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Long Life

The standard "chicken" is normally considered the White Leghorn breed. There are tons of poultry that produce eggs and meat. Each breed has different charicteristics. The Leghorn hen lives an average of 5-7 years, but can live up to 20 years. She'll lay eggs her entire life, with production decreasing every year from year one. The old school rule of thumb is that she's useful for egg production up until the time that she eats more than she produces - and then you eat her. Some hens produce mass quantities all their life. Keep some of her offspring as these are the ones you want for layers. Try'em out and if they don't bring in enough eggs by 18 months, get the skillet ready.

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