The Lifespan of Farm Animals

How long does a chicken live? Well the answer all depends on if it is lucky enough to be born a male or female, and which type of chicken.. and for what purpose it was raised… The same applies to other livestock and farm animals.

 

When people discuss the lifespan of livestock, and farm animals, there are two factors to consider. One, being the animals normal lifespan, and two, being the age at which an animal is typically slaughtered. In most cases the age of slaughter is determined by when an animal is killed for human consumption, but we must also remember many livestock animals are killed when they are no longer productive, which usually means when they can no longer reproduce.

 

Chickens

97% of male chicks are ground up into pet food at age day 1.

Broiler Hens, and other hens raised for eating – 5 months.

Laying Hens – 1 Year

Natural Lifespan for Chickens – 8-10 years.

File:Florida chicken house.jpg

photo source

 

Turkeys

For eating – 5 – 8 months.

For Laying eggs – 1-2 years.

Natural Lifespan for Domestic Turkeys 8 – 10 years.

 

Rabbits

For eating – 3-6 months.

Natural Lifespan for Rabbits -8 years.

Goats and Sheep

For eating – 3-8 months.

Decline in Productivity – 8 years.

Natural Lifespan for Goats – 12 years (depending on breed).

One of my own sheep, she is currently 4 years of age.  (Yes she has 5 horns)

 

Pigs

For eating – 4 -10 months of age.

Natural Lifespan for Pigs – 15 – 20 years.

 

Cattle

Bob Veal calves are slaughtered at a few days of age, others at 14-30 weeks.

Beef Animals 1 – 2 years.

Milk Animals, productivity declines at 10 years.

Natural Lifespan for Cattle – 18- 20 years.

Horses 

Foals from the PMU Industry often fed to zoo and circus animals – 2 – 4 months.

For eating (not common in many parts of the world) – 18 months – 2 years.

Race Horses 4 – 6 years (although many do go on to have careers after the race track).

Natural Lifespan for Horses – 20 – 25 years.

Cats

Not an animal used as food but listed here because they are commonly thought of as farm animals and many ignorant city folk dump their unwanted cats on a farm.

Farm cats live, on average, only a year. Many farm cats are not fed and must fend for themselves as mousers. They are at risk for being killed by coyotes, raccoons, and so forth. Many are not vaccinated, and are full of worms.

Lucky farm cats (like mine) are spayed or neutered, vaccinated, dewormed, allowed in the house, or have warm shelters, and are fed a proper diet. However most farm cats die as kittens thus the average age for farm cats is only one year.

Natural Lifespan for Cats 12 – 16 years

One of my cats, rescued as a kitten.

Further Reading

How to Provide Better Care for Farm Cats

The Weirdest and Most Exotic Sheep

The Cruelty and Horror of the Karakul Sheep Industry

Keeping Pet Chickens

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21 Responses to “The Lifespan of Farm Animals”
  1. Eldridge Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 12:07 am

    Interesting stats…


  2. Adelnica Amor R. Izon Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 12:27 am

    this is a good source of information re: farm animals^^

    I want to have a cat but, which breed could be the best to start with?


  3. GodsGrace Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Very Good Inf


  4. Bill M. Tracer Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 1:45 am

    I’m glad your farm animals are better cared for than most. It is good to know there are those who care and go out of their way to buck the system. From those stats, it is clearly a system that needs to be seriously bucked.


  5. melphens Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 4:08 am

    very informative and interesting post. like it!


  6. drelayaraja Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 4:32 am

    Wonderful information. Well presented.


  7. webseowriters Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Nice reading, thanks for sharing


  8. irenen1 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 7:57 am

    Too bad. Wish I could rescue all those male chickens for the wooded half of the island. I hear they do a number on ticks. It’s illegal although it doesn’t seem to stop cat and dog dumping.


  9. irenen1 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Too bad. Wish I could rescue all those male chickens for the wooded half of the island. I hear they do a number on ticks. It\’s illegal although it doesn\’t seem to stop cat and dog dumping.


  10. irenen1 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Too bad. Wish I could rescue all those male chickens for the wooded half of the island. I hear they do a number on ticks. It\\\’s illegal although it doesn\\\’t seem to stop cat and dog dumping.


  11. irenen1 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 8:01 am

    Too bad. Wish I could rescue all those male chickens for the wooded half of the island. I hear they do a number on ticks. It is illegal although it does not seem to stop cat and dog dumping.


  12. jennifer eiffel01 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 9:25 am

    Very interesting topic. I learned a lot from it! Thank you for writing this.


  13. Jimmy Shilaho Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Like I have said in the past, the knowledge you have about these issues is awesome. I never knew a Cat could live for up to 16 years!


  14. PSingh1990 Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Nice Share.

    :-)


  15. catlord Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Very neat. I knew about the male chicks being, um, reduced to make dog food. Not pleasant. You know, -they always show dogfood commercials that feature chicken with a LARGE delicious-looking washed broiler being lovingly handled my the soft and manicured hands of an actress …they should show the baby chicks being sexed and males being tossed down a chute where they are ground-up.

    Anyway, -awesome-looking 6-horned goat you have there B! I like goats, miniatures esp. and those multi-horned ones just look kewl!


  16. Brenda Nelson Says...

    On September 16, 2010 at 11:55 pm

    lol stickman. its a SHEEP – she looks a bit funny in the picture I admit, she is part Jacob sheep part Barbado hair sheep, in the picture she is shedding.


  17. papaleng Says...

    On September 17, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Interesting facts. I was surprised to find out that farm cats usually live just for a year. Nice share Brenda.


  18. DAN MCHARDY Says...

    On September 17, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    While I’m not a huge fan of animal articles as such your articles are so interesting I can’t believe it’s not making millions!!! Nice Article thanks for share and keep it up!


  19. LCM Linda Says...

    On September 18, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Very interesting post. Amazing to know the natural lifespan for so many animals. The lifespan of chickens surprised me the most because when I was a child we raised some little chickens at the balcony, and none of them survived more than a week.


  20. PR Mace Says...

    On September 18, 2010 at 10:03 pm

    Sad facts you have brought to our attention. How sad we the human race think we have the right to decrease the life of these creatures.


  21. Louise Silver Says...

    On October 4, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    I learned so much from this article. I’ve often wondered about the animals we eat but never researched their natural lifespan. I’ve got to be honest, as well presented as this article is, its made me feel so sad. I hate the thought of mass marketing of meat. It is cold and brutal. I have considered becoming vegetarian so many times and your article as taken me ever closer.


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