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"Graphic pics of my day learning to caponize"

By animalsRawesome, Jun 14, 2015 | Updated: Jun 15, 2015 | |
  1. animalsRawesome
    I am going through the thread (link to post #1 here) and copy/pasting all the relevant info to this page(the thread is currently over 200 pgs long... after just 20 some pages I was already sick of A.) reading a few posts and then having to hit "next page," and B.) having to read through all the posts that didn't further my knowledge of the operation (example someone new to the thread asking for the millionth time, "why do you caponize." hope someone else finds it useful!

    *I started copy/pasting on page 22 of the thread; after I get through all the posts I will go back and add the first pages...


    4/24/13 at 8:58am
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Zootopia [​IMG]


    Pollardized??? I gotta learn to spay now too?? Wow, never even heard of it. Teach us please Kass
    I haven't actually done it yet, but it is actually more simple then the caponizing, since the birds only have one ovary. That is why when you caponize you start on the left side incase it is a female, you can abort the surgery w/o damaging the female. So you only have one organ to remove on the one side, at the same age/weight as you would have for the young boys (you cannot do the procedure on older females). Instead of looking for the "kidney bean" shaped organ, you are looking for the "pea" shaped.

    The reason you are even doing it at all it so the DP female has time to grow into a larger, tastier bird. Doesn't waste time and energy growing a reproductive system she will not use and uses that time and energy to grow bigger. She will not look like male or female when she is grown. By all accounts the pollardized female is as good or better meat bird then the caponized male.
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    5/6/13 at 9:10am
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    Quote: Originally Posted by bhaus [​IMG]

    Any chance you have or can find photos of a poulardizing procedure. I'm still having trouble with clutch of straight run birds - I just tried two and could not locate the testes. I will wait til morning for the others as they just haven't fasted enough. Thought it would be nice if I knew better what to look for in an ovary. Also what ages are you still able to poulardize?
    I don't have pics now, but will have after I do the procedure, as far as how old is to old, I'm not sure there is not alot of detailed info out there. Are you starting on the chickens left side? That is the side the female ovary is on, actual locating the testes has been hard for me too, and why I asked my mentor to come help me w/ this batch, I was trying to locate on practice chicks that had not been fasted before they died of other causes so I'm thinking it will be easier on fasted chicks.

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    5/6/13 at 2:08pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by bhaus [​IMG]


    Thanks. My current clutch (straight run) is 5 1/2 weeks. And I processed a couple last night - they were not sufficiently fasted - and then a couple different ones more this morning. One male I located and removed one testicle and just can't find the other (tried from the right side too - no luck). I'll be interested to hear what you learn of the ovary. I examined a female and did not see anything particularly distinct from the intestines. These was a structure pretty tightly attached to spine that may have been the ovary. If it was, then 5+ weeks is likely too old.
    It may be, also it may be nessecary to use a cauderizer on the ovary. My mentor has one she uses it is very helpful even in the caponizing, especially when she does the older boys.


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    5/20/13 at 12:48am

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    Quote: Originally Posted by GerbilsOnToast [​IMG]

    Question: What does one do if one knows (beyond doubt) that one has created a 'slip'? Does one allow a week or two for healing and then go in from the right and take care of it, or does one just plan on processing him when he crows?

    When you say slip, do you mean that you know one of the testicles was not removed at the time of the first surgery or because of the birds actions and development? If you aren't able to remove one of the testicles, then the thing to do is go to the other side at the same time, rather than waiting and putting the bird through another surgery.

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    5/23/13 at 7:19pm

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    This may be my first post, I don't remember.

    Sunday is the day!

    I have been reading on this topic for 2 years, the original thread, the Chinese Capon's thread and now this one. I ordered "Modern Poultry Husbandry" by Leonard Robinson from the UK two years ago, downloaded everything I could find on the web, read, and reread them all. I do appreciate the suggestions for the Gelpi Retractor instead of the spring retractors. I have assembled my own kit from what others have said they liked. So, Gelpi Retractor 3.5", curved Dental Pick, Scalpel with Blades, and made my own Canula from brass hobby tube and Beekeeper's wire make up my kit. I will take my boys off food and water tomorrow (Friday) night and the procedure is Sunday morning.

    That being said, I bought from a poultry auction 3.5 weeks ago 12 sex links aging from about 1.5-4 weeks. I separated out the white "cockerels" 2 weeks ago and they have been in their own enclosure. One other had both red and white colorings, but he started to develop a red comb, so I decided last night to add him to the other 4 "cockerels". They pecked him to death[​IMG], so when I found him this afternoon, I decided to put my new kit to work (retractors just arrived in mail today and needed sharp tips ground down and rounded, which I did). He was a little stiff (OK, a lot stiff[​IMG]) and his intestines had not been evacuated, but I proceeded. The first side was no problem to see testicle, slippery little bugger about the size of a grain of white rice and a buff color easily distinguishable from surrounding red and gray innards. The other side was beat up badly by the pecking and I went one rib too far forward. Lots of internal hemorrhaging but testicle was visible, but toward tail. No problem, since he was already deceased, I just made another incision. (Note to self, measure twice, cut once). Easier to remove testicle this time even with full intestines and one success under my belt. Incisions did not close up due to his previous demise. I could not evaluate whether I had damaged the artery as no blood could flow, but I don't think I did on either side.

    Observations:
    1. Organs easier to see and recognize than I expected.
    2. Take all the time needed. Everything I have read indicates that the bird will experience some pain from the incision (similar to other injuries they would endure in a normal life) and some when the testicle is pulled away, but other than that, just the discomfort of being strapped to a table not being able to move. So rushing will not decrease, but will likely increase pain, or result in death. Take all the time you need. Count and double count the ribs. No rush here.

    Regarding my Sex link chicks. Two out of the four white "cockerels" do not have any development to their comb, so may be pullets (if so then not sex link as sold). Several of my red "pullets" have a red developing comb, so may be cockerels (if so then not sex links as sold).

    My plan for Sunday: Since I was able to practice on an already dead bird, I will forgo my original plans to dispatch my largest cockerel and proceed with caponizations on both of the known white cockerels. I will open up one of my white "pullets"? and if truly a pullet, then I will know I was deceived at the auction, close up and move on. Lesson learned. She will be fine, more so than the cockerels. Then if my suspicions hold true, I will start with my red "pullets" with the developing combs. All possible subjects will be removed from food and water Friday eve. I have a couple of friends who raise poultry who will be there to observe/help, and we plan to video as well as take lots of pictures. If that plan works out, I will post what I can here for others to learn from my successes or failures.

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    5/23/13 at 7:59pm

    • Location: Central Virginia
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    Couple of thoughts, qajakelly.

    Has the Gelpi been modified to reduce the initial curve and points? Look at the angle of the points at full retraction to get an idea of whether they will be doing unnecessary damage inside the ribcage.

    I found it most helpful to make the initial opening between the ribs with a stabbing motion instead of a slice, just enough to insert the gelpi, then begin retraction and use minimal slicing. The tearing motion appears to bleed less and heal quicker than the slicing.

    An extra set of hands to utilize the curved pick to puncture and retract the abdominal membrane is helpful.

    Rushing is definitely not good, but working smoothly and quickly will minimize the stress on the bird. Also the longer the cavity is open, the more likely it is that blood may obscure your view.

    Good lighting is paramount.

