20-year-old Michigan Hen Verified As World's Oldest Living Chicken


A hen from Michigan, United States, has been crowned the world’s oldest living chicken at an impressive age of 20 years 304 days as of March 1st, 2023. The elderly hen named Peanut was raised from birth by Marsi Darwin, a retired librarian, according to Guinness World Records.

World's Oldest Living Chicken

Peanut is a bantam breed of chicken and is smaller than a standard-sized chicken. She was born in the spring of 2002 and survived a brush with death after being abandoned by her mother.

Peanut’s age was verified by Dr. Julia Parker, a veterinarian who first met her in 2003. The average lifespan of chickens is somewhere around 5-10 years. The oldest chicken ever in the Guinness Book of World Records was Muffy, a Red Quill Muffed American Game who lived to the age of 23 years 152 days (1989 - 2012).

Peanut's mother hatched all her eggs except Peanut's. After leaving the nest with all her other chicks, her owner, Marsi, later discovered the cold egg and picked it up to throw into her pond, assuming it had died. However, she “heard it cheep” and discovered at that moment that it was alive

Marsi told GWR that Peanut had a strong survival instinct to ‘call’ to her. Marsi peeled the chick out of her shell and named her Peanut. Sadly, Peanut’s mother rejected the newborn chick, resulting in Peanut living inside a parrot cage in her owner's dining room.

Peanut as a chick

Eventually, Marsi moved Peanut to an outside coop with the rest of her flock. Peanut then proceeded to live for a clucking long time.

During her lifetime, Peanut laid and hatched several nests of eggs. She has several grandchildren and great-grandchildren living in Marsi’s coop. According to Marsi, Peanut, who is now too old to breed, has outlived quite a few of her children. She is currently sharing a cage with her 15-year-old daughter Millie.

Peanut (right) and her daughter Millie (left)
 Peanut (right) and her daughter Millie (left)

Described by her owner as "affectionate and feisty," Peanut and her daughter Millie love watching TV together while sitting on Marsi’s lap. Peanut sleeps and eats a lot, as part of her daily routine. She loves to be cuddled and always answers to her name, according to her owner.

Peanut, the Oldest Chicken Alive

Marsi credits Peanut's incredibly long life to enough exercise and a healthy diet. She said she usually adds crushed vitamin D tablets to the hen’s yogurt. Peanut occasionally eats fresh fruit and vegetables. Marsi said she also ensures that her chickens' drinking water is always fresh and clean, with added apple cider vinegar to fight worms.

World's Oldest Living Chicken sitting on her owner's shoulder

Peanut is now looking forward to celebrating its 21st birthday as the world's oldest verified chicken.


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