I am having a really hard time with this. I need to downsize for a number of reasons, including the fact that I have less egg customers and don't need all the eggs anymore, AND I can't keep paying for feeding my 3 yr old hens who aren't laying as many eggs AND I have a few more chicks for my next pullets AND I have to advertise for new neighbors and right now there are just too many chickens wandering around the yards. I've been going through 100 lbs of feed per week and that's not cheap! I have 20 hens scheduled for the butcher tommorrow morning, but when I went out to the roost tonight to put them in boxes, I could hardly do it, so I'm only taking 12. These are hens I've had for 2 years and I've grown more attached to them than I realized. Also, I never thought of them as meat chickens, just egg-layers, so it's a total change of attitude toward them. As I was walking away I could hear their little questioning whimpers coming from the boxes, wondering what's happening. Aaahhh it pains me. They HAVE had very happy free-range lives -- I don't think a bird could have a happier life than here since I let them go anywhere and do anything they want on this farm. I may find homes for about 5 or 6 more nearby. As much as I love them, I know I need to accept the inevitable and move forward with downsizing.