    I have not mastered the cannula, but have been successful with forceps for removal.

    32h NPO seems like a lot to me... I went with no food - 24h, no water 12h, and my guys were ravenous, pulling out each others feathers.

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    5/23/13 at 9:41pm

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    Good points Maggiesdad, I did grind down the points of the retractor substantially and rounded them over. I did not open them fully, only about 3/4". I did not have the benefit of seeing the response of blood on a live bird, as I was working on a cadaver. I will have 2 extra sets of hands and excellent light. We are supposed to be sunny and 76 Sunday. . I will consider the time of food and water reduction and also will keep them in low light so as to reduce activity prior to Sunday. All part of the learning process. Hoping for success.







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    5/23/13 at 10:59pm

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    In regard to the water I concur with maggiesdad. remove water the night before. The bird still needs to be hydrated. Good luck to all.

    Reminder to all, if the patient dies, continue the procedure on both sides, continue to learn the birds anatomy.

    The left side testes is easier to observe, and a little bit larger than the right. So if you suspect a pullet be sure to start on the left, if testes not present, return the bird to feed and water, she will still lay eggs later. Whereas if you start on the right side first, beginners may not readily see the testes, assume a pullet, then observe comb, wattles, and crowing weeks later.





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    post #255 of 2237
    5/26/13 at 3:46pm

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    Today was caponization day in NC.

    Four out of six were successful, the first four. Maybe I was getting tired, maybe the light changed, I don't know why I did not do as well on the last two. The last one I misplaced my incision one rib too far forward and could not see anything on the second side, so having to make another incision in the right place seemed to be what did him in. No excessive blood, just expired. The fifth one was definitely nicking the artery. Nothing wasted, they are in the fridge. All successes are resting together.

    I was correct in my assessment, my auction chicks were not sex links, but rather white straight run, and red straight run, no pullets were harmed in this process today. Auction chickens[​IMG].

    Regardless, I learned a lot, need to revise my cannula, not smooth at all as I tried to draw it up and wire kinked. Got some ideas for revisions, but need a bit of time to work it up. Not to worry, no more cockerels ready for a few weeks. I did a time lapse video but need my son to help me get it off my phone.

    I think the day was a success, no regrets.

    Kelly

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    5/29/13 at 4:17pm
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    We had our caponizing day. Three of us brought young birds all three groups were diff. ages, mine were 5 weeks, the other two groups were 7 weeks and 10 weeks.

    I was not able to get any better pics then what I have already posted.

    We had mixed success. The 7 week olds by far were the best, they were completed w/o slips and all birds survived all procedures.

    The 5 week olds the testes were very difficult to find we tried on a couple, then decided to just wait for a few weeks. I know in the chinese caponizing video they are doing very young birds, but we just weren't able to complete those.

    The 10 weekers, they were leghorn roos. They were mistakenly mixed in w/ a batch of cornish cross so she is caponizing to hopefully get some meat out of them. First let me say those leghorns have the biggest testes!!!!!! They were almost to big to clear the surgical opening. Next while the leghorns made it through the procedure, she was only able to do one side w/ them, even letting them rest before the procedure started they were so neurotic and flighty they do not tolerate the procedure easily. They were settled enough during the procedure, but thier recovery was much harder then the others.

    I sutured w/ both sewing thread and w/ catgut, and have to say I prefer the sewing thread, won't go to the expense of the catgut.

    R. had a modified retractor, he had ground off all the prongs except the first two, one on each side, while it was much easier to get in the inscision, it was very easy to slip and didn't hold well in place. Both C. and I are working on ideas for a couple of tools that may work better then the tools we already have. We are going to caponize mine in a couple of weeks and hopefully we each will have our prototype tool to try out.

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    6/20/13 at 2:37pm

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    this has been a pretty popular thread for caponizing. Great info.
    I have done quite a few now, and learned a hard lesson last week. I had about 35 set aside to caponize. We started around noon on Wednesday (because I get off early that day) and with a helper it took us about 3 hours set up, clean up and all BUT we lost about 5. Terrible percentage of loss. I have done several hundred by now for myself and friends combined and havent had that high of a mortality rate since the first ones i was learning on. But my brilliant helper figured out what we were doing that caused the problem.

    We only cut from one side, their right side and have had great success. We go for the lower testicle first then the closer one. When done under the right conditions its much quicker, less stress on the bird and usually less blood, but I will say it took a lot of patience to learn how to get both from one side.
    A few (5 to be exact) cockerels got out of the pen and my kids had to chase them to get them back in. We laughed at the fun they were having, especially when my wife jumped in to help. When caught they would bring it to me and we would strap it down to wait its turn. On my table I have two areas to strap them down so all a helper has to do is take one when im done and replace it with another while i move on to the next patient. A few just seemed to bleed so easy. I didn't even nick the artery, just moved the membrane around it and it would bleed, QUICKLY. later looking back we figured it was the ones that had gotten out, gotten chased and spiked their blood pressure up.
    Even though they make look calm they were primed for an explosion. Let me make a huge suggestion: if you have to chase one, set it aside till the end to give it time to calm down. Even if it needs to wait an hour or two. its not worth loosing the chicken.
    And for those that are saying "DUH!" yes i know im a little slow on the uptake, but hopefully this will help someone who didn't think about it.

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    6/20/13 at 7:35pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by zionjudah [​IMG]

    this has been a pretty popular thread for caponizing. Great info.
    I have done quite a few now, and learned a hard lesson last week. I had about 35 set aside to caponize. We started around noon on Wednesday (because I get off early that day) and with a helper it took us about 3 hours set up, clean up and all BUT we lost about 5. Terrible percentage of loss. I have done several hundred by now for myself and friends combined and havent had that high of a mortality rate since the first ones i was learning on. But my brilliant helper figured out what we were doing that caused the problem.

    We only cut from one side, their right side and have had great success. We go for the lower testicle first then the closer one. When done under the right conditions its much quicker, less stress on the bird and usually less blood, but I will say it took a lot of patience to learn how to get both from one side.
    A few (5 to be exact) cockerels got out of the pen and my kids had to chase them to get them back in. We laughed at the fun they were having, especially when my wife jumped in to help. When caught they would bring it to me and we would strap it down to wait its turn. On my table I have two areas to strap them down so all a helper has to do is take one when im done and replace it with another while i move on to the next patient. A few just seemed to bleed so easy. I didn't even nick the artery, just moved the membrane around it and it would bleed, QUICKLY. later looking back we figured it was the ones that had gotten out, gotten chased and spiked their blood pressure up.
    Even though they make look calm they were primed for an explosion. Let me make a huge suggestion: if you have to chase one, set it aside till the end to give it time to calm down. Even if it needs to wait an hour or two. its not worth loosing the chicken.
    And for those that are saying "DUH!" yes i know im a little slow on the uptake, but hopefully this will help someone who didn't think about it.
    We discovered a similar thing when my mentor was attempting to caponize her leghorns, a much flightier breed then she usually does, and even though they didn't escape and get chased to be recaught, they required much longer tie down time before starting the procedure. The first one she did just like any other of her birds and though he didn't die he had a much harder and longer recovery, the ones she allowed time in the tie down position to calm them from being handled did much better, but were still more "delicate" then normal LF birds.

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    6/27/13 at 11:48am
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    Still no new pics, it is much harder to get pics when you are actually doing the procedure, and I wasn't going to post anymore of the procedure unless I could get something better then already posted.

