How long do your hens live?

soloequestrian

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I've lost a couple recently so just looked up on the net - answer seems to be 6-8 years for traditional breeds. I'm not sure I've managed to get any past 4-5 years... a few have been predated or disappeared presumed predated, several I've found dead (presume heart failure), one road accident and we've had to help two on their way (when they were clearly very unwell). Anyone managing longer lifespans or is the net wrong?
 

Lindylouanne

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I’ve never managed to get mine to beyond 4 years. Some have been had by the fox, some had strokes, others died of old age but I know they have all lived a full life, free range and with my current girls no longer in a commercial shed popping out eggs only to be slaughtered once they reached 15 months old. They helped me garden today and I genuinely smile every time I see them.
 

Clodagh

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What are they?
I have bantams and my oldest now are about 7. I would expect, Fox permitting, them to live until 8-10. Large fowl and fancier breeds perhaps not so much but mine are mainly Wyandotte’s and a few Dutch.
 

mini_b

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Chickens live to die. Like sheep.

some seem really hardy and others ail more. 9ish years, others around 4-5. I wouldn’t say you’re doing anything wrong, by the time they actually start to look a bit peaky it’s often too late.
 

soloequestrian

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All large fowl, I've had a mix of commercial and traditional breeds but that doesn't seem to have affected their lifespan. The one who vanished this week has spent a lot of her life raising chicks so she hasn't worked hard in terms of laying - don't know whether she was taken or keeled over somewhere hidden but there is no trace of her. She was 4 :-(
 

Nicnac

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I lost one a couple of weeks ago - had her a year. She just.....died. Was a bit under the weather for a couple of days beforehand. Another is laying soft eggs in the coop and two others seem fine. As ex-batts I have no idea how old they are! Had them just over a year now.
 
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I have lost hens at various ages, but one I bought as POL 10 years ago is still going strong. She is a silver duckwing welsummer. No eggs this year, but she did lay a few last summer. Another welsummer lived to be 9. My hens are free ranging, not shut in at night unless there is a really horrid storm, though they did have to stay in the barn when the restrictions were in force. No foxes here, and the otters have plenty to eat on the shore.
 

soloequestrian

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Some are shut in a shed at night but about half of them go up into the trees to roost.
I got two ex-bats a while ago to see how it went: one disappeared days after they were allowed to go free range and the other keeled over in the field a few weeks later. Never again!
 

irishdraft

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I hatched a couple of buff Sussex so I know how old they were, one lived to 13 and the other was 15 . They were the last 2 of my chicken keeping days and went everywhere together . They were free range but tended to stay around the garden and came into the kitchen quite often . When the last one was on her own she spent alot of time sitting in the kitchen where she passed away .
 

windand rain

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We had buff orpington bantams for more than 10 years in the garden in an arc moved daily. Funnily enough I cannot remember when they died as I think they went from us (when we moved house) to a new flock
 

Nudibranch

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I've got one bantam left, she's 8 and doesn't lay any more. I lost a barnevelder a couple of years ago at 10, she would have gone on longer but was attacked by a walker's off lead spaniel right in front of me and had to be pts. We normally despatch them ourselves but the poor old girl had half her back torn away so I took her to the vet instead. Some of my cochins are getting on a bit too. Touch wood we haven't lost any to foxes although they are around. I haven't a clue why; they free range all day although do go into a penned house at night. It's been idiot walkers and idiot neighbours who don't keep their dogs under control.
 

gingerarab

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I have 5 ex battery hens, no idea how old they are but i have had them for a year. Over the last month they are not laying so much now. They are also loosing feather and looking a bit scraggy. Is this normal ?
 
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I have 5 ex battery hens, no idea how old they are but i have had them for a year. Over the last month they are not laying so much now. They are also loosing feather and looking a bit scraggy. Is this normal ?
This is the time of year that chickens moult their feathers-they won't lay during this time as they are producing new feather growth. I give mine a bit of extra protein when moulting, flaked peas are good and sometimes some Battles Poultry Spice in with their pellets.
 

silv

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Hybrids don't normally last more than 4 years, they are bred to be egg laying machines and burn themselves out producing eggs. I have some heritage breeds over 5 years old but have had a few who around that age seem to get sick really quickly and keel over for no reason.
 
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