My only reason for getting chickens in the beginning was for the eggs. If my financial circumstances required it, I could do what had to be done. As I said, I have done it. We had a couple roosters once that the kids drug home from the carnival, and both turned nasty. Because of that, I didn't like them, and the kids were afraid to go outside, so processing them was no problem; good riddance. My hens are different. They're not pets, in the sense that they ride around on my shoulder or perch on my head, and I don't usually try to pick them up (the new rooster being a whole 'nuther situation entirely, since he came here very tame), but they're starting to take corn from my hand, 'cause they've seen the rooster do it, and I truly enjoy watching them & having them around. Besides that, the only hens to die here have been victims of predators or found dead in the coop, and I wouldn't eat either. I even raised rabbits for a while. When it came time to butcher, I couldn't catch them, so I popped them in the head with the .22. After the 3rd one, they were all in full panic mode, and I just didn't have the heart to continue...turned the rest of them loose. I guess I'm too much of a softie sometimes.