    However did learn a few things, the Chinese tools are great, the retractor is amazing and worth getting the whole set just for it, the paddle thing in the tool set is also very useful as are the extractors, the eye tool w/ the thread neither my mentor nor I could figure out. She did have some success w/ the thread tool on a bigger bird, but couldn't reproduce the success on other large or small birds.

    Have learned I am definately a two cut gal. Even w/ the Chinese tools and video, most of the time couldn't even see the lower teste, and never could extract at all from the one cut.

    Learned that most of my birds have fully secured teste's (top, bottom and middle) is secured to the bird, this is a much more challenging extraction, and have no clue as to the difference has to be genetic though.

    The fasting AND water restriction is important!!!! I did both on all birds 36 hour fast, 12 hour water restriction. However the day was very hot here and the procedures were taking a while so the birds were getting close to 20 hrs w/o water towards the end and I was beginning to worry b/c of the heat so I gave them water thinking it wouldn't make that much of a difference, IT DOES, don't do it. Either keep the candidates in more of temperature control or do fewer at a time.

    The uncomplicated procedure is very close to bloodless loss, however some complecations can happen when you are opening the facia lining material it can snag and pull on something vascular (not sure what we couldn't locate what it was) especially if you are working close to an organ area. When this happens one of two things will happen, if the bleed is catastrophic there is nothing that can be done, however if it is just a bad bleed, allow the bird to rest in place w/o movement, give it a few minutes to see if it is a catastrophic bleed or not, if the bird survives the several minutes the blood in the cavity will start to clot. Sew the bird up and keep it quiet and still, do not procede on the procedure, if you continue the bird will bleed out, if you allow it to clot and the bird to recover, it likely will survive so you can attempt again if you want in several weeks or just allow it to be intact.

    The Chinese way of restaining the bird is the secure only the top leg in the stretch not both legs, the bottom leg remains under the bird in a drawn up position, this really seems to help w/ visualizing what you need to see inside.

    The Fm (dark fleshed ) birds are much much more challenging!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Everyone is still alive today, not puffs yet. I had one I was worried for had quite a bit of blood loss, but did as stated above and he is fine. Two others done that day (not mine) we continued w/ the procedure and lost both on the table from bloodloss, but thier deaths were not in vain since we learned how to save others to follow.

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    6/27/13 at 4:01pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Here is part of the information


    The total for the set (5 large tools (roos) and 5 small tools (cockerels) was $26.40. It has the same style rib dilator (1 large & 1 small) that the guy in the fast capon video uses. The wire was 66 cents, the tray for disinfecting tools was $2.44, and shipping was about $3.00. There was a one dollar service fee to use the safety-checked bill paying service, so the total I charged on my Visa was $34.50. I hope everything arrives before the 19th.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Now I'll go copy the link be right back
    http://www.mistertao.com/yext/search?keyword=capon&cn_keyword=%E9%98%89%E9%B8%A1&type=all


    I can't take credit for finding this great deal, my mentor found this guy w/ his great price, I could only find the site that sold them for $70+

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    6/28/13 at 5:09pm
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    Everyone is still healing just fine, no wind puffs at all. I also did not isolate the caponized from their female untouched sibling group. After the procedure I put everyone back in the same brooder run they had been in before. The wings cover the cuts, they are coated in triple antibiotic ointment and no red blood anywhere so no one has harassed or even noticed the cuts.













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    6/30/13 at 10:33pm
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    Today I had 3 w/ wind puffs. It is very straight forward and easy to spot, they get so fat and puffy, they also waddle. Two had puffs on both sides one had wind puff on one side. The fix was just as straight forward as you would think. Sharp scalpel find a spot on the skin that is blood vessel free, and in the puffy zone, take a small cut w/ the scalpel your goal is to just cut barely under the skin, there is a very thin membrane once you puncture that you will see, hear and feel the release of air, instantly. I found that on the chicks w/ the dual wind puffs I had to make a cut on each side. They didn't wince or make a sound, they were much more upset at being held like a baby (to expose the underside and keep them restrained) then the quick cut.








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    7/1/13 at 12:00am
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    Here is a pic of one of the puffers, this is earlier, I have deflated him and the others but didn't have a chance to take after pics.



    [​IMG]

    Edited by Kassaundra - 7/1/13 at 12:01am

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    7/6/13 at 12:50am

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    Quote: Originally Posted by zionjudah [​IMG]

    this has been a pretty popular thread for caponizing. Great info.
    I have done quite a few now, and learned a hard lesson last week. I had about 35 set aside to caponize. We started around noon on Wednesday (because I get off early that day) and with a helper it took us about 3 hours set up, clean up and all BUT we lost about 5. Terrible percentage of loss. I have done several hundred by now for myself and friends combined and havent had that high of a mortality rate since the first ones i was learning on. But my brilliant helper figured out what we were doing that caused the problem.

    We only cut from one side, their right side and have had great success. We go for the lower testicle first then the closer one. When done under the right conditions its much quicker, less stress on the bird and usually less blood, but I will say it took a lot of patience to learn how to get both from one side.
    A few (5 to be exact) cockerels got out of the pen and my kids had to chase them to get them back in. We laughed at the fun they were having, especially when my wife jumped in to help. When caught they would bring it to me and we would strap it down to wait its turn. On my table I have two areas to strap them down so all a helper has to do is take one when im done and replace it with another while i move on to the next patient. A few just seemed to bleed so easy. I didn't even nick the artery, just moved the membrane around it and it would bleed, QUICKLY. later looking back we figured it was the ones that had gotten out, gotten chased and spiked their blood pressure up.
    Even though they make look calm they were primed for an explosion. Let me make a huge suggestion: if you have to chase one, set it aside till the end to give it time to calm down. Even if it needs to wait an hour or two. its not worth loosing the chicken.
    And for those that are saying "DUH!" yes i know im a little slow on the uptake, but hopefully this will help someone who didn't think about it.
    I have really enjoyed reading about caponizing, and the individual experiences of the posters.

    I developed interest in this because of all of the extra cockerels I was accumulating, so I read everything I could, and assembled tools. I do not know anyone who does it, so I learned by doing. It has not been without failures. I lost my first bird to a massive bleedout, but it was a very quick demise. I have had some slips, and I have had some bleeding that resulted in stopping altogether. However, I have had success as well.

    Thanks for your post about making a single incision on the right side and removing both testicles. On July 4th I was going to caponize, so I decided to go in on the right side first, just in case I could locate the second testicle. With the first two I had to go into the left side as well, but on number 3, after I had identified and partially loosened the right testicle, I did a little careful exploration and found the left testicle and successfully removed it. I was then able to do the same thing to the fourth one. Number 5 began bleeding. I stopped, and closed the wound, and he is doing well. All of the last ones I did were White Giants, and for whatever reason, they seemed to stress more than the others prior. I am planning to caponize 7 more tomorrow, and will be trying an elevator that I made. Hopefully it will help with the process.

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    7/6/13 at 8:38am
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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I have really enjoyed reading about caponizing, and the individual experiences of the posters.

    I developed interest in this because of all of the extra cockerels I was accumulating, so I read everything I could, and assembled tools. I do not know anyone who does it, so I learned by doing. It has not been without failures. I lost my first bird to a massive bleedout, but it was a very quick demise. I have had some slips, and I have had some bleeding that resulted in stopping altogether. However, I have had success as well.

