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 life span of rhode island reds
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eskimobirdlady
True Blue Farmgirl

700 Posts

connie
fairbanks ak
USA
700 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2008 :  10:21:17 AM  Show Profile  Send eskimobirdlady a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
just out of curiosity, does anyone know how long i can expect my rhode island red hens to live? we got 40 chicks a few days ago and have lost 3 *sigh* but we were just wondering how long they live. thanks in advance for any info. peace connie

Brew Crew
True Blue Farmgirl

676 Posts

Molly
Arizona
676 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2008 :  12:33:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I don't know if it really varies breed to breed, but the oldest hen I have is about 4 years old. I have lost another 30 or so over that 4 year span for many reasons: heat, pecking order, hawks, etc. I have heard, though, that a chicken can live up to 7 years. We'll see if our old gal makes it.


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Renee M. in Michigan
True Blue Farmgirl

54 Posts

Renee
Allendale MI
USA
54 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2008 :  5:58:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have two old "pensioner" chickens, Ivory and Hester Prins, both from my original batch of chickens, and both 10 years old this past April. They are Americaunas. They haven't laid an egg though, in probably 2-3 years. : ) As I said, they are pensioners.

-- Renee M. up in the mitten

Farmgirl #211
No woman ever made history by behaving herself.
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Aunt Jenny
True Blue Farmgirl

11381 Posts

Jenny
middle of Utah
USA
11381 Posts

Posted - Jun 18 2008 :  6:15:47 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I have had hens as old as 8 before..I have about 6 that are 6 years old right now. They really don't lay much after 6 or 7 years old for sure and they lay best up until they are about 3 or 4 ..but I just let them live out their lives. The oldest one I ever had was a RI Red.

Jenny in Utah
Proud Farmgirl sister #24
Inside me there is a skinny woman crying to get out...but I can usually shut her up with cookies
http://www.auntjennysworld.blogspot.com/ visit my little online shop at www.auntjenny.etsy.com
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Annab
True Blue Farmgirl

2900 Posts

Anna
Seagrove NC
USA
2900 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2008 :  03:30:21 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
They can live a long time but egg production will taper off long around the 4th year or so. Some keep on laying, so it just depends on the breed

We have a rescued big white rooster who bounced off a chicken truck on the way to be processed. He is HUGE. Most say these don't live for very long. We'll be coming up on a year anniversary sometime this summer. For once, this guy is very docile and sweet, so when he passes, he will be missed
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shepherdgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1008 Posts

Tracy
California
USA
1008 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2008 :  09:58:53 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Believe it or not ladies, I have read that some birds can live up to 20yrs! Most chickens DON'T, of course, due to predation, illness, accidents, etc.... After about 2-3yrs of age most breeds will lay sporatically, or stop laying all together. That's why most of the oldtimers would restock their chicken coops every 1-3yrs. All the birds who's production slacked (or ceased) were put in the stew pot!

Don't be surprised Connie if some of your hens live quite a long time. If you choose to LET THEM!!! (LOL)

And Anna-- your guy has lived exceptionally LOOONG if he's a Cornish Cross. Usually they are butchered at 6-8wks because they grow so fast and their bodies become so heavy that their legs can't support them. Many of them kick the bucket on their own if they are allowed to live longer.

I had a Commercial white Turkey a few years ago (Her name was "Big Rhonda") that my husband was supposed to butcher for Thanksgiving that year (she would have been about 6mos old), but, of course, he never got around to it. We had her for 3+yrs. She seemed to be doing well, but we went out to feed her and the other birds one day and found her dead. She must have weighed about 50lbs (or very close to it!) because it took TWO of us to DRAG her out of the chicken house, she was so HEAVY! One thing I can say-- my feed bill sure went WAY DOWN after she was gone!!! You just never know how long those "commercial" birds will live. I prefer the rare breed Poultry myself. They are healthier, hardier, and live much longer and are often productive over a longer period of time as well. ~~~Tracy

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ~~ George Carlin
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Jami
True Blue Farmgirl

1238 Posts

Jami
Ellensburg WA
USA
1238 Posts

Posted - Jun 19 2008 :  10:58:33 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Nine years ago I got a dozen hens of different breeds. The Rhode Island Reds went first out of them all..think they died off about 3 years ago around age 6. My Barred Rocks are living the longest at 9 years old, 2 left of those original 12.

A quick funny story about this original group of chickens...the rooster my niece named Martin. He died of old age in the yard one day...put him in our compost pile (buried a bit). Well Martin kept reappearing over and over in the yard again...not upright, mind you, but taking his "nap". LOL. Discovered something was hauling Martin out of the compost pile every night for about 5 days. Finally had to dig a hole and bury him.

Jami in WA

Okay, so now I have a blog. http://woolyinwashington.wordpress.com/
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Annab
True Blue Farmgirl

2900 Posts

Anna
Seagrove NC
USA
2900 Posts

Posted - Jun 20 2008 :  03:08:11 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Poor Martin!

So glad something hasn't decided to do this to some of our past pet chickens!

We still have 2 or 3 RIRs and gave our old Dominique hens to a friend.

Since I have a soft spot for hetitage breeds, it felt better to re-home our gals rather than an outright offing

Too bad we are so once bitten-twice shy about roosters, cause the barred rock and dominuque roosters are a sight! In fact, they are all really pretty, it's the attitude we can do without!
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shepherdgirl
True Blue Farmgirl

1008 Posts

Tracy
California
USA
1008 Posts

Posted - Jun 23 2008 :  9:02:56 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ohh Anna! Dominiques are my FAVORITE!!! I never had any probelms with my roosters though. They all were very nice. Of course, I had about 4 of them, so maybe they were too busy bothering eachother (AND the hens) to ever bother any of us. The absolute WORST, MEANEST roosters I ever had were the Polish Crested. They were just AWFUL!! I actually dislocated the leg of one of them by WHACKIN' him with a cast iron skillet!! Hey, it was either THAT or let him attack me, and THAT was NOT going to happen!!!

I also favor the Heritage breeds and have certainly discovered over the years why SOME of them are so close to extinction! They're just horrible birds! But most of them are wonderful to have around, not to mention just BEAUTIFUL to look at.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. ~~ George Carlin
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