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How long do chooks live.

(3 Posts)
electricbarbarella Tue 29-Jul-08 12:37:52

The modern hybrids? and how long do they lay for?

OldGregg Tue 29-Jul-08 12:57:45

Very modern hybrids bred for mass egg production can stop laying as early as their 2nd year (which is why battery hens are 'changed' frequently), older established hybrids will lay for a few years but the number of eggs they lay will decrease every year.

The rule of thumb is that the more eggs they lay, the shorter the lifespan. Partly this is because making all that eggshell requires a lot of calcium and if it's lacking in the diet the hen will draw it from it's own reserves, ie. bones. Feeding oyster shell will help this hugely as does having access to grass or green veg.

Having said that, I've had excellent laying pure-bred hens producing eggs regularly until they were 5yo and they can live up to 10 years. I don't know how long modern hybrids live naturally as they are mostly culled when their egg laying is no longer cost-effective.

overthemill Tue 05-Aug-08 20:19:26

our hybrids tend to live 18- 24 months. bantams lived for 9 years. but now the fox eats them at pol

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