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The Life-Span of Farm Animals

This implies how long farm animals can live before they die naturally. Well, being food animals, it is difficult to predict this because almost all of the time they are not allowed to reach its full age before they are being slaughtered. Therefore, knowing their life span may be difficult.

However, I have seen some farm animals like Sheep and Goat of five years and Cattle of fifteen years before.

The Life Expectancy of Farm Animals

What is the relationship between the size of an animal and how long it lives? This interesting topic raises lots of questions, many quite pertinent to our modern lives. It begs for a bit of mathematical scaffolding.

How old would a cow, a pig or a hen live to be if they were not slaughtered?

Surprisingly, it is not an easy task to find out the average natural life expectancy of so-called livestock. Neither farming textbooks nor expert journals make this information readily available.

This is particularly sad because it shows that the actual life expectancy of these animals is of no significance to the farming industry. The ideal age for slaughter, on the other hand, is easily found in many textbooks and agricultural fact sheets. 

In fact, the severe genetic manipulations that have been made to today’s farm animal breeds, particularly those raised for meat, make it difficult for them to survive past “slaughter age” because their limbs and organs can’t handle the strain of their over enlarged bodies.

Comparing the average length of their lives as farm animals with their potential maximum life expectancy reveals a huge discrepancy. The potential life expectancy of all species of farm animals is several times higher than the age at which they are slaughtered.  

Read Also: Livestock Farming: Best Route of Drug Administration for Ruminants

Below are pictures of different animals and their life-span to assist you understand better:

 
 

Life-Spans of some Farm Animals

AnimalAverage Life Span of Animal (in years)
African Grey Parrot50
Amazon Parrot80
Angleworm15
Ant (Queen)3
Ant (Worker)1.5
Asian elephant40
Cockatoo40
Bat24
Bear40
Beaver20
Bison30
Blackbird18
Boa Constrictor23
Bottlenose Dolphin20
Box Turtle123
Bull28
Bull Snake18
Canada Goose33
Carp100
Cat25
Catfish60
Chicken15
Chimpanzee40
North American Cicada13-17
Cow22
Crocodile45
Deer35
Dog22
Eagle55
Elephant70
Elk22
English Sparrow23
Fence Lizard4
Ferret12
Fox14
Galapagos Land Tortoise193
Giant Tortoise152
Goat15
Golden Hamster4
Gorilla20
Great Horned Owl68
Green Frog10
Hog18
Horse40
Human70-80
Humming Bird8
Kangaroo9
Koala8
Lion35
Lobster15
Macaw50
Mountain Lion20
Mouse4
Newt7
Opossum4
Parrot80
Polar bear20
Porcupine20
Quail6
Rhinoceros40
Salamander11
Sea Lion14
Tasmanian Tiger7
Wombat15
Wolf18

Farm Animals live longer?

It has been well known for a long time that larger species tend, on average, to live longer. However there are also some anomalies—often birds, fish or tortoises. Let’s have a look at some data.

The average farm animal lives only for a certain number of years. Do you know which ones? Knowing how long goats live or how long pigs and chickens live on average is important to know before investing in them.

As a homesteader, investing in your homestead, growing your farm by raising poultry is one of the best you can make. Anyone that is self-sufficient, will be raising their own animals for food.

Cattle, hogs and poultry are all raised in confinement-production facilities, and on a vast scale. While aspects of their lifecycles are the same, in an industrial system their considerably different sizes and physical needs require each group of animals to fit into confinement-based production processes differently.

The smaller the animal, the more easily it is raised within an industrial model; for this reason, chickens spend their entire lives in confinement, while beef cattle spend much of their lives outdoors on pasture before being consigned to a feedlot.

For animals who go through several stages of production, opportunities exist for more or less humane treatment at various points in the production process; and each stage has implications for the livelihoods of farmers and workers.

Animals raised entirely on pasture require more land, labor and time to grow to market weight. As a result, meat and dairy products from animals raised with higher standards for the animal’s welfare and for the environment are more expensive.

Generally, the cost differential is in inverse proportion to the animals’ size: pastured beef tends to be about twice as expensive as industrially-raised, while pastured chicken can cost four to six times as much as industrially-raised.

Here are more farm animals books and related resources to guide and assist you further. You can check them out:

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