How Long Does it Take for a Chicken to Grow to Eating Size?

How Long to Eat a Chicken

How Long Does it Take for a Chicken to Grow to Eating Size

Baby Chickens x
Baby Chickens

On Average, This occurs when the chickens are between 16 and 24 weeks of age, depending on breed, but even some individuals within a breed will develop more quickly or slowly than others. The ballpark age for when a young chicken is considered mature is 18 weeks. In Intensive Farming 6 Weeks, In Free Range Farming 8 Weeks and Organic Farming is 12 Weeks.

How Long Does it Take for a Chicken to Grow to Eating SizeOpens in a new tab.The fastest are Broilers 6 – 8 Weeks of age Chickens are ready for Fried Chicken. When Raising ChickensOpens in a new tab. for Meat. The age varies according to the Method of Farming you are doing. The earliest being 6 Weeks, the two biggest factors are Breed and Health of Chickens.

Chickens in more Natural settings can live up to 6 years of age, and 3 – 5 Years in farming operations.

Type of Meat ChickenLife SpanAge of Slaughter for MeatAge begin Laying
Intensive Farming6 Weeks of Age18 weeks of age
Free Range8 Weeks of Age24 weeks of age
Organic12 Weeks of Age29 weeks of ages
Raising ChickensOpens in a new tab. for Meat

Here is the whole process from Raising Baby Chicks. Feeding and Growing them until they reach the freezer. Timeline for Meat ChickensOpens in a new tab.

  • Eggs in Incubator – 21 days
  • Chicks arrive at Feed Stores at 24 – 48 Hours old
  • Growing Quickly 4 – Weeks of Age
  • Chicks have Feathers 5 Weeks of Age
  • Killing Cones
  • Chicken fryer – Scalder – 150 Degrees for 30 seconds
  • Plucker – removes Feathers – 30 Seconds
  • Butchering Table
  • Remove Yellow Claw feet
  • Remove Head
  • Separate windpipe – esophagus
  • Slice around anus
  • Remove / Pull Organs, intestines from Chicken
  • Separate Heart / Livers / Gizzards
  • Washed, Soaked and Cleaned
  • Pack in bags and Ice

12 Ways to Make Money by Chicken Farming—Extensive Guidelines for Chicken FarmersOpens in a new tab.

how long does it take chicken to mature / how long till a chicken is fully grown

Types of Chickens

There are three major types of chicken Breeds

  • Meat Breeds
  • Laying Breeds
  • Dual Purpose Breeds

Types of Chicken Breeds

Chicken BreedsOriginMeat/ Layers / Dual PurposeFinished WeightEggs per WeekWeeks to Slaughter
Canada/US/EuropeMeat3.3 lbs514 Weeks
Cornish crossesOpens in a new tab.EnglandMeat6.5 - 8.5 lbs38 - 9 Weeks
Jersey GiantsOpens in a new tab.USAMeat ( Intended to replace Turkeys)13 lbs48 - 9 Months
Hertigage Breeds6 - 9 months
DelawareUSA DelawareDuo6.5 lbs4 - large8 Months
DorkingUnited KingdomDuo10 - 14 lbs5 - med5 Months
BuckeyeUSA OhioDuo6 - 9 lbs4 - med5 Months
Rhode Island RedUSA Rhode Island Duo6 b- 8 lbs5-65 Months
LeghornItalyEggs4 -5 lbs48 Months
Plymouth RockUSA - MassachusettsDuo7.5 lbs45 Months
SussexUnited KingdomDuo7 lbs4 - 5 - large5 Months
WyandotteCanadaDuo7 - 9 lbs5 Months
WelsummerNetherlandsDuo7 lbs4 / Week5 Months
HamburgUnited KingdomEggs7 lb4 - med9 weeks
Black AustralorpAustraliaDuo\3 - 5 lb5 - med5 months
Buff OrpingtonEngland Duo7 - 8 Lbs4 - 58 months
BrahmaMeat11 lbs3 - med5 monthss
Name of Breed
Meat Breeds
Laying Breeds
Dual Purpose Breeds

What is Used to Make Chickens Grow Faster

There are several methods chicken farmers use to speed up the Chicken’s growing. The most important factor is to do some research on the fastest-growing Chicken Breeds that have been bred for fast weight and muscle gain.

Breeding plays a very important role in the Speed of ChickenOpens in a new tab. Growth. Some of the fastest Growing Breeds are

  • Broilers
  • Cornish crosses
  • Jersey Giants
  • Heritage Breeds
  • Delaware
  • Dorking
  • Buckeye

How do Vitamins and Probiotics help Chickens Grow fast

The second most important consideration is growing Chickens as fast as you can. Is there Health? Many Chicken feeds contain some of the vitamins that they need to grow as fast as possible. If they are deficientOpens in a new tab. in these Basic building blocks. This will translate into slower weight gain, poor bird development and also makes them prone to many more diseases

Healthy Chickens have strong immune systems that help them ward off Diseases and parisite. Keeping a close eye on your birds will help you spot any deficiencies that you might run into. Each type of Chicken farmingOpens in a new tab. System will have its own drawbacks so here is a summary of what to look for

how long does it take for a chicken to be fully grown / laying hen

Vitamin B 12

  • Deficiency – Reduced Feed Intake
  • Reduced weight Gain
  • Poor Feathering
  • Nervous Disorders

