How Long Can a Rooster Live?

Like other creatures, roosters don’t live forever. Roosters can live between 5 and 10 years. The average lifespan of a rooster in captivity can exceed ten years if the rooster gets proper care. It’s challenging to highlight the specific lifespan of a rooster because several factors and circumstances can determine the lifespan of your rooster.

The Lifespan of Rooster

For most breeds, the average rooster’s lifespan is between 5 and 8 years. However, roosters can live longer depending on how well their owners care for them. Proper care can enable the bird to live close to 15 years.

Factors that Can Affect a Rooster’s Lifespan

The lifespan of a rooster isn’t definite because many factors will play a role in influencing how long your rooster will live. Here are some factors that will affect the lifespan of your rooster.

– Genetics

Genetics plays a pivotal role in determining the lifespan of a rooster. Chickens have been in existence for many years. The modern chickens we raise today come from Southeast Asia. Chickens have lost their natural genetic dispositions over the years due to crossbreeding.

Crossbreed roosters are fast-growing, larger, and heavier. All these genetic alterations impact a rooster’s longevity and quality of life. To raise a rooster that can live longer, you must check its gene pool.

For instance, establish how long the rooster’s father lived. If he lived for many years, the rooster would likely live longer. If the rooster’s parents were better at fighting poultry diseases naturally, it would live longer because of its ability to withstand potential disease outbreaks.

blue orpington rooster

– Diet

Diet is another area that influences a rooster’s lifespan. Traditionally, roosters consumed whatever food they came across along their way. They could consume grass, grains, and seeds. However, these food items didn’t provide the cockerels with adequate nutrition, so their bodies couldn’t get enough proteins, vitamins, and minerals to fight diseases, grow strong, and live longer.

Today’s poultry diet is suitable for roosters of every life stage. A nutritious diet will play a tremendous role in increasing a rooster’s lifespan. The richer the diet you give to your rooster, the longer you will extend its lifespan.

– Environment

A rooster’s environment directly affects its longevity and overall health. Backyard roosters tend to benefit most since they can roam around, making them happier and healthier than roosters living in confinement.

Commercial chicken farmers usually set up coops to contain their roosters, which helps in protecting their cockerels from predators. However, roosters that live in enclosed spaces are gloomier than free-range roosters. The former usually fall ill more often, which lowers their lifespan and quality of life.

Another environmental factor that determines a rooster’s longevity is its living conditions. Roosters that live in dirty and poor conditions are likely to die earlier than those living in calm and clean conditions. The number of roosters in a flock can determine the lifespan of an individual rooster in the flock.

Like other male animals, roosters fight each other over mating rights and dominance. An overly aggressive rooster can impact the life expectancy and quality of life of other roosters in the flock. Keeping many roosters can lead to injuries, fights, and even death, ultimately lowering the lifespan of the weak roosters in the flock.

Predation is another crucial environmental factor that can affect a rooster’s lifespan. Roosters are the ultimate guardians of the flock. They alert the flock members of prospective predators. Roosters sometimes confront predators to protect their flocks.

Consequently, most predators lose their lives to predators, dramatically lowering their longevity. Roosters that live in predator-free environments tend to live longer than their counterparts living in predator-laden environments.

– Health

There is a direct link between a rooster’s lifespan and its overall health. The healthier a rooster is, the longer the bird will live. Roosters may seem hardier than hens. However, roosters are susceptible to diseases that adversely affect their quality of life and lifespan.

Avian Influenza, Fowl Pox, Salmonellosis, and Fowl Cholera are some of the conditions that can shorten your rooster’s lifespan. Your rooster will have a shorter lifespan if it’s more vulnerable to these diseases.

– Stress

Stress can affect the lifespan of every chicken, including that of a rooster. Stress makes roosters unhappy and likely to indulge in acts of aggression that will leave the bird with injuries. Stress can also make a rooster aggressive towards other roosters, initiating fights that will leave the bird dead or nursing life-threatening injuries.

Many things can stress your roosters. They include isolation, confinement, bullying, and diseases. Addressing the stressful factor can help extend your rooster’s lifespan.

