Chicken age: How old can a chicken get

Do you also keep clucking chickens in the yard to cut down on your vegetable waste and for the pleasure of fresh, free-range eggs? Nowadays, chances are you do, as they are becoming popular pets. But what age does a chicken actually live to?

Without human intervention, chickens have an average life expectancy of ten years in a safe and healthy environment. In exceptional cases, they can live even longer. The oldest chicken ever was Matilda, a Guinness Book record holder who died in 2006 at the tender age of 16...she was no spring chicken when her salad days were over.

How can you help a chicken grow to a ripe old age? Provide your faithful clucking friend with the best care by giving it the right food, fresh water, grit to grind down food in its stomach, plenty of space to scratch, a well-maintained chicken coop and plenty of company, because chickens are social butterflies.

Keep an eye on your chickens, too. You’ll know your chicken is happy and healthy if it is lively and has nice plumage, as well as a brightly colored comb and wattles. Is your chicken less active than usual, and does it stick up its feathers or let its tail hang ...? Then it may not be feeling well, so it’s best to contact the vet.

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