How Long Does A Chicken Live (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 to 9 Years

Taking a rough estimation of the lifespan of a chicken, it is known to be about a minimum of 7 years to a maximum of 9 years. However, many factors determine the lifespan of a chicken. Among many factors, the major factor that plays a vital role in determining is the breed of chicken. A chicken has so many breeds that it gets nearly impossible to count the total number of breeds.


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How Long Does A Chicken Live

How Long Does A Chicken Live?

Sussex chicken has a lifespan ranging from 7 to 8 years and is one of the oldest chicken breeds of England. Most of the poultry farmers prefer Sussex chicken for its meat rather than for its eggs. The reason behind that is because Sussex chickens are generally overweight, having more flesh.

Wyandotte chicken is an American breed of chicken named for the indigenous Wyandot people of North America. Poultry farmers generally kept Wyandotte chicken mainly for its two main purposes, that is, it’s brown eggs and yellow-skinned meat. This breed of chicken generally has a lifespan of about 5 to 7 years.

Plymouth Rock chicken is an American breed of domestic chicken which was first seen in Massachusetts in the nineteenth century. Poultry farmers raise Plymouth Rock chicken for its brown eggs and its meat. This breed of chicken has a lifespan ranging between 8 to 9 years.

Orpington chicken was bred in the late nineteenth century by William Cook of Orpington and is a British breed of chicken. Although this breed was hybridized for its eggs and meat, it gradually turned into just a show bird. Orpington chickens have a lifespan of about 6 to 8 years.

Rhode Island Red Chicken is a state bird of Rhode Island. It is an American breed that was bred in Massachusetts in the late nineteenth century. Rhode Island Red Chicken has a lifespan of about 5 years to 8 years.

Different Breeds Of ChickenLife Expectancy When Kept In Wild
Sussex chicken7 to 8 years
Wyandotte chicken5 to 7 years
Plymouth Rock chicken8 to 9 years
Orpington chicken6 to 8 years
Rhode island chicken5 to 8 years

Why Does A Chicken Live That Long?

The major reason why a chicken lives that long is because the life cycle of a chicken takes about a minimum of 7 years to a maximum of 9 years to get completed.

However, with advancements in veterinary medicine and veterinary science, scientists found suitable conditions for chickens to survive for a longer duration of time. Moreover, with developed and improved knowledge about appropriate chicken care, good feeding habits, and all other survival situations, the average lifespan of the chicken can be increased from 3 years to about 5 years.

Chickens are generally not more vulnerable to survival problems like predators and food shortages. When taken proper care of, provided safe and suitable shelter, a healthy diet, and an attentive owner, a chicken can easily live up to as long as 12 to 15 years in captivity.

Moreover, because chickens are a part of the food chain at a very low level. That means, the animals which thrive upon other animals as food for their living, generally make chicken their prey. So, as a result, chickens fail to live long.

Unlike the wild chickens, the chickens who live under captivation can live for as long as a span of 12 years. This is so because these chickens have no stress to survive, they don’t have to struggle for food or fight predators. Such chickens are provided food and a good environment, they are far away from predators and thus, they have a long lifespan of 10 to 12 years.


If anyone has a chicken in a poultry farm or as a pet, it is important to know that these pet chickens have equal health risks as compared to other domestic pets. If not taken care of or provided the needed diagnosis for their health problems, there is a big probability that these pet chickens will die due to several prominent illnesses like, cancer, Mycoplasma gallisepticum, and Blackhead and Marek’s diseases.


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