Measures that Can Help Extend Rooster’s Lifespan

It’s difficult to determine how long your rooster will live. After all, your rooster’s longevity depends on multiple factors, most of which you have no control over. Fortunately, chicken keepers can implement measures to help extend their roosters’ lifespans. Some of the actions that can help expand your rooster’s lifespan include:

– Proper Care

Proper care can help extend your cockerel’s lifespan. With appropriate care, chicken owners can expect their roosters to live for nearly 15 years. For instance, you can improve your rooster’s living conditions by ensuring the bird lives cleanly. Dirty conditions can expose your rooster to health problems like Fowl Cholera, ultimately reducing its longevity.

Furthermore, filthy conditions can subject the rooster to parasite infestations. Parasites will drain your birds’ blood, making the rooster vulnerable to anemia. Some parasites, like mites, also carry diseases that can substantially shorten a rooster’s lifespan.

Proper care also entails how you house your bird. For instance, you should shelter your rooster from bad weather conditions like snowfalls and rainstorms. Since roosters have larger combs than hens, they are usually victims of frostbites due to snowy weather.

Frostbites can cause discomfort and pain, stressing your rooster and lowering its lifespan. Sheltering your rooster from such weather conditions will prolong its lifespan.

Caring for your rooster should also involve protecting the bird from outside predators since predators will injure or kill your rooster regardless of its age. Fence your yard to protect your free-range roosters from external predators. The more secure your rooster is from predators, the longer it will live.

– Nutrition

Roosters are omnivores and can consume virtually anything you provide them. Your roosters can eat anything from worms, bugs, and table scraps. While you can give your rooster almost any food item, it’s vital to remember that the bird still requires a nutrient-rich diet. A nutrient-rich diet will help your rooster live a healthy and long life.

The high-quality commercial feed has a formulation that provides your rooster with everything it needs to live longer and grow healthy. An excellent commercial feed should make a more significant part of your rooster’s diet.

Kindly provide the rooster with a protein and energy-rich feed. The feed should also provide the birds with essential minerals and vitamins to help the rooster live a productive and long lifespan.

– Health Checks

One of the key reasons why some roosters don’t live long is that they don’t get proper healthcare. Excellent healthcare is vital for chicken keepers who want their roosters to live long. Frequent health checkups are part of good healthcare for roosters. Regular visits from a professional vet will help diagnose some deadly diseases that can lower your rooster’s lifespan.

Farmers should also vaccinate their roosters against many chicken diseases that affect roosters. For instance, roosters are vulnerable to the deadly Marek’s Disease. The better the healthcare and medication you provide your roosters, the longer the birds will live.

Impact of Rooster’s Lifespan on Egg Fertilization

Roosters usually reach sexual maturity at around 4 to 5 months old. The amount of sperm a rooster produces diminishes as it ages. A rooster’s lifespan, therefore, has an impact on egg fertilization. The longer a rooster lives, the less likely it is to fertilize eggs.

The difference in Lifespan Between Different Breeds

Different rooster breeds have different lifespans. This table shows the difference in rooster’s lifespan between different breeds.

Rooster Breed Average Lifespan
Rhode Island Red 5 to 8 years
Plymouth Rock 8 to 10 years
Leghorn 5 to 7 years
Wyandotte 6 to 8 years
Easter Egger 8 to 10 years
Orpington 7 to 10 years
Australorp 6 to 10 years
Cochin 8 to 10 years
Silkie 7 to 9 years

Importance of Rooster Lifespan When Breeding Chickens

Chicken keepers should consider a rooster’s lifespan when breeding chickens. Older roosters are sexually productive but have lower chances of producing quality fertilized eggs than younger cockerels because they produce low-quality sperms.

Thus, it would help if you opted for a younger rooster when breeding chickens because a younger rooster has a higher chance of producing high-quality fertilized eggs than an old rooster with poor-quality sperms.


You can expect the average rooster to live between 5 and 10 years. Some roosters can live beyond a decade due to getting proper care. Nonetheless, some crucial factors will determine how long your rooster will live. It’s thus critical to analyze all the factors that can reduce your rooster’s lifespan and then strive to address them to prolong it.

avatar James
Hey, I'm James, a hardworking homesteader for more than 30 years. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from tending my flock. I've raised chickens and ducks for eggs and meat for many years. I also have experience with other poultry too. Learn more

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