Caponizing A Young Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chickenlove63, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. chickenlove63

    chickenlove63 New Egg

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    Dec 13, 2014
    I was wondering if anyone knows a professional farmer/veterinarian near southern West Virginia who could do this procedure. The reason I am interested in this is that I have a very small flock (two young pullets and one older hen) and a new immature rooster who has not begun crowing or anything and I do not wish to have fertilized eggs or have my 3 hens over-mated. I have researched this a lot and feel that it's the best solution - I really do not want to give him to a new home.

    My chickens are my pets and I do not want a big flock, and culling is not an option. I have called several vets and they have never heard of it, including Virginia Tech. Does anyone know anyone within a 2-3 hour radius? Money is not an object - I just want a healthy, happy flock without any aggressive behaviors or over-mating.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is not a well known procedure in the U.S. anymore. If you find a Vet that will preform it, you will be lucky. There are a few that will do it for a heafty price. Anethetizing birds is very dangerous, and I dont' think a Vet would caponize without it. There is a thread here that explains how to do the precedure yourself, but the person who teaches it is not in your area.
     
  3. I personally don't believe in putting chickens through that. It would be a very traumatic surgery.
    And the survival chances are very low. The only vet in my area that does it, says there is a 20 - 30% survival chance unless the vet is very experienced in the procedure (he's not).

    If you want to keep him from becoming aggressive, make sure to be very, very calm around him.
     
  4. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Survivial percentage is much higher than that if the precedure is done correctly, as in 80 to 90% or more. I have seen and preformed the surgery and it is not near as tramatic as you would think. They are more upset by being handled than anything else. Caponizing can be a good option for some.
     
  5. SharkmanDan

    SharkmanDan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Roostersandhens,
    It's fairly invasive, but, in the end, all of the chickens will be happier.
    I have caponized >30 boys, and lost three, from bleeding. It's not difficult to do, but, it is tricky, to avoid nicking the artery that the testes are attached to. Every one of those who didn't die from bleeding, were up and about, minutes after the surgery, and their incisions were healed closed, within 3 days. There is some pain involved. But, it's not as bad, as one might imagine.
    I understand that you are an animal lover, and possibly an activist. That's good. We need some of y'all, in society, it keeps things straight, and people honest. But, there are times, where doing something invasive, will make life better, for all involved. They get over it, faster than you'd imagine.

    Chickenlove63,
    I would recommend the procedure, if you can find someone to do it. Check all of your local feed stores and farmer's co-ops, and ask if they know anyone who caponizes. Also, look for local Facebook groups, dedicated to farming, and check for a group local to you, here on BYC. Likely, there is a W.VA. thread in the where are you? Where am I? Forum. Someone must know how to do it.
    I already have several folks lined up, who want me to do their boys, here in E. OK, and NW ARK., come springtime.
    But, understand, it's not like surgery on a human. To do it in the same sterile and professional setting as surgery, makes it cost prohibitive, and it becomes impossible for most. With about a 10% death rate, it's quite likely, that your young roo, might not make it. You might want to consider taking him to a swap, or advertising him, to trade, for another hen. Once caponized, ALL of their "rooster instincts" are gone. No fighting, but also they stop feeling compelled to be defensive of anyone, other than them selves. All of my Capons get along well with my roos, and hens. They might get into a spat, over some morsel of food or such, but there's no fighting for dominance, and no sexual interaction, between them and the hens. So, they will not defend the girls, against any predators.
    You likely need to examine if you really want a rooster, and if so, why. My roos are all purebreds, and I plan to eventually breed them, so I keep them sequestered, with their girls (of same breed) from the other roos. My biggest, most protective roo, gets the main flock, to watch over, as he is a gentleman, to the ladies, and with 40+ hens and pullets, he's not overly affectionate to any of them, in particular, so they get to spread around the "wifely duties", and none gets too much attention.
    If you're squeamish about consuming fertilized eggs, I'll add this. I was a city-slicker, up to a year ago. Moved to the country. Got some birds. Been absorbing info, like a sponge, to water. I, too, was a bit squeamish. I now know how to tell a fertilized egg, from one that isn't. I just don't care, anymore. There is ZERO difference in flavor, and the difference in appearance, is only apparent to those who know what they're looking for. So, if you're just squeamish, about that, you'll get over it.
    I am in the camp, that likes having a roo around. A good roo, will share food with his girls, protect them with his life, and help gather them, when it's time to get in the coop. Consuming fertile eggs, is no big deal, compared to that help, with the flock. But, if you don't have plans for getting more hens, you might be better served by a capon of no roo at all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2014
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  6. SharkmanDan

    SharkmanDan Chillin' With My Peeps

    I should add, that the reason I have Capons, in the first place, is that after seeing what a "Tyson Chicken" looks like, after just a few short months, we decided to start humanely raising our own meat birds. No more commercial fowl, will be served on our table. I ordered 36 Heritage Breed chicks, specifically for meat. The majority turned out to be boys. To keep them happy, and from constant fighting, I attended a caponizing clinic, with TaraBellaBirds, a couple of months ago. I then spent the following week, caponizing my boys. They will have smaller combs and wattles, but bigger, prettier tails, will not crow (at least not likely) and will not try to dominate any other birds. This way, I can allow my meat birds out to free range, giving the meat better flavor, and keeping them much happier. They truly love to forage. And, their growth rate, doesn't force them all into the culling cone, early on. They can live long, happy lives, and will only be culled, as we are in need of meat.
    All that said, I "get", that he is to be a pet, and you have no plans to cull him. But, if you caponize him, he will simply be yard art. Wouldn't you think he'd be happier, living as a rooster should, with a flock of nice girls? I think in your position, you might be better served with another hen, and no rooster. Or, just let him be a rooster. If you raise him with love and attention, he can be a very pleasant pet, AND still do as a rooster does. My Black Australorp, Bobaroo, is that kind of roo. Very sweet and friendly. I know that you've given it a lot of thought. If you can't find someone to caponize, soon, consider letting him be a rooster.
     
  7. TaraBellaBirds

    TaraBellaBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well put Dan!
    How are your boys doing? My little fellow is getting so big! He is much bigger than the fellow that started showing his rooishness and that one is 4 weeks older (he is up for caponizing this week with two others)!


    Here is some pics for reference on Capons! Caponizing allows all my birds to stay in the same pen, and free range together, with the benifit of much calmer and longer lives!
    [​IMG]
    This bird was caponized in Oct and is 15 weeks old. He is docile, and mellow. Capons will not crow, or try to breed, or show dominance to other roos.
    [​IMG]
    This is him next to a roo that is 19 weeks old! The difference in size and temperment is vast!
     
  8. alcoto

    alcoto New Egg

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    I love having rooters around too they can be so sweet I am the type who would still keep roosters even with no hens as I tend to become more attacked to my rooters than my hens. How does caponizing not cause the birds to go into shock? I am curious because every bird I have had with a opened body cavity caused by predators even if it is simply torn have died from stress and pain.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2015

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