Caponizing a cockerel

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LyndaA, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. LyndaA

    LyndaA New Egg

    Sep 19, 2011
    I'm a new chicken owner just getting started. Four 10 day old chicks were given to me in the spring. I took them only so they would avoid the same fate as their 7 other siblings (eaten by the irresponsible chicken owner's own cat). It turns out that three of my chicks are cockerels! I have tentative homes for two of them. The third is my 6 year old son's favorite and he is quite tame and easily handled. We would like very much to keep him as a pet. In hopes of avoiding any future aggressive behavior and to hopefully deter loud crowing, I'm seriously considering having him caponized. I've read that it can be done humanely under anesthesia.

    I have a couple of questions. First of all, does anyone know of a vet in Northern Virginia that would do it? Secondly, did I wait too long to have it done? I'm not sure of their exact age, but I can say that they are now fully feathered. No eggs yet from the pullet, but one of the cockerels has just started to crow softly.
  2. Kaeta44

    Kaeta44 Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. rungirl

    rungirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    I don't think that would have prevented him from crowing anyway.

    Caponizing was more common years ago before the development of meat production breeds like Cornish Cross. It caused a rooster to get fatter and made for a better roasting bird. It's not done that much anymore now that we just breed them to be fat and meaty. You also run the risk of killing the bird in the process, but in the old days, what else were you going to do with a bunch of roosters anyway.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2011
  4. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    I believe your bird might be a bit old for the traditional reason for Caponizing (keeping the meat tender), but if you are looking to make him less aggressive, it can be done at any age.

    Keep in mind, however, that this is a dangerous proceedure for the bird. Birds in general do not do as well as mammals under anesthesia, and often die during surgery. Additionally, this is not a minor proceedure, but an open-cavity affair. Rooster-bits are located deep inside the abdomen, near the spine. There's no easy way to get to them.

    I would not let an ordinary vet do the procedure, or anyone who has not done it before. It's hard to find anyone who knows how to do it, or has done it, but it would be worth it for the safety of your pet.

    Good luck!
  5. Twiggers96

    Twiggers96 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2011
    Arcadia, FL
    Why don't you handle the wee-rooster every day, carry him around for 10 or so minutes under your arm (always) and this way he will always know you are the Alpha roo.
    I believe Speckled Hen had a link on how to be THE Alpha Roo. It would work great with a young one. Start them off right.
  6. anderson8505

    anderson8505 Peace, Love & Happy Chickens

    Caponizing is NOT recommended. [​IMG]
  7. goobhen

    goobhen Chicks Rule

    Dec 6, 2008
    I do not think you will be able to find a vet to perform this on your rooster. I took a chicken to my vet, who is a country vet, he said he doesn't see many chickens in his office. He was on the cover of a national vet magazine this year!! I think Speckled Hen's advice is about the best you can do. Caponizing is not to keep them alive, less agressive, it is for the fattening up for the dinner table! As a matter of fact, I believe that the prcedure makes them so heavy, it affects their quality of life the larger they get. Good luck, Theresa

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