@Rebecca Pederson@facebook This was a concern for me, when I got ours as cute little fuzzballs. They only lay eggs for a few years, but can live for a decade. I eventually came to the conclusion I'd be able to kill and eat them, and, as I've gotten to know them as the hilarious but rock-stupid dinosaurs they are, I've grown only more comfortable with this idea.
So, I live in Portland which means I have to have chickens so the neighbors *don't* dub us the crazy house on the block. I only have two since I didn't want that many eggs and they seem emotionally balanced and healthy. I guess if a coyote got one, I'd be in trouble? The eggs are great but the garbage disposal feature is the best. I no longer feel guilt about tossing week-old leftovers. Also, Melba and Mabel LOVE slugs, which is a huge perk in the rainy PNW.