    Thanks for your post about making a single incision on the right side and removing both testicles. On July 4th I was going to caponize, so I decided to go in on the right side first, just in case I could locate the second testicle. With the first two I had to go into the left side as well, but on number 3, after I had identified and partially loosened the right testicle, I did a little careful exploration and found the left testicle and successfully removed it. I was then able to do the same thing to the fourth one. Number 5 began bleeding. I stopped, and closed the wound, and he is doing well. All of the last ones I did were White Giants, and for whatever reason, they seemed to stress more than the others prior. I am planning to caponize 7 more tomorrow, and will be trying an elevator that I made. Hopefully it will help with the process.
    So glad you were able to complete it. And getting them both from the right side is the gold standard, one I have not been able to learn yet, so kudos to you on that too. How old are the birds you are having success with the one sided procedure?




    Mine are all still healthy and running around like growing chicks w/o a care in the world. I too know I have some slips, but that will be a good learning time too, I plan on seeing what kind of size difference w/ the same raising standards there is between uncut, slip, and capon. Though the numbers may get skewed some b/c I'm betting the slips and uncut go to freezer camp long before the capons have to.

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    7/6/13 at 10:49pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    So glad you were able to complete it. And getting them both from the right side is the gold standard, one I have not been able to learn yet, so kudos to you on that too. How old are the birds you are having success with the one sided procedure?




    Mine are all still healthy and running around like growing chicks w/o a care in the world. I too know I have some slips, but that will be a good learning time too, I plan on seeing what kind of size difference w/ the same raising standards there is between uncut, slip, and capon. Though the numbers may get skewed some b/c I'm betting the slips and uncut go to freezer camp long before the capons have to.
    The ones I did on the 4th were one day shy of 8 weeks. I didn't caponize today(I forgot and fed them yesterday evening), so I am planning on doing it tomorrow afternoon. Five of them are out of the same hatch, so 8 weeks old. Four of those are White Rocks, and one is a White Giant. I also have two six week old mutts out of my layers from a hatching with one of my Black Copper Marans who went broody for the first time. I chicknapped them from my broody tonight without incident. I am trying the different ages to see what works best.

    Going after that second testicle was nerve-wracking. I could see blood coursing through those large vessels, and knew if I got into one of them that it was over.

    You mentioned getting both testicles from the right side was the gold standard. When I looked at the pictures at the beginning of this thread, I thought your mentor went in from the left side of the bird and got them both. To me, it seemed that going in from the right side was less awkward, but spotting that left testicle seems to be easier to visualize with the left approach. One thing that I have thought about in terms of which approach would be best for getting both testicles is whether or not a person is right or left-handed.

    I know I have slips, as well as intact cockerels, and I, too look forward to seeing the growth difference, but will likely dispatch some of them early as well. One of my first ones, which were blue copper Marans, is already doing the kazoo crow. They were my first attempts, so I know that I performed badly.

    I am really hoping that I can get a better grasp on things tomorrow, because I have 4 American Bresse cockerels that I have to caponize. I bought straight run chicks, so I have extra cockerels, but they were pricey, and I don't want to mess them up. Two of them are two weeks older than my mutts, so 8 weeks, and 2 of them are a week younger, so 5 weeks. I am going to have to do them next weekend, because the older ones will be 9 weeks old.

    Thanks again for starting this thread. I will update after tomorrow's adventures.

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    7/6/13 at 11:16pm
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    Yes when my mentor started she only had the American instructions. Since then she has got the Chinese caponizing tools and some instruction, what can be gleaned from the CD w/o knowing Chinese language. Their way is going in on the right side and removing both, the lower one first then the upper one. They also do not restrain both legs only the upper leg is restrained the other is allowed to be pulled up under the torso of the bird, this does aid in better viewing.

    The American way of the lt side I believe is to make sure you have a boy, since the females only ovary is on the lt side.

    On the birds that I could see the lower teste I could also clearly see those large veins between me and it, and the dark small hole and the barely enough room w/ the tools, and when the tools were in the hole obstructed views of those large vessels, had a hard time justifying the added risk, when the second cut is so easy.

    Good luck w/ your caponizing tomorrow.


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    post #292 of 2237
    7/7/13 at 12:44am

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    OK, at least I know I am not crazy :) I know what you mean about the small opening and not being able to see with the instruments in place. That is why I made an elevator that is very small. I am hoping that it will help with that. I used one I made with the last caponization, and the one I am using tomorrow is smaller still.

    The other thing I did is get a pair of recessed ear forceps. The end is very small and thin, and because it is recessed, your hands are out of your line of sight. Here is a link to ebay that shows what they look like:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Jansen-Ea...606?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5c48cb96

    They are made to be able to place inside a person's ear canal and still be able to see, so you can see where that capability comes in handy with caponization. I just thought you might look at them and see if they might be of use to you.

    OOPS!!! The link above is for a larger pair. Here is the correct link for a 5 1/2" pair:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/3-Jansen-Ea...479?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item1e6203bacf

    Edited by BCMaraniac - 7/7/13 at 8:50am

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    7/9/13 at 3:20pm
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    My mentor said that yes in her experience those caponized even after starting to crow have either stopped or drastically reduced their crowing. Like not initiating a crow, but sometimes responding to a crow of another roo. Even when they do occasionally crow (the few that do) it is quieter, shorter, and w/ less vigor, she reports this change is almost immediate and gets more w/ time. (more as in less crowing)











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    7/9/13 at 9:05pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    My mentor said that yes in her experience those caponized even after starting to crow have either stopped or drastically reduced their crowing. Like not initiating a crow, but sometimes responding to a crow of another roo. Even when they do occasionally crow (the few that do) it is quieter, shorter, and w/ less vigor, she reports this change is almost immediate and gets more w/ time. (more as in less crowing)

    Isn't there an issue with older birds' testes being larger and more fragile and harder to get out intact? When I processed some four month old cockerels a few birds had small, hard testes the size of small baked beans and the faster-maturing birds had huge, soft testes that broke open when I pulled out the guts. I can't imagine trying to get those big testes out of a small caponizing incision without rupturing them. They were about the size of egg yolks, and almost as delicate.

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    7/9/13 at 9:19pm
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    I have not personally done the procedure on a grown or mostly grown boy, but have been present for several that my mentor has done, and yes they are huge, but in the ones she has done they are less fragile, much easier to get out whole, but much harder to get out of the opening b/c they are sometimes bigger then the opening.

    In my opinion it is better to do the younger birds, but very doable to do the older boys if needed, especially by someone w/ experience.










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    post #307 of 2237
    7/9/13 at 10:19pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Awesome!!!!!! Congrats. Can you post pics of your new tool? Everyone is always interested in improved tools.
    Sorry about yesterday's post. I inadvertently deleted the photos, so I just deleted the entire post.

    The elevator I made really isn't that big a deal. It is just small, so I could see better. I used a 6 inch 3/32" diameter aluminum tube, and threaded two ends of 28 gauge beading wire through it, leaving a loop on one end to use as the elevator. Some I made stationary, and some I made so they could be retracted to make the loop smaller once it completely encircled the testicle. Here are some photos, and there are more in a photo album under my profile:


    Here are the loops, which are varied in size for the different sized testicles in the birds of varying ages and maturity:
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    Here is the opposite end. The third from the left has a loop on this end to enable retraction of the loop once the testicle is completely surrounded by the loop on the other end. The others are crimped on each end to maintain the size of the loop:
    [​IMG]


    This is the one that retracts from one end.
    [​IMG]


    Here is a close up of one of the elevator loops:
    [​IMG]

    Like I said, its main advantage is the size, which improves visibility. Combined with the recessed ear forceps that I gave a link to in a previous, visibility is quite good. For all practical purposes, we are operating on a pediatric patient, so we need pediatric sized instruments.

