Hi everyone! I'm new to the BYC, and still researching before we take the big plunge into chicken life. I stumbled across this forum while looking up mealworm care, fell into the thread with 7k posts, got and got even more interested. We've talked about having chickens for years (I grew up around them, and a lot of our friends have them) but we've never made the leap. But it makes sense, so once we purchase a house, we're going to jump into it! We're getting our mealworm colony numbers up first too, so that we'll have those as a feed source...also looking into red wigglers and roaches as a feed source. So I have some questions, and the answers probably aren't easy, but I'm guessing that you guys could point me in the direction of a thread that maybe discusses it in greater detail. So my first question is basically how do you decide to use meat birds? Logically, I get it. It makes sense to use the whole bird, the roosters don't lay eggs, so they are useful for meat. I also know that it's a million times more humane to raise a bird than it is to eat one that is factory raised. (Our current chicken meat comes from Costco...I don't like it, but it's affordable.) Hubs says that he has no issue doing the, umm, butchering. (Is that the proper word for this task?!) What I can't figure out is how we can raise them by hand and not get attached. I guess it would be easier if we could be guaranteed that the roosters would be big, mean birds....but if we are raising them by hand they'll probably be sweet and lovable. Ethically better, but emotionally harder, I guess? Anyways, hopefully this question isn't offensive or naive, I'm sure it must have been discussed before. I know there is a kind of disconnect from our food in these modern days of grocery purchased everything, and I hope we can be successful in getting closer to the root of it all. Thanks for any help or advice or links!!!