World's oldest chicken, Peanut, dies aged 21

By Sanj Atwal
split image of Peanut the oldest chicken

Guinness World Records is saddened to learn of the death of Peanut, the world’s oldest chicken.

Peanut passed away on Christmas Day at her home in Michigan, USA, aged at least 21 years 238 days old.

“Peanut was a close family member, and I’m grieving her loss,” wrote Peanut’s owner, Marsi Darwin, in a blog post announcing her hen’s passing.

“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.”

@guinnessworldrecords Oldest living chicken 🐔 Peanut - 20 years 304 days 🇺🇸 #chicken#pets#bantam#guinnessworldrecords♬ original sound - Guinness World Records

After being abandoned by her mother, Peanut spent the first two years of her life inside a parrot cage in Marsi’s dining room, before being moved to an outside coop with the rest of Marsi’s flock.

Peanut hatched multiple nests of eggs during her lifetime, and many of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren currently live in Marsi’s coop.

As she entered her old age, Peanut was moved back inside the house, where she shared a cage with her daughter, Millie.

Millie (left) and Peanut (right) (2022)

Benny (left) and Peanut (right) (2022)

Sadly, Millie passed away on Halloween, aged 15, and one of Peanut’s old friends, Luna, died a few days later. A week after Thanksgiving, her old rooster mate, Benny, died too. 

“I believe Peanut was grieving the loss of her friends, old age was catching up with her, and she too simply checked out,” Marsi said.

Peanut as a chick (2002)

Marsi has many fond memories of Peanut’s life and her time as a world record holder: “Highlights of the past year include reporters in our living room, on the floor filming Peanut in the early winter a year ago,” she recalled.

“Then carrying her in her travel basket up to the croquet court in spring and summer so she could peck at the short green grass while being ‘interviewed’.

“Peanut’s spirit and antics delighted viewers online and in the media. She was an incredible little bird.”

Peanut (2023)

Marsi spent the night of 23 December holding Peanut, and on the night before Christmas she wrapped her in a blanket and took her to bed with her.

“I could feel her little head resting on my shoulder as she had done for years, and around 5 a.m. her neck relaxed into mine, and I knew she had died peacefully in her sleep, her final gift to me,” Marsi wrote.

“I know brighter days will come in time. But she will be forever missed.”

Peanut sitting on Marsi's shoulder (2022)

The oldest chicken ever, Muffy (USA, 1989-2012), was a Red Quill Muffed American Game who lived to the age of 23 years 152 days.