Can You Neuter a Rooster / Caponizing/ Graphic (With Videos)


How to Neuter a Rooster _ Capon

What is Caponizing a Rooster

Caponizing is the process of turning a cockerel into a capon. Caponizing can be done by surgically removing the bird’s Testes  or may also be accomplished through the use of estrogen,   implants. With either method, the male sex hormones  normally present are no longer effective. Caponizing must be done before the rooster matures so that it develops without the influence of male sex hormones.

Capons, due to the lack of the male sex drive, are not as aggressive as normal roosters. This makes capons easier to handle and allows capons to be kept together with other capons since their reduced aggressiveness prevents them from fighting.

How to Caponize a Rooster

Capon Meat is Tastier Than Hen

The lack of sex hormones results in meat that is less gamey in taste. Capon meat is also more moist, tender, and flavorful than that of a cockerel or a hen, which is due not only to the hormonal differences during the capon’s development but also because capons are not as active as roosters, which makes their meat more tender and fattier.

Capons develop a smaller head, comb,, and wattle than those of a normal rooster. Capons are fairly rare in industrial meat production. Chickens raised for meat are bred and raised so that they mature very quickly. Industrial chickens can be sent to the market in as little as five weeks. Capons produced under these conditions will taste very similar to conventional chicken meat, making their production unnecessary.

Caponizing with Anesthesia

Reasons to Caponize/Neuter a Rooster

The reason many people caponize/neuter roosters is to remove the testicles on the male bird. Caponizing/Neutering the rooster eliminates the testosterone that they produce which changes the way the rooster acts, making him less aggressive with other males, causes him to lose interest in mating, is said to cause the bird to gain weight faster and makes the meat of the bird to be less stringy.

Caponizing/Neutering can be very dangerous if you do not know what you are doing. The meat from a rooster can be very stringy and pungent, but the meat from a capon is much more tender. 

Incidentally, this is the same reason that male cows are turned into steers.

Caponizing was invented by Romans, in order to get around a law regarding fattening hens.  A caponized rooster will get much fatter than an intact rooster.  Capons can be twice as plump as normal roosters.

The practice of caponizing lets farmers put their male chicks to good use.  Although each flock can only have one rooster in order to keep the peace,

an unlimited number of capons can be reared together without the risk of fighting. 

Capons were often preferred over hens, because all hens were laying hens, and therefore tended to be quite lean.  The meat from a capon was tender and plentiful.

How Do You Caponize A Rooster?

Caponizing needs to be performed before the chicken enters puberty.  Instructions old old sears Roebuck caponizing toolset recommended caponizing be performed when chicks are between six weeks and three months old. A rooster’s testicles are high up in the body, near the back. 

The procedure of caponizing is a relatively minor surgical procedure.  It is traditionally performed without anesthetic. Large scale commercial producers of capons often choose chemical methods insteadAn estrogen implant is inserted under the skin of the male chick. 

This suppresses the chick’s natural testosterone, without the need for a major surgical procedure.

It should be noted that the surgical method is considered by many to be inhumane. 

Whereas the hormonal method is potentially unsafe for human consumption, due to the artificially large amount of estrogen which is present in the meat.

Why Keep A Pet Capon?

This question often comes up in late summer, when that spring’s male chicks are starting to really strut their stuff.  Even if you buy pre-sexed chicks, there is no guarantee they will all be female. 

The sexing process is only between 95-98% accurate.  This means that every year, some people end up with male chicks by accident. Male chicks are cute.  Male chickens, once they have matured into roosters, can become a real hassle.  Contrary to what the cartoons would have us believe;

Roosters actually crow all the time.  And it is loud!  This is why most urban areas’ laws about keeping chickens specify “Hens Only.”

Roosters are a valuable addition to the flock.  Aside from being entertaining and beautiful, a rooster will literally give his life to save his hens.  Having a rooster around can help prevent losses due to dogs, cats, snakes, hawks, and a number of other culprits. There are some circumstances where you would want to neuter a rooster.  As with dogs and cats, the rooster’s behavior is dictated by his hormones. 

Rooster Crow Collar / Stop Your Rooster from Crowing

Rooster Crowing Collar

No testicles, no hormones.  No hormones, no obnoxious rooster behavior. 

A neutered rooster is a much more calm and docile addition to your family.  Although he may not be as protective of the flock, he may also be much more tolerable to you!

Methods of Neutering

Throughout European history, four main caponizing methods have been in use (in chronological order): burning of different body regions digital caponizing through a ventral incision, castrating chickens with a finger or the index finger through the cloaca and, most recently, the lateral method using various instruments.

  • Burning
  • Incision
  • Finger
  • Lateral
  • Chemical

All of these methods were routinely performed without anesthesia or analgesia. The digit method was first described by Gessner in 1555. The incision was made at the rump of the bird and the testes pulled out through the proximal phalanx. The operator was strictly obliged to stitch the incision after caponizing because the wound would not close naturally as in the lateral method. In the next centuries, the digital method underwent some changes but the principle remained the same.