    The aluminum tube came in 12" lengths, which I cut in half with my Dremmel, and the 28 gauge wire is beading wire. I got both of them online from Hobby Lobby.

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    7/9/13 at 10:24pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by MagicChicken [​IMG]


    Isn't there an issue with older birds' testes being larger and more fragile and harder to get out intact? When I processed some four month old cockerels a few birds had small, hard testes the size of small baked beans and the faster-maturing birds had huge, soft testes that broke open when I pulled out the guts. I can't imagine trying to get those big testes out of a small caponizing incision without rupturing them. They were about the size of egg yolks, and almost as delicate.
    In addition to the size and friability(medical term for being fragile) of the mature testicle, the blood supply to the testicle is greatly increased which increases bleeding risk. I wouldn't do an older bird myself without electrocautery, if at all.

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    7/10/13 at 9:57am
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    Here are some pics of the most recent big boys testes that my mentor has worked on over the past couple of weeks

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All were over 6 months, Boss is very much "head roo" and very full of testosterone

    [​IMG]

    I believe she only had to use to caudery tool once and not for the actual teste, but a vascular area at the membrane covering the abdominal cavity.


    All these boys are alive well, recovering and much less noisy and aggressive w/ each other, even Boss who required time out just after the procedure is now able to be in w/ the other boys w/o showing aggression to them.

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    7/10/13 at 4:01pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Here are some pics of the most recent big boys testes that my mentor has worked on over the past couple of weeks

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    All were over 6 months, Boss is very much "head roo" and very full of testosterone

    [​IMG]

    I believe she only had to use to caudery tool once and not for the actual teste, but a vascular area at the membrane covering the abdominal cavity.


    All these boys are alive well, recovering and much less noisy and aggressive w/ each other, even Boss who required time out just after the procedure is now able to be in w/ the other boys w/o showing aggression to them.
    It is obvious that she is good at what she does. When I said that I would not do it, I was referring to myself personally. Hats off to anyone who can! It looks like you found a good person from whom to learn your skills.

    Did she remove them both from one side, or did she make two incisions? Oh, and how old were these birds?

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    7/10/13 at 4:21pm
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    She did two cuts on these, she is still trying to master the one cut thing. She has been able to do a few birds w/ one cut, but not consistently. I know what you mean about not doing it yourself personally, I haven't attempted an older bird yet either. She has mostly been doing it for people desperate to keep their roo that was suppose to be a girl, now they are so attatched type situation. On this group she actually did one side waited a week or so then did the other side. I don't remember the exact ages of these guys, but I saw them they weren't chicks they were full grown, crowing (at least one was crowing insessently) as best I can remember this group were from 6 months to just short of a year.









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    7/11/13 at 2:36pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    Kassaundra,

    Does your mentor do her caponization on a flat surface like a tabletop with her Styrofoam/bubblewrap platform on top of it?? Is she able to sit down, or does she stand when she does it?
    Yes on a flat table surface w/ the styrofoam. She mostly sits. She is wanting to make a slanted table surface like they show in the Chinese capon video.







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    7/12/13 at 9:22pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I didn't realize that the Chinese used a slanted table, but that was the reason I asked. My husband made a wooden platform with a ledge that I can rest my arms on while I caponize and attached it to an old camera tripod, This enables me to adjust height, angle, and even rotation of the table.. He also placed hooks...cup hooks that screw into wood... to use with the bungee cords to restrain the bird. He put several of the hooks in different places on the back of the platform/table to be able to adjust the tension of the bungee cord depending on the size of the bird. I found the bumper pads from my kids' crib and the cover that went on the back of their high chair(complete with a teddy bear on a rocking horse..lol), and covered the table. When I caponize, I cover the padding with a puppy training pad to keep it clean.

    I think the slanted table has enabled me to see better and be in a more comfortable position, and the ledge to rest my arms on make my hands steadier, which I believe has helped me be more effective while learning the procedure. I think she would enjoy having one.

    I can get a photo for you if you would like to see it.
    I have been trying to upload these photos all day:

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]

    Whew!! Finally. There are a couple more photos in my profile This is all I could get to upload,.

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    7/14/13 at 10:37pm

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    These are some of my fixed boys coming up on 26 weeks... Am White Bresse and some meat crosses I've been playing with. I processed a couple of slips last week and was amazed at how much more fat was in them than roosters of the same size. I'm going to run a couple of them out to 8 months (Sept) and finish them on a different diet just for giggles.

    [​IMG]

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    7/15/13 at 10:10am

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    Not yet - those two boys were from extra eggs a buddy threw in a shipment of EOs. Since no Bresse pullets hatched, I decided to go this route with them. They were decidedly male, about 1 lb each - probably 7 weeks IIRC. Their combs went back to pink the next day.

    Since I have two, I'm going to try one early with no special diet, and the second one finished on milk and a single grain.

    My focus is one the EO, or Basque Hen. The Spanish lit says their full potential is realized in the capon... I haven't tried EO capons yet, I'm still trying to improve my flock. The EO cockerels make awesome fryers at 1.5 - 2lb though!


    Some old lit I've read says the best of the best is the poulard... Kassaundra touched on them in this thread I believe.

    Thanks for the compliments - when I see these guys out free ranging, I imagine little neon signs flashing 'Sunday Dinner' over their heads... kind of like those "I'm thinking Arby's" cowboy hats! [​IMG]

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    7/18/13 at 10:41am
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    Yes, removing the ovary of a young female chick you are going to use as meat, this redirects her food energy from egg laying to meat / size building.
















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    7/18/13 at 12:24pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Shellz [​IMG]


    X2! I've heard the term poulard, but didn't know what it meant. Now I do! [​IMG]
    I have read several places that the meat from the poulard is even better than the capon. The other positive aspect of pollardizing(is it spelled poulardizing since you are making a poulard???) is that there is only one ovary located on the left. The right ovary doesn't develop. The trick will be finding it, but it is round instead of bean shaped.

    I will try to make photos of an ovary or two.....assuming I find them![​IMG]

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    7/20/13 at 2:36pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by Zootopia [​IMG]


    Well I think I'll try it, gonna have to take a look at ovaries too so I'll know what I'm looking for.
    Ok so, what about Ducks?
    From what I've read all fowl the procedure is basically the same. There was an excerpt from an older fowl keeping book regarding caponizing ducks specfically but I am on the computer at work and couldn't get it to download. The small sentence I read said they were more difficult then roo's, but I don't know why (it was a book from 1886 ) Not much info out there on caponizing other farm fowl





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    7/21/13 at 9:46pm

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    So, today was my second day of caponizations I have several observations.

    #1 I much prefer 6.5 week old cockerels to 11-16 week old cockerels. Much easier to manage the procedure even though the birds are so much smaller.

