At what age are farm animals slaughtered

Ina Müller-Arnke

What is the lifespan of a "farm animal"?


No animal is “naturally” a farm animal. This attribution is arbitrary and socio-culturally determined. In the different regions of the world, the same animal species are sometimes considered to be farm animals, then again as pets, domestic animals or working animals.
With so-called “farm animals” we speak of animals that are killed and thus used to feed humans. The lifespan of a "farm animal" that is killed to feed humans is far below the natural life expectancy of the animal. Even if an animal is lucky enough to be kept appropriately, it is by no means fully grown at the time of slaughter. So z. B. Pigs slaughtered as early as six months after their birth, although they have a natural life expectancy of up to 20 years.
While the natural age of laying hens can be 15 years, they reach a maximum of one and a half years in intensive housing. The difference is particularly large with broilers: While chickens could actually live up to 15 years, the life of a broiler chicken ends after 40 days.

FOUR PAWS has shown the discrepancy between the average useful life and the potential life expectancy in graphics that clearly show these differences:

www.vier-pfoten.de/themen/nutztiere/lebenserwartung