Well, what a riot.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by chad, Sep 16, 2007.

  1. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    Today we assayed to attempt to caponize our cockerels. We've bought a lovely "caponizing kit" from Stromberg's, complete with scalpel, rib spreader, forceps, complete instructions.

    We immobilized Baby Boy #1 as per instructions. My wife Susanna, the nursing student, made the first incision. Blood everywhere, and neither of us could see intestines, kidneys, testicles, or anything else inside the body cavity, despite repeated swabbings with gauze.

    Susanna was afraid that our delay and dithering were resulting in pain for the bird, and decided she'd rather start out on a dead bird. Since we were losing the daylight and it coming on supper, we decided it wouldn't be this bird, at least today. We turned him loose, and except for being a little wobbly at first (we kept the cockerels w/out food and water for 24 hrs. prior to), he seems none the worse for wear.

    Having been born June 29, these guys will soon be too old to caponize safely. I think we've decided to raise them intact to slaughter age and put 'em in the freezer to be used as dog food.

    On to a new rural adventure...
     
  2. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    do you sadiate the bird before you do that. ? i have never deen it done before just wondering? [​IMG]
     
  3. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    The information we had, which seems to be borne out by our (limited) experience, is that the bird seems to mind being handled more than the incision/surgery. He didn'tmake a peep when the incision was made, and as I said, popped right up and began to eat and drink as soon as he was released. In fact, I put down food for all the chicks because the cockerels were so hungry, and he shouldered his way through 9 of his sibs to get at the feed! lol All without sedation. I think our feeling at this point is that if we can do the procedure quickly and deftly trauma would be very much minimal.
     
  4. lacyloo

    lacyloo Cooped Up

    May 26, 2007
    north florida
    Oh ok. Maby i will do some of my roosters. what breed of chickens did you do? if you caponized one will it live as long as a normal chicken.
     
  5. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    They have to be between 6 wks. and 3 mos. to caponize. Our guys are mutts, a cross between a Golden Comet mother and Cochin father. We didn't actually get as far as caponizing this one guy, just made a hole in him. The internal organs that the instructions said we'd see were not visible and my wife didn't want to poke around or cut deeper with the scalpel for fear of hurting the bird needlessly.

    Since capons are a delicacy, I believe you only rais them to optimum weight, then slaughter.
     
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Interesting. Careful that the insision doesnt get infected and the others don't peck it apart or maggots get to it. I wonder if it will really make much of a difference in the taste of the bird. Personally I think it's more work than it would be worth to get a tiny bit more meat on the guy before butcher. As for age, I don't think it would change it any, just the rooster as an adult won't act like a rooster and will look like a over grown hen with some roo feathers.

    Edit: It's commercial not done in most markets due to the selective breeding of cornish x rock lines to get market weight birds in as little as 5 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2007
  7. chad

    chad Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 29, 2007
    Pittston, Maine
    Update: 14.5 hours "post-op" and Baby Boy shows no ill effects whatever from having a hole cut in his body and a scalpel poked into it. Remarkable! Lends credence to the idea that, properly done, caponizing doesn't have to be terribly traumatic.

    Quote:Yes. We just had these 10 chicks hatched out in June, including 5 cockerels, extraneous because of the presence of Spike, our barnyard rooster. What to do with them? We thought to caponize as well to minimize fighting, etc., as to raise fat, juicy birds for the table. Seemed like a two-fer, and it would be, except that now they're almost too old to do. My wife, back in nursing school, won't be able to find time to do them in time. I won't try it myself; I'm sure I'd just torture them to death with heavy-handed clumsiness.
     
  8. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2007
    Maine
    Hi Chad!

    Not much to say about caponizing, except that I thought if you went that route you could keep them much longer before slaughter?

    On a totally different note, I live the next street over! JK... but in the same town. Nice to see!

    -Meghan
     
  9. homecatmom

    homecatmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    In the 60's here in Calif. we used to be able to buy capons. My mom used to say they were always available on the east coast. You talk to people here now, and they don't even know what a capon is. I'm sure the cornish x's have pretty well done away with their "need" now a days. selective breeding must be more cost effective than even minor surgery.
     
  10. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    I personally don't believe it is necessary to caponize a rooster, especially one that is bred for meat to begin with. Just put all the roosters together away from the hens, feed them a higher protein/fat diet and they should be fine. (Did you know caponization does not keep them from crowing ?)

    If you must caponize, practice on a few dead birds first. With a little experience, you will have less mortality and stress on the bird.
     

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