    #2 I will not be doing any more Black Australorps. I did 4 today, 3 at 11 weeks and 1 at 6.5 weeks. All procedures went as planned with no bleed-outs but regardless, 2 of the older and the 1 younger all expired for no apparent reason in relation to the others. They just don't seem to be durable enough to withstand the procedure. I will grow out the rest to near maturity and harvest as scrawny juveniles. One other interesting note about the Black Australorp, their testicles are not necessarily ivory, but I found them to be usually two tone Ivory/Black or even all black. See picture.

    #3 Barred Rocks ROCK. They all bounced back like nothing happened. The location of the testicles made the procedure easier and in one case, I thought I was using the elevator to lift one testicle, and out popped both. Entire procedure done in 1.5 minutes, not like the Chinese, but not bad for a newbie.

    #4 Rhode Island Red were a close second to Barred Rocks for ease, even though the only bird I caused to bleed out today was one Rhode Island Red, just a clumsy mistake on my part. I will do more of these.

    #5 Buff Orpington were more difficult to see and acquire target, but very durable and in spite of aborting both procedures due to blood, (one testicle removed from one, none from the other) they acted as though nothing had happened and the blood loss did not translate to losing the bird. I will attempt to finish the job next week.

    I did some barnyard cockerels for a friend today as well, mostly 12-16 weeks old, and as I said under #1 above, harder and limited success with 2 complete, and 3 slips. I like the youngsters much better, the testicles are not as attached and much easier to capture and remove with less tissue surrounding and protecting them.

    While I did suffer some losses, I don't think I did anything specifically wrong on the three Black Australorps, so I am encouraged. Things were certainly better than the first time I did this in May. I have more birds to do next week, so I hope to improve my skills with each entry. I will get them off food and water earlier, as work kept me from removing them until about 14-16 hours prior, and they were not empty enough.

    [​IMG]

    Kelly

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    7/21/13 at 10:14pm
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    Congrats on your successes, and your sticking to it. Sorry for your losses, some of the higher strung ones are helped by doing only one side at a time, then waiting for a week or so to do the other one.

    Yes I have noticed the "colored" testes in several breeds.













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    7/22/13 at 7:46am
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    Quote: Originally Posted by CochinBrahmaLover [​IMG]

    Oh this is so interesting.. Few Q's
    The Roos don't develop roo feathering, do they?
    Are they fatter in fat or fatter in muscle?
    The roo doesn't have a mating drive, doesn't crow most times at all, but if they are older they could still crow a little (like already crowing before the procedure, but even those the majority stop crowing all together)

    However they keep the roo feathering and look. They get bigger and fatter both.


    The females that are poulardized develop secondary male characteristics, which I find interesting. They don't look male or female exactly, and develop shorter legs for some odd reason, from what I've read since I haven't successfully poulardized yet.

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    post #381 of 2237
    7/22/13 at 1:56pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by qajaqkelly [​IMG]

    So, today was my second day of caponizations I have several observations.

    #1 I much prefer 6.5 week old cockerels to 11-16 week old cockerels. Much easier to manage the procedure even though the birds are so much smaller.

    #2 I will not be doing any more Black Australorps. I did 4 today, 3 at 11 weeks and 1 at 6.5 weeks. All procedures went as planned with no bleed-outs but regardless, 2 of the older and the 1 younger all expired for no apparent reason in relation to the others. They just don't seem to be durable enough to withstand the procedure. I will grow out the rest to near maturity and harvest as scrawny juveniles. One other interesting note about the Black Australorp, their testicles are not necessarily ivory, but I found them to be usually two tone Ivory/Black or even all black. See picture.

    #3 Barred Rocks ROCK. They all bounced back like nothing happened. The location of the testicles made the procedure easier and in one case, I thought I was using the elevator to lift one testicle, and out popped both. Entire procedure done in 1.5 minutes, not like the Chinese, but not bad for a newbie.

    #4 Rhode Island Red were a close second to Barred Rocks for ease, even though the only bird I caused to bleed out today was one Rhode Island Red, just a clumsy mistake on my part. I will do more of these.

    #5 Buff Orpington were more difficult to see and acquire target, but very durable and in spite of aborting both procedures due to blood, (one testicle removed from one, none from the other) they acted as though nothing had happened and the blood loss did not translate to losing the bird. I will attempt to finish the job next week.

    I did some barnyard cockerels for a friend today as well, mostly 12-16 weeks old, and as I said under #1 above, harder and limited success with 2 complete, and 3 slips. I like the youngsters much better, the testicles are not as attached and much easier to capture and remove with less tissue surrounding and protecting them.

    While I did suffer some losses, I don't think I did anything specifically wrong on the three Black Australorps, so I am encouraged. Things were certainly better than the first time I did this in May. I have more birds to do next week, so I hope to improve my skills with each entry. I will get them off food and water earlier, as work kept me from removing them until about 14-16 hours prior, and they were not empty enough.

    [​IMG]

    Kelly
    Congratulations, Kelly! I am so sorry for your losses, but unfortunately I think that is part of learning. I have had several sessions, and I seem to improve with each one. I know what you mean about the larger birds. I caponized 10 week old White American Bresse last week, was successful as best I could tell, but gonads were very large and difficult to detach. They are all okay and joined the flock of capons....and slips.....and failures(one who started bleeding and remained intact). I also know what you mean about the little ones....small incisions, VERY small ribs....but they sure seem to tolerate things better..

    Just keep on keeping on, and things will continue to improve. We are all trying to learn to do something that had all but died here in the US, so proficiency has a learning curve, especially there aren't many people out there to watch and learn from. This thread has been the best in terms of photos, discussion, and encouragement to those who wish to learn.

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    7/22/13 at 3:23pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    The roo doesn't have a mating drive, doesn't crow most times at all, but if they are older they could still crow a little (like already crowing before the procedure, but even those the majority stop crowing all together)

    However they keep the roo feathering and look. They get bigger and fatter both.


    The females that are poulardized develop secondary male characteristics, which I find interesting. They don't look male or female exactly, and develop shorter legs for some odd reason, from what I've read since I haven't successfully poulardized yet.
    Kassaundra, I tried my hand at poulardization today. My birds were 8 weeks old(broody hatch over Memorial Day weekend). I wasn't entirely sure they were all pullets, but as it turned out they were. In the first bird, I got in there, and found what I thought was the ovary, but I wasn't sure because it was so large, so I didn't remove. Turns out it WAS the ovary I am quite sure that I disturbed it, so I marked her with a small cut in the web between two of the toes(that was recommended in some of the literature to tell capons from hens that were housed together). I did that so that I could harvest her before laying, since I very likely affected the tract that the yolk needs to traverse.

    In the rest of the birds, I was able to readily identify the ovary......but 8 weeks is too old to poulardize. Even at 8 weeks, the surface of the ovary.....which is yellow like the testicles...looks like cauliflower on the surface and is very large and very fragile. The ovary is also irregularly shaped. The cauliflower-like surface is immature follicles, which will become egg yolks. It is also VERY close to the vena cava. I tried to bluntly dissect out the attached edge, but could only get the ovary out in pieces because of its size.

    I was unable to make pictures, because my camera battery was dead. Sorry.

    How old was the chick that you couldn't find the ovary in? If it was the age of mine or older, you were probably looking for a ovary the size of a testicle in that age of male......it is way bigger. It was so large you probably didn't even consider the possibility that it was the ovary.

