GRAPHIC PICS of my day learning to caponize

CindyinSD

Crossing the Road
Aug 3, 2018
3,666
15,761
832
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
Well I did one of my roosters. Poor little guy was so easy to catch I figured he was sick. I turned him over to put him in the cone and he died right there, before I even cut him. I did cut one side, to make sure but his heart had already stopped and the blood just dribbled out. At least it was quick. He had sour crop. Foul smelling ick was coming down his beak. :(

It was so cold (suddenly), and the wind came up from the south that it was hard to work on him. Of course there was no need to worry about keeping the carcass useable since he was sick. I had an awful time finding the right place to cut. (I had him with his left side up.) I found lungs (too far forward) and intestines everywhere. (They were blown up like long balloons--I can only imagine how miserable that was!)

I finally did find a teste. It was so deep! But there it was, shining out--a beautiful little bean-shaped yellow thing with tiny bright veins all over it like complicated lace. I might have tried to photograph it, but the cold wind blew away my senses, apparently. It never even occurred to me. I would estimate it was about an inch long and maybe 3/4" wide, very plump and super fragile. I tried to get it out with the triangle-shaped forceps. They couldn't hold on to it. I knew from my reading here there was an additional membrane around this gland preventing me from accessing it, but I could not see the membrane at all. I ended up rupturing the gland, trying clumsily to twist it out with the forceps and just gave up on it at that point.

On the other side I again found a lung on the first try! I could not palpate the ribs however hard I pushed, and though I wet the area, my visibility didn't improve. The skin and muscle tissue were thicker than I had imagined they would be. I never found the left side teste (by that route) though I did cut between the last two ribs (finally). In the end I gave up and pulled up the keel and found it nestled among the puffy (but empty) intestine "balloons."

So yeah, kind of a failure, but I learned (more or less) what I was up against and certainly where not to cut. As far as I can tell there are no images available online that show the skeleton of a male chicken in relation to its internal organs.

E001376F-8C38-4B92-AF10-8E280CF1AB9C.jpeg

I've made a red dot to indicate the teste's approximate location. If you go too high you'll hit the little "y" branch that angles off to the right. Try to palpate and start your cut just below it. It needs to be a long enough cut to admit and open the rib spreader (retractor) without tearing the muscle tissue. You should see the teste near the top of your cut. It may not be yellow, but it should be bean-shaped. The size will depend on the bird's age.

Next time the weather will be nicer and hopefully I won't forget about my camera again. I have two more extra roosters. If that's not enough practice I'll probably sacrifice as many cockerels as I need to, to become proficient. I don't want to be doing this on a live bird until I'm confident I know what I'm doing. Hey, 1-2 lb cockerels are at least the size of quail. and people do eat quail, right?
 
Last edited:

Kiki

I quit 46 days ago. WASH YOUR HANDS!
Project manager
Premium member
Jul 31, 2015
85,301
424,623
1,972
Houston, TX
My Coop
My Coop
Well I did one of my roosters. Poor little guy was so easy to catch I figured he was sick. I turned him over to put him in the cone and he died right there, before I even cut him. I did cut one side, to make sure but his heart had already stopped and the blood just dribbled out. At least it was quick. He had sour crop. Foul smelling ick was coming down his beak. :(

It was so cold (suddenly), and the wind came up from the south that it was hard to work on him. Of course there was no need to worry about keeping the carcass useable since he was sick. I had an awful time finding the right place to cut. (I had him with his left side up.) I found lungs (too far forward) and intestines everywhere. (They were blown up like long balloons--I can only imagine how miserable that was!)

I finally did find a teste. It was so deep! But there it was, shining out--a beautiful little bean-shaped yellow thing with tiny bright veins all over it like complicated lace. I might have tried to photograph it, but the cold wind blew away my senses, apparently. It never even occurred to me. I would estimate it was about an inch long and maybe 3/4" wide, very plump and super fragile. I tried to get it out with the triangle-shaped forceps. They couldn't hold on to it. I knew from my reading here there was an additional membrane around this gland preventing me from accessing it, but I could not see the membrane at all. I ended up rupturing the gland, trying clumsily to twist it out with the forceps and just gave up on it at that point.

On the other side I again found a lung on the first try! I could not palpate the ribs however hard I pushed, and though I wet the area, my visibility didn't improve. The skin and muscle tissue were thicker than I had imagined they would be. I never found the left side teste (by that route) though I did cut between the last two ribs (finally). In the end I gave up and pulled up the keel and found it nestled among the puffy (but empty) intestine "balloons."

So yeah, kind of a failure, but I learned (more or less) what I was up against and certainly where not to cut. As far as I can tell there are no images available online that show the skeleton of a male chicken in relation to its internal organs.

View attachment 2035818
I've made a red dot to indicate the teste's approximate location. If you go too high you'll hit the little "y" branch that angles off to the right. Try to palpate and start your cut just below it. It needs to be a long enough cut to admit and open the rib spreader (retractor) without tearing the muscle tissue. You should see the teste near the top of your cut. It may not be yellow, but it should be bean-shaped. The size will depend on the bird's age.

