Rooster Castration

kansasgardengirl(Z5 KS)January 20, 2006

Okay, here's the question: Can a rooster be castrated?

He hatched in May along with two other pullets. I've got 10 pullets that are five months old. I now have the pullets all together and they get along fine. When I put him in with them he is just brutal (way beyond the usual business of a rooster), not to mention perpetually horny, he can't get enough. He is very beautiful and I don't mind keeping him around and feeding him. Actually he is sort of a pet and I really want to keep him. I let the pullets out to free range when I get home from school and during the weekends (but not since he has turned brutal.) This rooster roosts in the pen with the game chickens (one of the game hens hatched him out - I switched eggs, he's not a game bird) but the game rooster kicks his butt if he's not already gone to roost for the evening when I let him back in the pen and if I don't get out there really early to let him out the game rooster kicks his butt of a morning also. For the last couple of weeks I have been letting the rooster free range by himself. He just walks circles around the pullet pen (actually he dances sideways around their pen.) This morning before I left for school there were two coyotes less than 20 feet from the chicken pen so I let him in the pullet pen to keep him safe. His safety lasted about 15 minutes until I could get him back out of their pen. Sure enough, he was alive when I got home this afternoon - not coyote bait. I've rambled enough, how will I be able to keep him? I was raised on a cattle ranch and just about any other farm animal can be castrated, but I'm having to learn about chickens as we go.

I found information in Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry about the caponizing process, but since this process is for a different reason and my fella is eight months old can we, should we give it a try?

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Nope, you shouldn't. Its surgery throught the back and between (I forget which) ribs.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2006 at 10:58PM
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OH yeah, I lost about five to internal bleading untill I got it down.

I did over 100 after and lost some to infection but I had over 90 left...

They do taste good but hey it all in what you feed anything.

you'll get the jest of my take on what you should do with your "one" rooster.

Here is a link that might be useful: caponizing.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 1:44AM
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If i have this right want a bull without the bull? :)

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 3:06AM
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kansasgardengirl(Z5 KS)

Giventake - You're on the right trail except what you mean is I want a steer instead of a bull. You don't keep a steer for a pet, that's where your steaks come from. I suppose you could keep a steer if you could handle the feed bill. That's why I got attached to the heifers and cows, they stayed around a lot longer.

I do on the other hand want to keep my rooster for a pet. I can't give him away, he'd be someone elses problem. I don't want to eat him, nor do I want anyone else to eat him. I can't keep him the way he brutalizes the pullets. I wouldn't attempt the caponizing process myself, but find someone who knows how to do this. Our chickens are not our livelyhood (can't imagine that life) just something we enjoy.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 9:30AM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

If one rooster is a problem, you certainly don't need your hens going broody next spring and hatching out chicks. If you can find a home for him, great. In a larger flock of hens, his activities would be spread out more and less damaging to the hens.

Also keep in mind that he will be a lot less horny a year from now. You could just fence off a portion of the yard for him and give him a little shelter of his own until he develops a little moderation. Right now he is a teenager. But do consider how you will deal with the broody hens if you put him back in later on. If you let them hatch out chicks, you'll have lots more cockerels.

I don't know if caponizing has to be done before sexual maturity... it normally is, but perhaps a vet could do it even on a mature bird. It won't be cheap. And capons are subject to certain problems like breast blisters and leg problems because of their weight.

Good luck! Hope you find an answer you are comfortable with. It's tough for people who are not willing to eat their excess cockerels, or even let someone else eat them, to find a good solution to this problem.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 12:02PM
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velvet_sparrow(Zone 5b, Gardnerville, NV)

I agree with Maggie...

What breed is your roo? If he is a breed known to be gentle at maturity, say a Buff Orp, you might just give him more time--like Maggie says, young roos are VERY gung-ho at first. I took it from your post that he is not a game bird chick...?

You can also give the 'tame a roo' technique a whirl...if you click on my 'My Page' link there is tons of chicken info there, including a link to a page on how to tame a rooster. It might help if you let him know that YOU are Head Roo and are there to protect the pullets. Teach the little whippersnapper some respect. *L* Worth a try if you really want to keep him.

Good luck!

Velvet ~:>

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 5:53PM
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kansasgardengirl(Z5 KS)

He is of mixed origins. I got the eggs from a neighbor. The hen (can't remember the breed) has feathers on her legs and is a real sweetheart, that being a dominate trait he has a few feathers on his legs - just enough to be ugly. I'll have to check to see what the rooster possibilities were at the time. One possibility that I know could have been a Rhode Island Red. (I gave away the Rhode Island Red out of the same hatch, gave away the wrong bird - I see him occasionally and he's a good rooster.)

Our daughter is home this weenend from college, if she has her digital camera with her I'll take some pictures of him.

He eats out of our hands - all summer when I'd find a worm or grasshopper I'd yell bug and he'd come running to eat it out of my hand. At this point he is not the least bit aggressive to anyone or anything except the little girls. When he is finished with his business the poor things don't have a feather left on their necks and he claws out the feathers on their backends and as soon as he is finished with one he goes to another and then another. I haven't had the courage to leave him in there long enough to see if he ever plays out. Our game rooster is such a gentleman when it comes to his hens I suppose I expect all roosters to act the same way.

I'm off to look at your page. Thanks

    Bookmark   January 21, 2006 at 10:15PM
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kansasgardengirl(Z5 KS)

Gave him away!

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 9:25PM
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Maggie_J(z5 Ontario)

Good! I think it is your best solution. Your hens are likely a lot happier.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2006 at 1:43PM
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I live in Cebu, Philippines. I recently acquired several
"Kabir " chicks. Anyone familiar with that breed? I think it is just a local name. they grow to 10-12 lbs.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2011 at 2:09AM
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