    I have some incubator chicks that are 4 weeks old, so I am going to caponize/poulardize(I won't be able to tell one from the other with any degree of confidence at that age) the younger ones in the next week or so to see how much smaller the ovary is. I am guessing that the ovary begins to enlarge early on because of all of those follicles that have to begin development.

    The ovary was definitely not the size or shape of a pea in an 8 week old. Hopefully I can get this figured out so I can share with everyone else.

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    7/22/13 at 3:27pm

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    Thanks for the encouragement. I am far from giving up. I did loose one of the Barred Rock 6.5 week olds overnight, but I will continue until I am proficient. This fits me well, as most all my interests revolve around nearly lost skills and trying to recapture them. I received a PM suggesting I not give up on Black Australorps as he said he has a friend that caponizes 100's of them a year for an Asian market. 40% of my young cockerels are Black Australorp so I will keep on trying with them.

    This is almost a lost skill, relegated to history by our sterile society which is content to consume cardboard tasting manufactured food in the interest of being politically correct and "civilized", only so they can keep their own hands clean of the matter. Eating industrially produced Cornish X chicken purchased in a store only makes them "feel" better, but they truly are part and parcel of the cruelty that is inherent to that industry. Off my soapbox now.

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    7/22/13 at 3:44pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    She was about 6ish weeks I think when I attempted. Is it roughly the same location, same place to cut?
    It is roughly the same location, but I did have to enlarge my incision toward the front, but I think that was because of the size of the ovary in the 8 week old. I will have a better idea when I poulardize the younger bird......and I will make sure my camera battery is charged so I can make photos for everyone.

    Have you been able to locate the kidneys in the boys?

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    7/22/13 at 3:46pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    It is roughly the same location, but I did have to enlarge my incision toward the front, but I think that was because of the size of the ovary in the 8 week old. I will have a better idea when I poulardize the younger bird......and I will make sure my camera battery is charged so I can make photos for everyone.

    Have you been able to locate the kidneys in the boys?
    Haven't looked for them






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    7/22/13 at 4:05pm

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    OK, it is very dark red and is up against the junction of the spine and ribs, and the testicle(and ovary) is located more toward the middle and just above the kidney. There is a white structure up against the spine that is above the kidney, which is the adrenal gland. I like to know where things are, in relationship to each other, so I look around a bit. The spleen is also on the left side, a little higher up but is pretty free floating....I have not looked for it because it has a lot of blood vessels.

    Knowing where all of the other organs were helped locate the ovary since it looked very different from the testicle.





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    7/24/13 at 12:39pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I put some of my 4-week-old chicks up this evening, so I am planning on surgery tomorrow. They are young, but hopefully the procedure will be easier on them, and the anatomy will be more like what is described in the literature, which recommends the procedure at the younger ages. I am also charging my camera battery as we speak.
    Well, my efforts at poulardization weren't successful, but no casualties. I did get a cockerel caponized from the right side. I put him up with the girls to try to caponize at the 4 week mark to see how difficult it would be to caponize at that age, and it actually went very well. I was very pleased at how well he tolerated it.

    I have done some more research on poulardizing and found some additional tips that I am going to try soon. Hopefully I will have success to report with my next adventure....and some pictures as well.

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    7/24/13 at 2:58pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Shellz [​IMG]

    At least you tried & you won't give up. I know you'll get it figured out. Kudos on the 4 week old. Nice to know there's a preferred age for doing it. Good luck next time & I look forward to the pics!
    Thanks for the encouragement. According to my further research(which is from 1914) 2-3 months is the best age for poulardizing a pullet. So my girls are going to wait a little longer. In the meantime, I will gather up my boys and get them taken care of, since I know that I can do them from one side at this age.

    It is absolutely amazing that we truly are reviving an almost lost art.....I may have to write a book describing the how-to. Hmm, perhaps an e-book???? Poulardizing is even closer to death than caponizing.

    Since I messed with these girls, I will have to process them prior to laying because scar tissue is going to develop and the tract that the egg has to go through isn't going to be normal. So if the yolk can't get where it needs to go, then it is retained inside the abdomen and can cause all kinds of trouble.

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    7/24/13 at 9:29pm

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    Work gets in the way of all of my projects, and I never know how late I will have to work. That being said, I have tried to plan my caponizations for Sundays ( I work all of the other days of the week [​IMG]). I decided last night to take 6 cockerels off food and water in case I was able to get home in time to caponize them. Well it worked out time wise, so I set out on the journey again although the sun was getting low and made seeing a bit more difficult than when it is overhead.

    My results were 3 successful capons (2 Buff Orpington, and 1 Black Australorp), and 3 tender tasty morsels for dinner in a day or two. My observations are that even though I have seen some success in getting some done from one side, that my usual failures are in an attempt to locate and/or remove difficult testicles from the first incision. This was what happened today. I had 3 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Black Australorps 7 weeks old. I lost the first three trying to get it done from one side, trying to run when I should walk. I resorted to doing both sides and the next three were total successes. I will, for the time being, force myself to plan to do both sides unless an obvious opportunity presents itself to capture both from one side. No more looking and poking around to find what is hidden. My experience (limited at best) is that 6.5 week old Barred Rock has been easy to see, and capture, often from one side. Same for Rhode Island Red. Black Australorp (6.5-7 week and 11 week) and Buff Orpington (6.5 -7 week) have been more difficult to dislodge from either side and almost impossible to locate both from one side, and as a result, I will plan to caponize these from both sides.

    These are my experiences only, and reflect my level of skill and decisions made during the procedure, as well as the breed and age of birds I am working on. I expect to get better. I also realize that some breeds may be better to do at a younger or older age, and that some breeds may be best to plan on doing both sides. So many variables, only time and experience will sort through it all. That is the point of posting this, so that in the end, we may be able to build a "Best Practices" database for all breeds we have worked with. However, skill, or lack thereof is currently an unknown variable for most of us here. Hopefully, time will minimize that variability.

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    7/24/13 at 10:01pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    So was it you were unable to locate the ovary or couldn't remove it?
    I definitely found it, but couldn't get it out without bleeding and it tearing into pieces. I have been researching, and am going to try again when the rest of mine are 2-3 months old. Hopefully I can get it figured out.




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    7/24/13 at 10:08pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Congrats on the successful capons to both of you, looks like this week has been a good caponizing week.
    Thanks. I am planning to put some of the 4 weekers up in the next day or two and continue my efforts in caponizing the really young ones as long as I have success. The little guy I did yesterday seemed to tolerate it well, was very still, and up and eating and drinking less than a minute after I untied him. I am really enjoying learning the skills, because it will aid in self-sufficiency in terms of not having to buy chicks for meat, and being able to harvest as I want and still have high quality meat.

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    7/24/13 at 11:11pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I definitely found it, but couldn't get it out without bleeding and it tearing into pieces. I have been researching, and am going to try again when the rest of mine are 2-3 months old. Hopefully I can get it figured out.
    Seriously 2-3 months, that seems pretty old and if you couldn't detatch the younger ones w/o bleeding issues, seems like the older ones would have a much better blood supply.








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    7/24/13 at 11:17pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Seriously 2-3 months, that seems pretty old and if you couldn't detatch the younger ones w/o bleeding issues, seems like the older ones would have a much better blood supply.
    I know, seemed too old myself. Do you know ANYBODY who poulardizes??





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    7/24/13 at 11:19pm
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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I know, seemed too old myself. Do you know ANYBODY who poulardizes??
    No I read about it vaguely here on byc when the guy who first posted about the Chinese capon tools posted a thread that showed a poulard. I'll see if I can find it.










