I know that several of you are interested in learning how to make capons. It's very normal to lose the first batch that you do, So my suggestion is that you start with half a dozen birds that are already dead. On butchering day, kill your birds and before you go any further with processing, caponize the carcass, That way you get to feel what it is like. You get to locate the parts that you want and practice spreading the ribs, all without fear of harming or traumatizing the patient. When you do your first live bird, you are already an experienced surgeon. Not much experience, but certainly better than going into it without ever having done one before. Of course, when you start on live birds, any that die on the table are processed and go into the soup pot. Best luck to any of you who are going to learn how to do it.