Capon Update: Facts & Fiction

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by HidingInTheHenHouse, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2008
    I thought a few people might be interested in hearing how the capons were getting on, and learning a bit from my experiences. The capons are about 20 weeks old now. We will probably be butchering several of them in 9 weeks when the next batch of Cornish cross are ready.

    Myths about Capons:

    They don't crow - Yes, in fact several of mine are crowing now. They confine their crowing to the morning almost exclusively, they don't competitive crow amongst themselves, but they do crow when the rooster a few houses down crows (mornings only). Most aren't full blown crows yet. Some have not crowed at all.

    They won't defend themselves - They do in fact defend themselves just fine against anyone else that picks on them, but not full fledged fighting. They do a lot of posturing, mostly between each other.

    They need to be kept together separately, not in a mixed flock - Similar to the above point. I have had mine in with chickens of all ages for most of their lives and they do just fine with all the other types of chickens. There might be a problem if you put just one or two little ones in with an already integrated flock.

    Confirmed Facts about Capons:

    They are less agressive - This is very true. They do not fight, just a lot of posturing, and really that is only in a couple breeds, so that may be more breed specific. They do not bother the hens, young or old, and seem to do fine in the mixed flock.

    They are bigger, heavier. - It is a little hard for me to tell, but I'm pretty sure most are putting on weight faster than they would be otherwise. The White Rocks are the biggest, but all of them seem to weigh more that you would expect when you pick them up. Their bodies seem very filled out and dense.

    Other points of interest I have noticed. Some breeds seem to do much better with the operation and recovery afterwards. Topping the list in bouncing back and least post-operative complications are the red-laced Cornish and the White Rocks. Breeds that faired poorly were Cuckoo Marans, Silver laced Wyandottes, any bantam breed.

    Also, some breeds are growing larger faster than others. Obviously, the heavy breeds are bigger. If you caponize a light breed, it will still be a light breed and therefore weigh much less even at the end of 8 months. The breeds that are gaining weight the best, seem to be the ones that had the least trouble with the surgery and few complications afterward.

    If you decide to do this yourself, MAKE SURE YOU USE SUTURES FOR THE SKIN INCISION. I had more trouble with infections and incisions reopening than any other issue. The ones that healed the best were the ones that I sutured with thread immediately following the surgery. You don't have to remove the sutures. They naturally work their way out of the skin eventually. I tried super glue, but it only held for a day or two, which just wasn't long enough. I used regular needle and thread, soaked them in isopropyl alcohol after each stitch, and tied each stitch individually, so that if one came out, they all didn't come out.

    Hopefully this information will be helpful to others who may want to try this.

    Last edited: Sep 21, 2009
  2. Whitehouse Quail

    Whitehouse Quail Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2009
    Sticky worthy, I'd say.[​IMG]
  3. wisdom_seeker

    wisdom_seeker Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 27, 2008
    I am getting ready to eat my first capon soon! [​IMG]

    On my 1st production batch of about 25, one of them crows.
    At 16 weeks old I figured it was a slip so I tried to see if I could do a second caponizing. I did not even get to see inside the bird because the ribs are larger and don't spread like they do at 6 weeks. I will try to see if anything was left behind at butcher time for that bird.

    Some of the capons have large red combs and others have next to nothing. I'm not sure if they are slips yet. Time will tell and I'll keep you posted.

    I'm thinking of trying Jersey Giants next year. Maybe I can get some turkey sized Capons!!!

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