Aaron asked me the other day what the average life expectancy is of laying hens. I didn't know and I couldn't find it in my handy dandy book. I did find that they have an average "laying expectancy" of 2.5 years. This "laying expectancy" is the same for commercial hens. Just to clarify, the hens will keep producing eggs after 2 or 3 years, just at a slower rate. Sadly, this characteristic shortens the life expectancy for a commercial laying hen by up to a factor of 5. According to WikiAnswers (result of my savvy Google search) free range hens can live up to 15 years. Although I am going to do my best to protect them from predators, Ginger (the neighbor's dog) might think differently. Maybe she won't notice.