Today was the day. We butchered and canned 11 three-year old laying hens and 7 extra cockerels. I've gotta say it - no matter how many times we do it, no matter how necessary it is - I hate it when it comes time to cull the hens. The cockerels don't bother me at all. I know they're going to go. But the hens... I suppose it's because I've had them for a couple of years and have become somewhat attached. Thankfully, DH was able to hold the bird and wield the hatchet without my help. (It's easier for him if I hold the bird, but he knows it bothers me with the hens). Once the deed is done, I'm fine. I still have a dozen pullets and one cockerel left. Hoping for some broodies this summer for more roosters to process. Out of the birds we did today, I got 17 pints and 6 quarts of meat. Not a bad day's work.