Caponizing question

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


5 Years
Feb 23, 2014
I hope this isn't a totally dumb question, but here goes... I may want to neuter (caponize) a cockerel or two so that I could then keep them as pets without dealing with sexually mature rooster behaviors. However, the genders of the two chicks I would consider neutering are not clear now and won't be clear for some time (one is a Silkie and one is a d'uccle). And my understanding is that caponizing should be performed when the chick is only a few weeks old. Soooooo.... If I can't be sure whether these chicks are pullets or cockerels possibly for months yet, when would I have them caponized? Would I take them to the vet now to be sexed and then proceed immediately if they're cockerels? Thanks for any insight on this.
Well, caponizing should take place by 8 weeks. So, if you can't tell by 8 weeks, you can't do it, or else you risk a lot of things by doing it. For some chicks it is really obvious if they are male or female by this time, and for others not so much (we had one rooster we didn't know was a rooster until about 5 months, because it had a small comb and acted like a hen compared to the other rooster that hatched out the same time). If you want to be sure, I would suggest DNA testing. Sometimes you can take DNA samples and send them into labs to have them test the sex. Depending how old they are now, they probably can't be vent sexed, that is really only for chicks up to a week old, anything older than that and it isn't as accurate and more painful for the chick. My suggestion, if you can't tell if they are a roo, don't try it. If you've never caponized before, get somebody else to do it, or be prepared to lose some chicks the first few times. If you have a rooster you don't want, go ahead and kill him and practice just to see where everything is.

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