Hi everyone. Everyone has been so helpful and tolerant of my questions, so forgive me but I have more to ask! I'm planning to have my very first flock next year, and I would like to be able to have some meat and some layer birds in order to do a cull later in the season. The only things I've ever killed are spiders. I've given CPR to a mouse and a chipmunk, rescued countless cats and dogs, some with graphic injuries and I have done everything in my power not to ever have to put one down myself. I love animals and I know I will love my chickens and that they will die loved, but how do I come to terms with this? Part of the reason I want to do this is because I believe people have lost a connection to their food that we had until only 150 - 200 years ago. Meat and vegetables just appear in freezers and fridges and most people are okay with that, but I'm just not. I'm not religious, I'm spiritual, and ritual is something that I have concerning many things. When I found a freshly run-over fox pup less than 1km from my home, I brought him home and gave him a burial because I just couldn't bear it. I suppose what I'm asking, other than how to come to terms with your first, second, third (etc.) kills, is do you have a ritual at all to make your birds feel comfortable? Do you still fight guilt, or have you never had any and I'm just not rational? Have you been able to find peace in the fact that the bird died, not as a waste and inhumanely, but as a cared for animal that had a decent/great life? I'm sure a couple people will tell me I'm just not up to it or maybe I shouldn't do it because I seem emotionally brittle. I'm compassionate, not brittle. I've located a butcher I trust (person I work with), incase I don't have the stomach for it, but I want to try, and I know to try I must do it with conviction, for the sake of the bird. I hope this makes sense and thank you for your answers.