Hold on to your feathers, folks, because we have some clucking good news! A hen named Peanut from Michigan, USA, has officially been declared the world’s oldest living chicken at 20 years old!
Peanut’s veterinarian, Dr. Julia Parker, has confirmed Peanut’s age and said she first encountered Peanut in 2003 when she was already a full-grown adult hen.
For those who don’t know, the oldest recorded chicken, Muffy (USA, 1989-2012), was a Red Quill Muffed American Game breed that lived for an incredible 23 years and 152 days. However, Muffy has since gone to chicken heaven and now Peanut has taken the #1 spot for the world’s oldest living chicken.
Most chickens only live around 5-10 years and with Peanut being 20 years and 304 days old as of March 1, 2023, she has certainly lived a life longer than most all chickens who lived before her.
What’s even more remarkable is that Peanut survived being abandoned by her mother, a brush with death, outlived all of her offspring, and not to mention, quite a few dogs, cats, and other feathered friends in her neighborhood.
Peanut is a bantam breed of chicken, a Belgian d’Uccle/Nankin mix to be exact, and was raised from birth by her loving owner, Marsi Darwin, a retired librarian.
“Peanut is a doddering old lady now but she has had quite a life,” Marsi told Guinness World Records.
Marsi told Guinness that Peanut was abandoned by her mother before hatching along with her siblings, and left in the nest unattended.
Marsi later found the cold egg and assumed it had died and was about to throw it into a nearby pond. However, Marsi heard a cheeping sound coming from the egg at that moment and she hatched right here in Marsi’s hand.
“I think Peanut had a strong survival instinct to ‘call’ to me,” Marsi said.
Once Peanut hatched, she immediately bonded with Marsi since her biological mother refused to accept her. As a result, Peanut resided inside a parrot cage in Marsi’s dining room for the first two years of her life.
Eventually, Peanut was moved to an outdoor coop with Marsi’s other chickens where she lives during the warm seasons and then is moved inside to live indoors during the colder weather.
If you’re wondering what the secret to Peanut’s longevity is, Marsi says it’s all about getting enough exercise and eating a healthy diet.
Marsi said she sometimes adds crushed vitamin D tablets to Peanut’s yogurt, and occasionally treats her to fresh fruit and vegetables.
Despite her advanced age, Peanut still enjoys sunbathing, watching TV, and nibbling on her owner’s ear. And even though she’s too old to breed, she still has a one-eyed rooster named Benny to keep her company.
As Peanut’s 21st birthday rapidly approaches, she’s gearing up to throw the ultimate chicken party! As the world’s oldest verified chicken, she’s ready to strut her stuff and celebrate in style. Of course, there will be plenty of cuddles from her beloved owner Marsi, as well as some playful pecks from her rooster pal Benny.
Peanut, you truly are one amazing chicken, and your incredible longevity is a cause for celebration! So let’s all raise a glass (or a feather) to Peanut, the coolest, most awesome, and most extraordinary chicken on the planet!