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how long do chickens live for?

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another one of my daft questions :wink:


how long does the average chicken live for?


im choosing what breeds to get and think i might just go for the two that omlet provide but get more pepperpots than ginger as they are both good layers, hardy and good first birds and then i thought that when they came to the end of their lives i would look into buying some different breeds when ive got the hang of keeping chickens :D

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Not a daft question at all. Do bear in mind that these are averages, and that hens are not the most robust of creatures, they can sadly become ill and die with little warning and sometimes with no obvious cause.


Not sure if this is is scientifically proven or not, but my experience has been that the more eggs they lay, the shorter-lived they are. My two Omlet gingernuts laid prolifically, almost every day for over a year, but both died at around two years old. Pure breeds usually lay fewer eggs, but don't seem to 'wear out' so quickly. Hybrids have usually been bred to lay more eggs and not to go broody, and that's why Omlet provide the Gingernuts and Pepperpots - they are lovely hens, and very good to start off with.

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That is quite interesting actually.


I keep reptiles, which aren't a million miles away from birds, and i know that breeding a female significantly reduces their lifespan.


It makes it sound like they are laying their lifeforce for me to eat... poor chickens :(


I didn't read the whole website admittedly so didn't see anything about Eglus - but now i have, they are pretty expensive and compact :lol:

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That time line must be for pure breed chickens. Hybrids were designed to be prolific egg laying "machines" and almost all of their energy goes into producing their, almost daily, eggs. Sadly this means their life span is significantly shorter than that for a pure breed hen. This si one of the reasons I chose not to get hybrids, but if egg production is a priority for a flock I can see why people choose them. With 6 pure breeds I may end up with 6 old lady hens in a few years who do not lay! :lol:

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I don't know the answer to the question but can tell you my experience so far.


4 hybrids (3 of which from Omlet) all arrived POL April 2007. 2 died a few months ago - January and March. They were 3 years old. Both laid an egg a day for 2 years, both promptly stopped laying for the last whole year, both had peritonitis on and off, and intermittent crop problems. I think they were both just worn out from all that egg laying.


However, remaining 2 Omlet hybrids ( GNR and PP ) both still going strong, still laying (only every few days and very poor quality eggs) but both still extremely healthy.


I had Omlet hens first as I knew where they came from, were good intro into hen keeping. However, next time I get more I will probably go for mix of hybrid and purebreeds.

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