Does anyone still caponize chickens? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a caponizing set which I have used twice. The first time I tried caponizing a cockeral, I did one side, and there was so much blood that my hands got all shaky, and I couldn't stand to hurt him anymore. He grew up with one testicle, and fathered many chicks.

The second time went well, but some wild creature ate the capons before I had a chance to. I have never even eaten store-bought capon.

Now I have about 70 cockeral chicks, and I am about to try caponizing again. But first, I would like to hear from anyone who has actually done this procedure, and eaten the capon.

A capon is supposed to be more calm and subdued than a rooster, grow bigger on the same amount of feed, yet stay tender. Is this really true? I know I've read that since the Cornish/Rock breed has become available, it has made the need to caponize a thing of the past. But we have raised the Cornish/Rocks many times, and I am never happy with their performance. We call them "pirahna chickens", because they are ravenous eating machines, that would just as soon have your hand for dinner as the expensive commercial feeds it takes to raise them quickly. I promise myself every time--never again!

So does anyone out there still caponize, or know anyone who does, who can give me some information from experience?

-- Lela R. Picking (, June 24, 2001


its the same principle as castrating a bull,,so it should make them more docile, and grow faster. Ive eaten them at resurants,,but havent done it myself

-- Stan (, June 24, 2001.

Well, now I have learned something new again.

-- Cindy in KY (, June 24, 2001.

LOL! Nope, you've learned something very old indeed. Caponizing used to be common. You had to do SOMETHING with all those gold-bricking, non-egg-laying roosters. When I was a kid you could still commonly find capons in the grocery store. Of course, you could still find real stewing hens, and roasters, and fryers ... now there's just generic Chikkin. It isn't really chicken at all anymore, and its all pretty much the same, and none of it tastes right to me.

But that's just me. I have weird tastes. I LIKED stewing hens. They had flavor. Sure, you had to pressure cook the bejeezus out of them, but at least they didn't give up the ghost first crack out of the barrel and dissolve into an unidentifiable blob of mushy stuff when you try to make soup out of them ... LOL!

-- Sojourner (notime4@summer.spam), June 24, 2001.

You might ask some of your local vets. Some of them still do it, but I don't know at what cost.

-- Russell Hays (, June 24, 2001.

It's still done the same way today:

Capons are sold in the supermarkets here.

-- ~Rogo -Texas- (, June 25, 2001.

I read a post on the newsgroup on this a few days ago. It seems the fellow posting has been doing it for years and wanted to know if anyone else still caponized their roosters. From what he was saying, the main benefit was the fact that, unlike cornish cross, the fat in a capon is held in the muscle and not under the skin, making the meat juicier and more like a well-marbled steak. He also noted the fact that they were more tender, larger, etc., as you have already mentioned.

He learned strictly from a book, having collected 1930's, 40's, and 50's brochures on the subject off of EBAY. From what he says, the kits you buy don't provide enough detailed information for the novice. From what he described, the first few times you do it, you lose maybe half of the birds. But, once you gain confidence, it can go quite well.

I agree with the above comment about "pirahna chicken" BTW and don't care for cornish crosses. I've lost too many due to leg and heart problems, even while controlling their food intake. I had one huge chicken die from a heart attack last week the day before I was going to butcher him; the bird had fluid around an extremely undersized heart. I discovered two others with the same condition while butchering. The way I figure it, you lose as many cornish cross to these problems as you would capons to infection. Of course, you have to have the nerve to cut a bird open alive, but it seems to be worth it. I haven't tried it yet myself but am looking for books on the subject at the moment and plan to do so next spring.

-- Michael Nuckols (, June 25, 2001.

According to author Gail Damerow caponizing is illegal in many states, unless performed by a vet. With good reason: it's barbaric. Having the vet do it costs a little money, but saves much trauma and pain to the chicken. If you image for a second having the procedure done on you, I think you'll get the picture. We have all our animals, including goats and horses, anesthetized before castrating or dehorning.

-- Rosie Bloehm (, July 14, 2001.

Here in england we inject a pellet into the neck that does exactly the same thing as castration---and its more humane. get with it yanks!

-- clive (, December 27, 2001.

Clive, Us yanks are into eating healthy. A chicken with something injected into it's neck wouldn't be consumed by me OR my animals. Just my opinion!

-- cowgirlone (, December 27, 2001.

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