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Can adult roosters be caponized/neutered?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bells, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. Bells

    Bells In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Last spring we began our poultry experience with what we had hoped was 6 hens. Turns out two were roosters and the kids love them like puppies. The alpha chases and beats up the other one when the 2 of them and the 4 hens are in the big, open yard. I know having more hens would help but I'd like to try to solve the problem without increasing the size of our flock. We're experimenting w/ confining the roosters separate from the hens and allowing first the hens to forage in the open, then the two roosters but not the roosters and hens together. Will the two roosters co-exist peacefully if there are no beauties in their immediate vicinity? Lately I'm wondering if we could neuter one (or both!) of the roosters but I'm not sure if this is safe to do on 11 month old birds - or if I could even find someone who knew how to do it. So far, I've contacted three vets and none of them do this. Thanks for any insight!
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    It can be done. I do not recommend doing it yourself. If you do a search you will find several thread discussing the process and issues surrounding it.
  3. Bells

    Bells In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks. Could you help me by telling me what the search topic should be? I've tried searching this site with "caponizing adult rooster" (got one post about a young bird) and "neutering adult rooster." I must not be wording this correctly.
  4. Picco

    Picco Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    Neutering an animal that has already reached sexual maturity doesn't change the behavior all that much. They would be a little less prone to fight and would crow less but they still would to some degree. I would never recommend neutering a bird. They don't handle anesthesia well and doing it without is cruel. A lot of people keep multiple roosters but only allow one with the hen at any given time. Having two roosters with four hens is a little rough and your hens will start to show the signs of abuse. Since you would like to keep both rosters without adding more hens your best bet is to build a little pen in your coop to keep one of your roosters in. You can rotate them every other day or a couple times a day if you wanted so they wouldn’t be penned up for that long. That way they wouldn’t fight and your hens won’t have to deal with too many roosters harassing them.
  5. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    I agree with Picco, altering any adult animal once behavioral patterns are established will do very little. Also, caponizing is nothing like a cat or dog, it is a serious internal procedure that can have fatal results if there's a little slip.

    In short, add more hens to your little flock, or rehome one of the roosters. That would be my recommendation.
  6. hooligan

    hooligan Songster

    Aug 20, 2007
    I had though about getting a roo neutered if I should wind up with one...wound up with 4 and gont none neutered. The two we still have share turf and hens and we don't have a problem with them BUT seeing how you are I would just get more hens. If you really want to get one neutered, finding a vet to do it is going to be hard. Most vets don't like to mess with birds, muchless chickens.
    Go to an Avian vet site and see if there are any in your area. It will be expensive and you will most likely have to see him separated for awhile for him to heal and get his strength back up. It may also take several months before you notice a change in behavior as well.
  7. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    Having done research on this...no is the easiest thing to say...

    Caponizing is best done on cockerels no later than 6 weeks old.
    Other than that you risk cutting out a wrong organ, like a kidney, and having him bleed to death.

    For a while, they used chemical castration on cockerels, but had to stop that because it was staying in the meat or some such.
  8. Bells

    Bells In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Thanks for everyone's advice. We'll separate them from the hens - or from each other - for the time being and also consider re-homing the subdominant one.

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