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    7/24/13 at 11:31pm
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    Finally found it

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/411126/look-a-strange-chicken-not-a-cock-or-hen-pics













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    7/25/13 at 12:01am

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    Quote: Originally Posted by BCMaraniac [​IMG]

    I definitely found it, but couldn't get it out without bleeding and it tearing into pieces. I have been researching, and am going to try again when the rest of mine are 2-3 months old. Hopefully I can get it figured out.
    One reference I was reading spoke of only severing, or preferably removing a section of the oviduct near the ovary. It made no mention of removing the ovary. This is from "Poultry Farming" International Correspondence Schools



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    7/25/13 at 12:05am
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    Quote: Originally Posted by qajaqkelly [​IMG]

    One reference I was reading spoke of only severing, or preferably removing a section of the oviduct near the ovary. It made no mention of removing the ovary. This is from "Poultry Farming" International Correspondence Schools
    That seems like it would just make an internal layer. And wouldn't change the hormones or the energy put into growing the whole reproductive system. Seems it wouldn't be of much benefit at all. Looking at the Chinese capons, "hen" I'm sure the ovary itself was removed or incapacitated.







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    7/25/13 at 1:18am

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    Quote: Originally Posted by qajaqkelly [​IMG]

    One reference I was reading spoke of only severing, or preferably removing a section of the oviduct near the ovary. It made no mention of removing the ovary. This is from "Poultry Farming" International Correspondence Schools
    I read that as well......apparently removing the oviduct prevents the ovary from developing any further. It also said that the oviduct in a pullet of proper age for the procedure is no larger than an average sized broom straw.....which is probably going to be hard to find. I am sure going to try, though.


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    7/26/13 at 7:43pm

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    Today was a successful day. Put seven(7) 4 1/2-week-old cockerels up last night. Today I caponized 6 of them, getting both testicles from the right side in all 6. Number 7, I was uncertain about, and sure enough it was a pullet. I marked her, and will add her to the "to do" group attempt poulardizing in about 6 weeks.

    I couldn't get any photos, because the camera gets in the way of my headlamp:( I will eventually figure out some kind of lighting that will allow me to make photos down into the surgical field. I had two testicles sitting there easily visible, and in the proper relationship one to the other.....and couldn't get a picture[​IMG]

    I am quite sure that I am photographically challenged.


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    7/26/13 at 8:50pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by Kassaundra [​IMG]

    Wooo Hoooo congrats!!!!!!! My next batch I plan to do at 4 weeks
    Thanks. Have you been able to find the lower testicle from the right side?







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    7/26/13 at 8:51pm
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    Not consistently

















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    post #421 of 2237
    7/26/13 at 9:11pm

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    Here is what I figured out: When you make your incision, make it a little bigger toward the front of the bird. Get through all of the layers of the membranes(peritoneum) and locate the right testicle. Loosen it up just a bit by removing the membrane around it, and when you do, try to get hold of it(it is quite stringy) and pull as much as you can out of the opening, and cut it off(it pulls it loose from some of the intestines, which makes it easier to move them out of the way, plus it not being there helps with visibility.

    Use the right testicle to help you get oriented. Directly below the testicle as you are looking at it, there is usually a pulsating blood vessel(you can actually see the blood moving through it). To your left you will see another large blood vessel, but it is not pulsating. The left testicle is located almost directly under that large vein, but it sits a little lower toward the tail than the right one. You will need to have enough room so that you can come at it from the side yet under that large vein(the vena cava, I think). Carefully begin removing the membrane a little at a time, and you should gradually see the testicle. You literally have to go up under that vein to elevate the testicle from behind it to see the whole thing.

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    7/27/13 at 7:40pm

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    Reply to post 335 with pictures:
    When the time comes to process the birds, check how much testes is left. The three birds to the right are slips. A complete capon will not have an erect tail, nor bright wattles, and next to no comb development at all, giving the appearance of a smaller head. They don't carry themselves like a proud cockerel. Even a miniscule amount of testes left attached to a blood supply will continue to develop and create testosterone. The varying degrees of a slip may range from just wattle color...wattles and upright tail.....to everything just short of full cockerel attempting to crow. Keep in mind that a small amount of tissue continues to develop, so with age the development is more, so the testosterone levels slowly increase and cockerel traits become more apparent. They still tasted good. What happens in the longer term is that the bird becomes more active, no longer the couch potato, resulting in high muscle use. There is an old university book (naturally I can't find it now, but think it was from Cornell) that depicts the amount of tissue left, and equates this to the severity of the slip's unwanted characteristics at length of term. Bearing in mind that 80 years ago the capons were sold with heads, and tails intact for proof of capon product.
    I caponize birds regularly all year, and am quite proficient, even so about 15 percent result in slips of varying ranges. I also feel that the degree of slip may be in direct relation to the size of cockerel on day of caponizing. where a 1 - 1.5 pound bird generates no slips (small testes, weak connective tissue), to a 1.5 - 2 pound bird the chances are increased (larger testes, further firmer connective tissue development). I will not do a bird at 2 pounds, rather just take him up to 3.5 - 4 pounds and use as broiler/fryer.
    Kass, thanks again for starting this thread.
    jeff

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    7/27/13 at 10:53pm

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    [​IMG]

    I caponize when the bird approaches one pound. That is the ideal weight for me. The incision is now 3/4 to 1 inch so that I can perform the removal. It can be done on smaller birds with success, Zionjudah has been successful, but not by one who has benign tremor as I. My procedure is also from each side, starting with the left first, as the left is more prominent. This became needed for difficult to sex birds with Pea combs, and is now my routine starting side. If there is no testes apparent on the left, the pullet is back to feed and water with the rest of the birds, and will still attain point of lay in the normal time frame. (Though I still process pullets for table fare, and they are delicious too!)

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    7/27/13 at 11:34pm

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    Quote: Originally Posted by naillikwj82 [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I caponize when the bird approaches one pound. That is the ideal weight for me. The incision is now 3/4 to 1 inch so that I can perform the removal. It can be done on smaller birds with success, Zionjudah has been successful, but not by one who has benign tremor as I. My procedure is also from each side, starting with the left first, as the left is more prominent. This became needed for difficult to sex birds with Pea combs, and is now my routine starting side. If there is no testes apparent on the left, the pullet is back to feed and water with the rest of the birds, and will still attain point of lay in the normal time frame. (Though I still process pullets for table fare, and they are delicious too!)
    Thanks for the picture. This week I caponized 7 cockerels, (1) at 4 weeks, and (6) at 4 1/2 weeks. I didn't weigh them, but I was able to remove both testicles from the right side in all of them.....I am slower than molasses, however. It is a bit tedious with that size bird, but I am getting much more comfortable with it, so I am hopeful that I will become more efficient timewise with more experience. My next project is poulardizing pullets in a month or so.

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    8/23/13 at 10:21pm
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    One of my slips started crowing this week. He sealed his fate. I have a new batch hatched out this week, way to soon to scope out the boys, but I am planning on doing them at 4 weeks old, really hoping to get good at one removing both testes from the one side. Some of the boys are getting really big, way out growing the others, it will be interesting to see if those are the full capons. I know the one crowing is one of the leaner smaller ones. This next batch I will definitely mark the slips and full capons w/ banding.











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