Caponizing a rooster?

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,906
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
yes i read the article posted. i dont have any behavior issues with these boys. they are all very well behaved and sweet. im doing it for population control and to keep them from tearing the hens up
Caponizing is becoming a lost art. It would be a beneficial skill for the person who is keeping DP birds and growing out the cockerels for the freezer. It must be done at an early age. Anesthesia would most likely be more risky to the bird than the actual incision, and retrieval of the testes with the small hook that is used for this purpose. Caponizing chicks would allow them to grow out faster, and avoid the h***y teen behavior issues.

Simply keeping a separate pen will prevent them from bothering your hens. Collecting eggs every day will suffice for population control. Even with a rooster running in the flock, population control is easy peasy. If an egg is not incubated, there will be no chick.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
May 11, 2010
30,162
9,192
737
Caponizing needs to be done as early as possible. Surgery is never a substitute for training. You can caponize an adult rooster and will still have behavior issues. Castrating vicious adult male parrots did nothing to decrease aggressive behavior. However, if you do the surgery before the hormones take affect there is a possibility you may alter a cockerel's behavior. Most capons are slaughtered for food so we don't have much documentation on behavior changes in a pet cockerel. What I would like to see is the caponizing procedure performed humanely, using sterile technique, and at the proper age. Give the little guy some sevoflurane, do the procedure, and send the little fella home once he is awake.

I remember horror stories of how tomcats were once castrated. Anybody heard of the 'boot method'? Absolutely barbaric. Fortunately, cat owners demanded something better, and the veterinary profession listened. And so, I'm encouraging people to seek veterinary care for poultry in order to keep things moving along. Now days we have a certain anesthetic protocols when castrating a cat. It's done at a certain age, the pet is anesthetized for the procedure, and sent home with pain meds. One day, maybe, if people continue to insist, castrating a very young cockerel won't be such a horrifying idea.
 

Fairview01

Songster
Jan 26, 2017
1,047
1,475
226
Dallas, TX
The vet wrote:

"Castration is a whole different subject. As a general statement, I do not recommend castration for anything other than testicular disease (mostly cancer). In other words, I do not recommend castration as a means of behavior modification."

and

"While I have castrated many birds, some regrettably for behavioral reasons, I now only consider the procedure for medical problems. My experience has been that castration for behavioral modification does not work. This includes attempting to curb aggression in parrots, ducks and poultry and crowing in poultry (chickens and peacocks). The birds temporarily stop their behaviors (probably because the surgery is invasive and they feel rotten) but have all resumed at some point later (some were even checked to make sure there was no remnant regrown testicular tissue). There are actually quite a few studies in various bird species that show the same results- once the behavior is established, castration tends to not make it stop. Some of the studies have even shown increased aggression with castrated birds. Castration would probably be most effective in preventing some behaviors (and normal adult male plumage) when done on young birds. However, I cannot justify the procedure at this time."

Part of the problem is that we are asking a bird to not perform a normal behavior such as crowing in roosters and aggressively protecting a mate (which may be a human). So I focus on understanding the behavior and look for other means of modification.
I do it at an early age for a better eating larger roaster which is tender and juicy. Creating capons was never intended for behavioral modification of any farm animal that is consumed. It was a way to maximize profits from animals that developed the off taste testosterone creates in young males.

'Late' caponized roosters may continue breeding even though their testicles have been removed.
Mounting and breeding is a learned behavior. Once learned castration may reduce the frequency but not eliminate it completely.

Caponizing is becoming a lost art. It would be a beneficial skill for the person who is keeping DP birds and growing out the cockerels for the freezer. It must be done at an early age. Anesthesia would most likely be more risky to the bird than the actual incision, and retrieval of the testes with the small hook that is used for this purpose. Caponizing chicks would allow them to grow out faster, and avoid the h***y teen behavior issues.

Simply keeping a separate pen will prevent them from bothering your hens. Collecting eggs every day will suffice for population control. Even with a rooster running in the flock, population control is easy peasy. If an egg is not incubated, there will be no chick.
Anesthesia is a hit or miss sort of thing. I made a contraption out of a small strainer some cotton . A very quick shot of ether calms the bird done. Too much makes them too calm permanently but they can still be eaten. Stress contributes to a higher mortality even when everything goes right.

I agree with your comments on caponizing. Caponizing solved the problem of unwanted roosters at ownership levels. It's nice to have a really nice juicy capon on the dinner table. Yum.
 

Mylied

Crowing
Mar 12, 2012
3,372
5,434
462
Middle Georgia
Have so seen how big a rooster's testicle can get?
Yes, I process roosters myself.
Anyone want to know what an avian vet thinks about caponizing and castration? If so, read this:
https://www.avianstudios.com/blog/bird-vasectomy-and-castration/
Okay, now this is something I can consider. I'd not heard that testicles can grow back. I'd have to read more on that.

@ALS1104 I think it's great you have someone experienced to help no matter your decision. The only reason I haven't tried myself is because I can't find anyone to show me in person. I raise egg layers and use the roosters for meat, plus sometimes get free heritage breed cockerels from breeders. Mine all become a-holes before processing despite living without females and they never get very meaty. So it'd be nice to castrate them young and raise some capons. The article seems to say if they are already having behavior problems it won't help, but from everything I've read, if you get it done before the hormones kick in, then it does prevent it.
 

Fairview01

Songster
Jan 26, 2017
1,047
1,475
226
Dallas, TX
Yes, I process roosters myself.

Okay, now this is something I can consider. I'd not heard that testicles can grow back. I'd have to read more on that.

@ALS1104 I think it's great you have someone experienced to help no matter your decision. The only reason I haven't tried myself is because I can't find anyone to show me in person. I raise egg layers and use the roosters for meat, plus sometimes get free heritage breed cockerels from breeders. Mine all become a-holes before processing despite living without females and they never get very meaty. So it'd be nice to castrate them young and raise some capons. The article seems to say if they are already having behavior problems it won't help, but from everything I've read, if you get it done before the hormones kick in, then it does prevent it.
I don't know if the testicles can regenerate after caponizing but at an early age everything is fragile. If part of the testicle remains and this remaining portion remains viable I don't see why it couldn't. At the very least the cockerel will remain proud and sometimes this creates worse behavior than if it had never Bern done.

This is how I learned to do capons. I waited until they just big enough to get something to eat. Large enough so I could split them in half length wise and grill them. So they were past the ideal age.

Anyways I killed them first and then proceeded with making dead ones into capons. Locating the last 2 ribs, learning how to stretch the skin so when your done the skin will retract over the incision in the rib cage, knowing what the testicles look like is a lot easier on a very cooperative dead calm chicken.
 

The LRR Coop

Chirping
Sep 19, 2019
29
94
59
I
I don't know if the testicles can regenerate after caponizing but at an early age everything is fragile. If part of the testicle remains and this remaining portion remains viable I don't see why it couldn't. At the very least the cockerel will remain proud and sometimes this creates worse behavior than if it had never Bern done.

This is how I learned to do capons. I waited until they just big enough to get something to eat. Large enough so I could split them in half length wise and grill them. So they were past the ideal age.

Anyways I killed them first and then proceeded with making dead ones into capons. Locating the last 2 ribs, learning how to stretch the skin so when your done the skin will retract over the incision in the rib cage, knowing what the testicles look like is a lot easier on a very cooperative dead calm chicken.
Good idea!!
 

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