There is still uncertainty about the method of castrating chickens digitally through the cloaca. One explanation is that in earlier times caponizing was also performed by inserting the finger into the cloaca and distal parts of the intestines and crushing the testes randomly with the finger.

Another explanation is that the method was performed after incision of the thoracoabdominal wall and the method was incorrectly named

Warnings about Caponizing Your Chicken

If your chicken shows signs of listlessness, paleness, droopy ruffled feathers, or has other symptoms that indicate the bird is not in good health you should NOT caponize the bird at this time.

Wait until the bird has been treated and recovers completely before performing or having someone perform any kind of surgery. Caponizing is a procedure that should be done by a veterinarian who treats chickens or someone who has done it before.

The risk of cutting an artery by accident is high. If you suspect your chicken is sick either take it to a veterinarian.

10 Tips for Handling a Agressive Rooster

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Rare BreedsCountry of OriginEggs/WeekAverage WeightPrice / Chicks
Black PenedesencaSpain3-44-5lbs$ 13.43
Black SumatraSumatra4 / Tinted in Color4lbs$ 4.56
AmeraucanaUnited States / Chile3 / 4 Blue5 lbs$ 4.25
Lavender OrpingtonEngland4 / 5 Brown 5 lbs$ 6.08
Partridge ChanteclerCanada3-5 / Brown7 lbs
WyandotteUnited States3 - 5 / Tinted Brown6 lbs$ 4.90
WelsummerWelsum Netherlands4 / Dark Brown5 lbs$ 5.95
Silver Grey DorkingUK / Roman8 lbs$ 5.95
Light BrahmaUnited States / ChinaBrown13 lbs$ 4.90
Silver Laced Cochin / ShanghaiChina5-6 / Brown6 lbs$ 4.90
White MaransMarans / France4 / Dark Brown5 lbs$ 6.08
DominiquesUnited States4 - 5 / Brown 7 lbs$ 4.90
Exchequer LeghornTuscany ItalyWhite5 lbs$ 4.25
Silver Spangled Appenzeller
Spitzhaubens
Switzerland54 lbs
Buff Brahma StandardShanghai ChinaBrown13 lbs$ 4.90
Silver Laced PolishPoland / Netherlands4-5 lbs$ 5.95
White Sultan / Fowls of the SultanTurkey2 - 3 / White 4-6 lbs$ 7.75
Mottled HoudanHoudan Paris FranceWhite4 - 5 lbs$ 7.75
Dong Tao / Dragon ChickenVietnam2/3$ 2500 -
Ayam CemaniIndonesia3 / Cream 5 lbs$ 50 - $ 2500
Onagadori / Honorable ChickenJapan$ 49.00
PolveraraItaly2 / 3
IxworthSussex UK4 / Cream
Naked Neck / Transylvanian Naked-Neck chickens.Transylvania5$ 4.25
CampaignBelgium7 / White5 lbs$ 7.75 / Golden
Deathlayer / German7 / White$ 99.00
Serama / Smallest Chicken in the WorldThailand.5 - 1 Lb$ 39.00
Silkie / SilkyChinese2 / Cream$ 5.75 / White $ 5.75 / Blue $ 5.75 / Buff
$ 5.75 / Black
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Types of Chicken Breeds

Chicken BreedsOriginMeat/ Layers / Dual PurposeFinished WeightEggs per WeekWeeks to Slaughter
Broilers
Canada/US/EuropeMeat3.3 lbs514 Weeks
Cornish crossesEnglandMeat6.5 - 8.5 lbs38 - 9 Weeks
Jersey GiantsUSAMeat ( Intended to replace Turkeys)13 lbs48 - 9 Months
Hertigage Breeds6 - 9 months
DelawareUSA DelawareDuo6.5 lbs4 - large8 Months
DorkingUnited KingdomDuo10 - 14 lbs5 - med5 Months
BuckeyeUSA OhioDuo6 - 9 lbs4 - med5 Months
Rhode Island RedUSA Rhode Island Duo6 b- 8 lbs5-65 Months
LeghornItalyEggs4 -5 lbs48 Months
Plymouth RockUSA - MassachusettsDuo7.5 lbs45 Months
SussexUnited KingdomDuo7 lbs4 - 5 - large5 Months
WyandotteCanadaDuo7 - 9 lbs5 Months
WelsummerNetherlandsDuo7 lbs4 / Week5 Months
HamburgUnited KingdomEggs7 lb4 - med9 weeks
Black AustralorpAustraliaDuo\3 - 5 lb5 - med5 months
Buff OrpingtonEngland Duo7 - 8 Lbs4 - 58 months
BrahmaMeat11 lbs3 - med5 monthss
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Chicken / Poultry Breeder Associations

Rabbit AssociationLocationLink
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