Vitamin A

  • Emancipated
  • Weak
  • Ruffled Feathers
  • Egg production Drops
  • Hatchability Decreases
  • Baby Chick mortality increased
  • Hemorrhage
  • White Discharge from Eyes

Vitamin D3

  • Osteoporosis
  • Ricketts
  • Poor Eggshell development
  • Loss of egg production in two 3 weeks
  • Retarded Growth
  • leg weakness
  • Soft Beaks and claws
  • Struggle walking
  • Hunches sit a lot
  • Swaying side to side – may be the loss of equilibrium
  • Skeletor Disorders

Vitamin E

  • Muscular Dystrophy
  • Encephalomalacia
  •  Exudative Diathesis

Vitamin K

  • Bleeding – Blood does not Coagulate
  • Internal Blood Bleeding Fatal
  • Bad Cases chicks can die from Bruises


Baby Chicks inside the digestional system are still developing. Many farmers use probiotics for their young flocks, in their first week of life. Its benefits are that it populates the chicken’s bacteria with good bacteria, and helps the digestive system to complete forming quickly. Baby chicks can easily get back bacteria from droppings. Some farmers feed their chicks some type of fermented feed to do the same thing.

Chickens can eatOpens in a new tab. too much-fermented feed, but this usually does not happen because chicken regulates the amount of feed they eat.

how long does it take a chicken to mature / egg laying process

How Long Does it take to grow a Chicken with Growth Hormones

Growing chickens with growth hormones have been illegal in the United States since the 1950s. Today it is not used in commercial farming operations. Some labels list that they are hormone-free. But in reality, there are none that are using hormones that are selling in the United States. All Chickens are Hormone Free.

How Fast Does a Chicken Grow on Steroids

This is the same situation. There are no steroids in Chicken that are raised and sold in the United States today. Any Chicken you buy is Steroid Free.

Do They put Steroids in Chicken

No, No Chicken sold in the United States has Steriods, it is all Steroid Free

What are Chickens Injected with to make them Bigger

What is Chicken Plumping

Chicken producers have since the 1970s begun enhancing or injecting fresh chicken meat with saltwater solutions, sometimes chicken broth, they maintain that this process of Plumping is supposed to make the meat taste better.

Chicken meat is also sold by lb weight, so estimates up to 30 % of the chicken weight is saltwater.

When you add the saltwater, this happens with other meats also, but it helps the meat to keep its salt content which helps in preservation in shipping. This has been taking place in the United States since the 1970s.

It is injected into the meat in Chickens prior to shipment by multi Needle machines.

Are Chickens Fed Antibiotics

Yes, and No, Organic Chicken is Free from antibiotics. Chickens are given antibiotics for parasite control and if they are ill. They legally have to have antibiotics cleared from their systems before Slaughter.

how long does it take for a chicken to mature / laying hens

Antibiotics are in a lot of Animal FeedsOpens in a new tab.. The antibiotics usually added are

  • Chlortetracycline
  • Procaine Penicillin
  • Oxytetracycline
  • Streptomycin

Benefits of Using Benefits

  • Increasing Efficiencies
  • Increasing Growth Rates
  • Disease Prevention
  • Increased Egg Production
  • Increased hatchability

Disadvantages of Using Antibiotics

  • Retain the strains of bacteria – resistant to antibiotics
  • Major Disadvantage is transmitting the bacteria Resistant to another host thru
  • Feces
  • Slaughtering
  • Eating of meat

How Long Does it take a Chicken to Grow Naturally

Four Months ( 4 Mo ) to Fried Chicken. Opens in a new tab.Chickens can be raised Naturally without supplements and chicken feedsOpens in a new tab.. Chickens do grow slower because they are eating foodOpens in a new tab. as they find it. This is found in many backyard chicken raisingOpens in a new tab..

how long for a chicken to mature / lay eggs / egg laying process

Is Eating Chicken Everyday Healthy

Yes, It is very Healthy to eat organicOpens in a new tab. Chicken. The price is usually higher because it is harder to raise, especially in larger operations some of the benefits are

  • No -Pesticides
  • No Anti – biotics
  • Not Injected with Saltwater – Plumping
  • This is subjective – some hold it taste Better
  • No GMO’s
  • No Synthetic Pesticides.

How Long to Grow Chickens?

Chickens can grow to full size in as little as 12 weeks. Also, they lay eggs when grown to full size. It’s better to wait until your chickens are fully grown before you eat their eggs because the nutrients and minerals change once the chicken is mature enough for egg-laying.

The optimal age that a chicken should be allowed to grow before slaughter is 16 weeks.

Chickens that are less than 12 weeks of age will only get up to one egg per week, but chickens older than 13 weeks can lay two eggs a day. If you’re raising them for meat it is best not to start feeding more food around five or six weeks of age. Simply feed them as normal and once they reach the correct weight take them to be slaughtered.

Chickens will start laying eggs earlier if you use lights that are on a timer, so set it for 16 hours per day beginning at four weeks old. You can also increase egg production by feeding your chickens more food than usual.

Final Thoughts – How Long Does it Take for a Chicken to Grow

There are a number of factors that determine how long it takes to grow chickens. The most important factor is the type of breed being raised. Some breeds take longer than others, but all require some time and care to reach maturity so they can lay eggs or produce meat on their own. In general, chickens will take about two years from the time they hatch until they start laying eggs or producing enough meat for humans to eat. This timeline includes giving them food and water every day as well as providing adequate space for them to live in during this period.

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