Next time the weather will be nicer and hopefully I won't forget about my camera again. I have two more extra roosters. If that's not enough practice I'll probably sacrifice as many cockerels as I need to, to become proficient. I don't want to be doing this on a live bird until I'm confident I know what I'm doing. Hey, 1-2 lb cockerels are at least the size of quail. and people do eat quail, right?
Good try.
Did you happen to cut open his intestines?
 

CindyinSD

Crossing the Road
Aug 3, 2018
3,666
15,761
832
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
I did think about it--should have done, but my fingers were pretty clumsy by then. I just wanted to be inside. :oops:
I said they were empty, but I was basing that on what I could feel inside--which was nothing but (probably foul) gasses. There could have been dribbles in there or small amounts of stool--not very precise now that I think of it. What I should have said was that they seemed empty. :hmm
 

Kabootar

Songster
Aug 15, 2017
351
1,038
240
Bihar India
Well I did one of my roosters. Poor little guy was so easy to catch I figured he was sick. I turned him over to put him in the cone and he died right there, before I even cut him. I did cut one side, to make sure but his heart had already stopped and the blood just dribbled out. At least it was quick. He had sour crop. Foul smelling ick was coming down his beak. :(

It was so cold (suddenly), and the wind came up from the south that it was hard to work on him. Of course there was no need to worry about keeping the carcass useable since he was sick. I had an awful time finding the right place to cut. (I had him with his left side up.) I found lungs (too far forward) and intestines everywhere. (They were blown up like long balloons--I can only imagine how miserable that was!)

I finally did find a teste. It was so deep! But there it was, shining out--a beautiful little bean-shaped yellow thing with tiny bright veins all over it like complicated lace. I might have tried to photograph it, but the cold wind blew away my senses, apparently. It never even occurred to me. I would estimate it was about an inch long and maybe 3/4" wide, very plump and super fragile. I tried to get it out with the triangle-shaped forceps. They couldn't hold on to it. I knew from my reading here there was an additional membrane around this gland preventing me from accessing it, but I could not see the membrane at all. I ended up rupturing the gland, trying clumsily to twist it out with the forceps and just gave up on it at that point.

On the other side I again found a lung on the first try! I could not palpate the ribs however hard I pushed, and though I wet the area, my visibility didn't improve. The skin and muscle tissue were thicker than I had imagined they would be. I never found the left side teste (by that route) though I did cut between the last two ribs (finally). In the end I gave up and pulled up the keel and found it nestled among the puffy (but empty) intestine "balloons."

So yeah, kind of a failure, but I learned (more or less) what I was up against and certainly where not to cut. As far as I can tell there are no images available online that show the skeleton of a male chicken in relation to its internal organs.

View attachment 2035818
I've made a red dot to indicate the teste's approximate location. If you go too high you'll hit the little "y" branch that angles off to the right. Try to palpate and start your cut just below it. It needs to be a long enough cut to admit and open the rib spreader (retractor) without tearing the muscle tissue. You should see the teste near the top of your cut. It may not be yellow, but it should be bean-shaped. The size will depend on the bird's age.

Next time the weather will be nicer and hopefully I won't forget about my camera again. I have two more extra roosters. If that's not enough practice I'll probably sacrifice as many cockerels as I need to, to become proficient. I don't want to be doing this on a live bird until I'm confident I know what I'm doing. Hey, 1-2 lb cockerels are at least the size of quail. and people do eat quail, right?
I think you got nervous, but I suppose it's okay. You know vast majority of cockerels are going to die anyway. Atleast 36 hours fast is necessary before the operation. Warm weather is ideal for caponizing because it makes the fasting easier on birds. If the weather is cold then try to cage the candidates together so they can stay warm, because birds have a high metabolic rate it's hard for them to stay hungry for that long, they loose heat faster than larger animals.

If the testes were large and fragile then probably the cockerel was either older or it was from a layer breed.
 

Kabootar

Songster
Aug 15, 2017
351
1,038
240
Bihar India
Why 36 hours, to empty the intestines?
When slaughtering I find about 12 hours does the trick.
[/QUOTE]

Only 12 hours of food??? Nawww, 36 hours of food, 24 hours off water is what I do. What does the original poster recommends?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
74,756
81,603
1,607
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop

Kabootar

Songster
Aug 15, 2017
351
1,038
240
Bihar India
You said 36 hour fast, which means not eating.


I withhold feed, but not water, for 12 hours or so before slaughtering.

Why would you feed without water?
Withdraw food 36 hours beforehand and water 24 hours beforehand. That's the way my father taught me. When someone bring cockerels to me and I open up a bird and see that there is liquid inside the intestine I immediately stop the procedure and return him to his owner and move on to the next bird.
 
Top Bottom