, there’s one last thing to cover: the lifespans of roosters. Chickens vs Guinea Hens: How to Choose Which to Raise, Introducing New Chickens to Your Flock (How-To Guide). How Long Do Chickens Live? How to make chickens lay more eggs: Why are my flocks not laying at the appropriate age? To help reduce these problems and enable your chickens to live longer, fuller lives, try to worm and dust your chicken coop on a regular basis and feed a healthy, nutritious diet. What Are the Best Animals to Keep With Chickens. Despite being a heritage breed, however, it’s not one of the longest-lived. Overall, the key takeaway is that keeping chickens isn’t a great activity to undertake on a whim. Remember, hens can live for several years after they stop laying eggs. They were bred during the Middle Ages especially for cockfights – these chickens really know how to fend for themselves! Choosing your Production Hen Some breeds begin when they are older, however. After that, egg production will taper off. You can extend your hen’s egg-laying season by providing artificial light in the hen house. Because of this, they are more likely to be raised in excellent conditions with all the food and water they want along with ample excess to fresh air and limited threats from predators and the weather. Over my 20 years in poultry production and management, I have been asked this question repeatedly on phone, in seminars, in conferences and during my visits to flock units across the region.. In general, the shortest-lived chickens are high-production hybrid egg layers, and the hens that lay the fewest eggs live the longest lives. As they get older, this becomes less and less frequent. It must mate naturally and grow slowly and have a longer, more productive life when raised outdoors. This is likely because of their tendency to charge toward a threat instead of run away – which can lead them to fall victim to a variety of threats. How long do chickens lay eggs? Some of the reason why bantam chickens live longer could have to do with how they are raised, too. Whether it’s the first egg at […] As long as the nest temperature stays warm enough, an embryo can remain suspended for up to two weeks until the hen has managed to lay a full clutch. 12 Years.