By Lisa Carolin
There’s a recent Guinness World Record holder in the area, and her name is Peanut.
At 20 years and 272+ days old, Peanut was recently named the oldest living chicken and this record was verified on Jan. 28, 2023.
Owned by Marsi Darwin, Peanut lives just north of the village of Waterloo and is a cross between a Belgian bearded d’Uccle (her father) and a Nankin (her mother).
“Both (Peanut’s parents) were bantam chickens, so Peanut is quite small,” said Darwin. “She hasn’t laid an egg since she was about eight, and eggs at that age were surprising. Most hens lay for maybe five years.”
Darwin has had Peanut since her first day of life when Darwin peeled her out of her egg. Peanut’s mother abandoned her, and Darwin thought the egg was either infertile or dead.
“Then I heard it cheep,” said Darwin, who said Peanut didn’t have an egg tooth, the sharp piece on the beak that normally aids the chick in exiting the egg. “Her mother did not accept her, and I don’t think Peanut realized she was a chicken, so she lived in a parrot cage in our home for two years before I was able to integrate her into the flock.”
As a very senior citizen, Peanut has returned to living indoors with her elderly daughter Millie to keep her company.
To what does Darwin attribute Peanut’s longevity?
“The same thing that humans need,” she said, “Lots of love, good diet, fresh air and exercise.”