The oldest chicken in the world has died!

Michigan - When her mother abandoned her as a child, no one would have guessed that Peanut would live longer than any other hen in history. Still, with a little love and a lot of feed, she became the world's oldest chicken.

The oldest chicken in the world was an extraordinary hen named Peanut.
The oldest chicken in the world was an extraordinary hen named Peanut.  © Unsplash/Virginia Long

Being a pecker can be hard work, scrounging around the yard all day, cooped up into a small little square with little but hay, feed, and friends to occupy your time.

Yet, for Peanut, this difficult life was compounded by childhood abandonment, an insane number of subsequent children, and life outside the hen house.

There is something extraordinary, though, about this little lady. An animal world record holder for being the oldest chicken in the world, Peanut lived a long and ultimately happy life in Michigan and had a true bond with her human caretakers.

What is the world's oldest chicken?

After many years in the coop, a chicken named Peanut officially became the world's oldest chicken. Confirmed by Guinness World Records, who also commemorated her recent passing, Peanut may have had a world record to her name, but it didn't come without its fair share of hardship and loss.

When Peanut hatched, she found herself without a mother. Having been abandoned from a young age, Peanut found herself in the care of a kind and loving human, one Marsi Darwin, who nursed her in an indoor parrot cage for the first two years of her life.

Moving outside into the coop, Peanut had many children, grandchildren, and eventual great-grandchildren before she passed. She out-clucked four US Presidents, seven UK Prime Ministers, and many friends and family members.

In a blog post dedicated to the late chicken, Marsi explained that not only had Peanut's daughter Millie recently passed away but so had her best friend Luna and an old rooster buddy Benny. As a result, Marsi believes that she passed from a broken heart.

"I believe Peanut was grieving the loss of her friends," she explained. "Old age was catching up with her, and she too simply checked out."

How old is the oldest chicken?

Peanut holds the world record for being the oldest chicken ever, having lived for 21 years and 238 days. She was old enough to drink alcohol, had outlived many of her children, and had a lifelong bond with Marsi, who had been with Peanut the day that she hatched from the egg.

She received her world record title at the age of 20 and lived for an entire year longer before passing. As a result of the record, she became a world-famous chicken and was the subject of newspaper articles, television shows, and even radio programs. Peanut even had a picture book dedicated to her, titled My Girl Peanut and Me, which was written by Marsi.

Over the years, she became a close and well-loved family member, and she is now being deeply grieved by her entire family. Marsi explained in her post that while she is aware that others have suffered far greater losses over the Christmas period, Peanut's death has hit her hard.

"To me, Peanut was a close family member, and I'm grieving her loss," she explained. "We bonded 21 and a half years ago when I peeled her out of an egg, and although I realize she had a phenomenally long life for a chicken, I'm heartbroken nonetheless."

Peanut had many children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren in her long life.
Peanut had many children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren in her long life.  © Unsplash/Travis Colbert

The oldest chicken has died

Sadly, the oldest chicken died on Christmas morning, nestled safely in the arms of her beloved human. Marsi described her final moments, explaining that Peanut had helped her through a tremendously difficult time, holding out until after she had come to terms with her mother's death before passing on as well.

According to Marsi, things had deteriorated for Peanut on the 23rd, and throughout the whole of Christmas Eve, she held the chicken close and kept her warm and comfortable. Having spent hours comforting Peanut, she took her to bed, warm and comfortable on Marsi's chest.

"On Christmas Eve, exhausted, I took her to bed with me, wrapped in a soft blanket, and held her close to my chest. I could feel her little head resting on my shoulder as she had done for years, and around 5 AM her neck relaxed into mine, and I knew she had died peacefully in her sleep, her final gift to me."

"Even with two corgis, a cat, and three parrots, the house feels strangely quiet and empty. I know brighter days will come in time. But she will be forever missed."

Cover photo: Unsplash/Virginia Long

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