I can see why it’s hard, particularly if you have only a few birds. When you have many, it’s not personal. Still (to me) the unrivaled most unpleasant of chores, but not personal.Held on to my first 3 hens for several years until they started getting sick on me and dying since I have no vet near me who could/would handle poultry. Their lives are comparatively so short, the process of losing them was heartbreaking and awful.
I then began getting 2 hens a t a time, keeping them for max 2 yrs, and then turning them over to some friends who have a huge farm and don't care about egg production.
I know I'm lucky with this because there is no way I can bring myself to "twist their necks" (among other "helpful" suggestions from friends) and cook them. Frankly, I'd love to be able to, since I agree with an earlier post, that it's great if one can make full use of a hen.