Originally Posted by DesertChic
Yeah....I still haven't figured out the whole caponizing procedure. I understand it conceptually, but even practicing on butchered birds hasn't helped. I think my husband nailed it when he said, "You need hand's on instruction." Unfortunately, all of the "chicken people" I'm acquainted with around here think I'm either crazy for wanting to do this or simply don't know anything about it. The local poultry show judge we know told me very bluntly, "Just put all the cockerels in a pen together and let them grow out until you're ready to eat them. Don't waste your time with caponizing."
Keep working on the idea with your just-slaughtered cockerels ... it will just "click" at some point. If anything, it is worth it to me just for the couple months' worth of peace for growing out, even though most of my attempts have been slips. One thing I read in an old caponizing book/let is that folks used some of the milder-tempered capons as chick nannies, and I have been trying that out here. Two of my good chick nannies ended up showing as slips, but one raised two groups of cockerels (one group was caponized, and the one full capon is my new chick nanny) and the other raised up all the splash Silkies.
Personally, I don't think of it as being a prepper to be so interested in the production value of our chickens. Might be part of why I joined and hang around this thread! I see it as a more old-fashioned pragmatic mindset of demonstrating why our specific breeds or crosses were kept and done back in the day before our food production got so ... factory-like. I am also firmly convinced our eggs and chicken just taste better than what is available in the grocery stores nowadays, just as vegetables from the garden taste better than the produce section stuff in the grocery.
I'm preaching to the choir here ...