Castrating a Rooster

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by RangingChicks, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. RangingChicks

    RangingChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2012
    Somewhere in the USA
    We are moving next year and plan on getting chickens. I would love having a rooster but I don't like the idea of having fertilized eggs. What are your ideas on neutering roos? Would the rooster still protected the flock? Would he still mount them? Can you house him with other rosters? And would he still crow? Thanks!
  2. Eddy Chicken

    Eddy Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2011
    Southern New Jersey
    I'm sure all of our eggs are fertilized but I can't tell for sure.
    Just collect the eggs each day so the hens can't siton them and it won't matter.
    If you buy farm fresh eggs chances are they're fertilized.
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    There is no reason to be concerned with fertilized eggs. Like many folks here, I have been eating them for years. I have never opened an egg to find a partly developed chick. That's because they must be incubated, kept at a near constant temp and humidity (about 100 degrees F,) to develop. They taste no different, and the difference in appearance is difficult to see. There is no difference in nutritional value.

    Now and then, someone tries incubating store bought eggs and hatches out a chick or two, so it is likely you have eaten fertilized eggs from time to time without realizing it. This thread shows the visible difference:

    Castrating a rooster is a special skill, is tricky, and a certain percent of them will probably die. Look up capons or caponizing in the meat birds section; this is removal of the testicles. It is usually done to change the amount and quality of the meat.
  4. RangingChicks

    RangingChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2012
    Somewhere in the USA
    Thanks for the info! The main reason for neutering was I didn't really want the crowing because of neighbors. But I guess it depends on the idevidual birds and neighbors might be kept quiet with fresh eggs :)
  5. HouseCat

    HouseCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    What you are talking about is called Caponizing. It involves you tieing your little roo down, making an incision into the body cavity, finding the testicles, and removing them. A capon (or caponized rooster) will not look like a rooster but rather like a fattened hen. He will not crow, mount the hens or protect the flock. It's painful, stressful, and risks infection for the bird. I don't know of any vets that do caponizings so it would be up to you to perform the operation.
    Fertilized eggs don't look or taste any different than unfertilized eggs.
  6. RangingChicks

    RangingChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2012
    Somewhere in the USA
    Thanks for all of the input. I wouldn't want to put my bird through that. Are there any breeds that tend to crow less?
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  7. You can do it........And the result will be called a "capon". They can be "caponized" by either surgically removing the testes, or with the use of estrogen implants. Either way their sex hormones are no longer effective.

    I'm not sure if he would protect the flock or not, but I would assume he would act more like a hen since his sex hormones are no longer effective.

    He will not mount the hens.

    Capons should be housed with OTHER capons or hens. He will no longer want to fight, and will probably loose out to any challenging roos.

    He will still crow, although less often.

    I'm not sure how much it costs to have a rooster caponized, but you can get a kit for 35 bucks here. Murray McMurray also sells a kit for about 50 bucks. That is, if you want to do it yourself. Bear in mind that there is a high chance you could loose the rooster if the person doing the procedure doesn't know what they're doing or does it wrong. The procedure is also highly invasive and painful for the chick. It is recommended you practice on dead birds first........

    I'm not sure if you would be able to find someone to do it for you, or if a vet would, but if you've never done it or seen it done before that would probably be the best option.

    You said you don't like the idea of fertilized eggs. What is it you're worried about specifically? They won't hatch unless you put them in an incubator or a broody hen sits on them for 21 days. Besides the fact that fertilized eggs have a little tiny bullseye mark on the yolk they don't look any different from an unfertilized egg. They don't taste any different. They won't even start to develop an embryo until a hen sits on them or they are otherwise incubated for 3 days. Really, I think caponizing a roo just to avoid fertile eggs is a little over the top. I have 15 roosters in my flock and I'm sure all the eggs I sell and eat are fertilized, but no one has ever complained, and they taste exactly like any other egg.

    Best of Luck,

    Ms. B :)
  8. It really depends on the individual bird, but small and bantam birds are the worst. I really like my Barred Rock/Sumatra and Phoenix/Silver Spangled Hamburg crosses' crows. They have very low crows and do it rarely, which makes them slightly more tolerable than the Campines..........

    You could look into having your rooster de-crowed, but only a few people do that procedure, and I believe the fee is around $200-300. And again, it is stressful for the bird and not always successful............
  9. HouseCat

    HouseCat Chillin' With My Peeps

    My SS Hamburg roo crows much less than any other roos I've had. Ms B makes a good point about bantam roos. Because of their small size, their crows are much higher pitched and screechie sounding. A standard size rooster crows are much deeper and don't seem to travel as far.
  10. salt and pepper

    salt and pepper Chillin' With My Peeps

    it seems the larger breeds don't crow as much as the smaller breeds
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012

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