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Q: How long do chickens live?
A: Naturally, this will depend on the conditions under which they're kept. Factory farms slaughter their egg layers at one or two years old, because they may be laying eggs at a rate of one fewer a week--"meat" birds are slaughtered at only six weeks old. It's common for a hen in a backyard setting to live 8-10 years, but we've also heard reports of chickens living as many as 20 years! The older they get, of course, the fewer eggs they lay, but think of all their other valuable functions besides being a loved member of the family: tick-eating, mosquito-eating, and fly-eating, not to mention they're still fertilizer machines!