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Can you desex a rooster?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Qualara, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. Qualara

    Qualara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just curious. I have a rooster whom I love, but I can't keep him in with my other rooster and the only other coop I have has rescue/retired hens who can not mate. Is there a possibility to get it done by a vet? Has anyone heard it before?
     
  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it can be done. It is called caponizing. It is done at about 6 weeks old or thereabout. Not a pretty procedure. I suggest for ALL BEST. Try to re home the rooster. You will feel better and so will he. You will no longer have a rooster but a capon.
     
  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Yes, it's known as caponizing. It's a very uncommon process in the modern world, but there are still a few of us who practice it. It was very popular during, oh, I'd guess it's about late 1800s - mid 1900s. Mostly for meat purposes, as it results in larger growth and bettee flavor, but it makes an excellent pet too. No crowing, mating, or aggression when done properly!

    I can tell you though, no vet will do it. Even my local avian vet - who has been referred to by many of clients as a "miracle worker" and is one of the most skilled and knowledgable people I've ever met - will not perform the surgery. It's something done by an owner, at home, using self-taught skills, or maybe by a local caponizer if you can find one.

    It's got risks - it's a surgery done inches from vital organs with no anesthetic - but done by someone experienced, it almost always goes smoothly. Even amateurs have pretty good luck - I've caponized about 12 birds at the moment, with no instruction beyond what I found on the Internet, and 11 of those have survived and recovered. I had one bleed out, which I believe was due to a combination of him being too small (he was a bantam) and too old (it's more difficult and somewhat dangerous for birds older than 5 or 6 months).

    If you're interested in learning more about the process, I highly recommend heading over to the "Graphic Pics of My Day Learning to Caponize" thread in the Meat Birds Etc. forum. It's become something of a meeting place for many of the practicers on this website.

    Here are some pics of two of my oldest capons, a Jersey Giant/True Ameraucana/Easter Egger cross, and a Orpington/Easter Egger cross.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And a picture of some of the boys above. Just to get an idea of how big capons can get, that black rooster with the orange wing bow is a Black Orpington cross. He's stockier than the black capon, but they weigh about the same.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My understanding is that if it is not done early on, they still crow. When done early. they look different than their rooster brothers. Is that how yours turned out ???
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    No, they will cease crowing even if it's done up into, say, 6 months old, although I've heard of surgeries done older still resulting in a full, quiet capon. 6-14 weeks is just considered the easiest and safest age - the ribs are still easily pliable, and the testes are still hard enough that they won't break apart when trying to remove them, which can be a problem with older roosters - the testes are easy to locate, but hard to remove.

    Mine were all done around 12 weeks, excluding one Cornish bantam who was done at maybe 18. None of them crow, cackle, or growl.
     
  6. Qualara

    Qualara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh wow! I thought it would be as simple as taking him to the vet like you would a dog. I'm not going to hurt him, he's my baby, I might need to find another way to keep him here like build another coop, but I wanted to avoid that! Lol thanks for everyone's help!
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Why can your rescue hens not mate? I've had hens mating and laying at 7-8 years old.
     
  8. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm really not a fan of doing major abdominal surgery at home without anesthesia! Nasty!!! Caponizing is best done at a young age, because the death rate greatly increases when the cockrels mature; there's a much higher risk of bleeding out. I agree with donrae, why not have him with other hens? Mary
     
  9. Qualara

    Qualara Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was a requirement of rescuing them. They are not in good shape, no feathers ect. Ex factory farms.
     
  10. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Aannnddd....that's why I decline to deal with "rescue" operations. I believe once an animal is mine, I'm in the best position to manage it. Sorry, not the place for my soapbox.
     
    1 person likes this.

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