Can rooster be neutered?

Littleton, CO

We have these 2 beatiful chicks that are turning out to be roosters.
Don't want to have to get rid of them because of their crowing so is there anyway to neuter them?
We checked with our vet, (who thought we were nuts because we are in town) and a few others, all said no.
I had read about this in a book years ago so wondered what you all thought

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I know it can be done because that is what a capon is. Finding a vet who can do it is the big issue. Go to a site called something like and post a query there. The testes on poultry are in the middle of the back area close to the skin. So it is a matter of know just where to make the incision and what you are looking for.

Antrim, NH

I asked my vet about it, and he looked intrigued, but said he didn't think so. He was of the opinion that it would be a lot of effort for nothing, but not that it couldn't be done. The major obstacle is that the testes are inside. I think Murray-MacMurray sells a kit to do it, but it seems mean for a layperson like myself to be removing internal organs!

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

And no anesthetic, to boot. Ouch.

Hughesville, MO(Zone 5a)

I think it usually done very young and they may use local numbing agents like a dentist would use for tooth extractions.

Littleton, CO

Oh, caponizing, that's what it's called. I had forgotten.

My husband is a surgical assistant. While he does do surgery on humans, I did not mean to imply we would try this ourselves. Yikes, that would be scary. :) That's why we were callling vets. We live in a city, so rural type vets (accustomed to farm animals ) are not nearby.

As far as it being "alot of effort for nothing", I guess I had been thinking that our vets will spay and neuter our beloved dogs, cats, horses, removing internal organs, why not a rooster? These are our pets, are so beautiful and some have wonderful personalities. If doing it has a high mortality rate or it's too painful for them that's a different issue. I would imagine it is done @ the least, with a local if not under general anesthesia.
I just wondered if anyone else had ever thought of having it done and what everyones thought were.
Thanks for this comments and tips.
Good thoughts to ponder on :)

Antrim, NH

If you get any leads, let me know! I want to go in well armed when I ask around to the vets in my area again :)

Shenandoah Valley, VA(Zone 6b)

Our vets don't treat chickens. And this is a huge poultry area. I think they're just considered not worth it because of all the mass production.

Antrim, NH

It's a shame!

I've brought mine to vets that are for birds and exotic pets.I mean, my chickens are exotic! What's not exotic about a speckled sussex?

They have always taken it in good stride.

Pinedale, WY

None of our local vets would neuter a rooster either but a well established vet in a nearby town was up to a "challenge." We were sent 12 freebie roosters with our order of 34 hens and 1 rooster. My kids and I have fallen in love with our 11 week old roosters. They run up to us, follow us like dogs and immediately jump in our laps if we sit down with them just to be scratched. We took our least desirable roo in yesterday (we dubbed him "Lab Rat.") Anesthesia worked well for him but a main vein was severed during the surgery and he died. We took 2 more roosters in today. The 1st rooster neutered today made it, is recovering at the vet's and was still doing fine as of this pm. The other died from the anesthetic. We're now 1 in 3. Our vet has recommended we call the aviation expert @CSU to see if he would be willing to do the others because it's a really tough procedure due to the bird's tolerance to anesthesia and the testes are about the size of 3 grains of rice in an area with the main organs of the bird. He's willing to keep trying on the remaining roos if we are not up to a 350 mile (each way) drive and fees @CSU but as he reminded me he's only got a 33% success rate so far. My husband (raised on a ranch) thinks I'm nuts for having driven 75 miles (each way) for the 1st 3. I'm not sure what to do at this point.

This message was edited Jul 23, 2006 5:35 AM

Littleton, CO

It's nice to know there are others as crazy as me. We love our roosters too. I was unable to find a vet here to try it. Finally was able to find a woman who takes in unwanted (sniff) pets. I imagine those boys ended up in someones stew pot, but didn't ask. What a shame. One was a very handsome Buff Polish with a gorgeous top hat, (sniff).
I'm envious Newto, that you found someone up to the challenge. We looked it up. You are 400+ miles from us, about 7 hrs drive. At first my husband said, "for you honey, we'll take them to that vet". Ok, maybe I'm not that crazy. I don't want to drive that far. Sure would be nice if we could get other vets keep trying to improve the success rate. A question though....will neutering them, stop their crowing?????? I realize there may be people that don't approve, but if it were me, and I had someone that would try, I would take my little guys to this vet. The alternative for us is they end up in the pot. Newto, tell us about the one that survived. Keep us posted on how he's doing and what you decide to do. :)
ps. It's nice to hear from someone around my neck of the woods.

victoria, Australia

Hi NowRot,

I sympathised your circumstances as I am trying the same thing too given the fact that I lived in an urban area within a regional township (not metropolitan).
I have spoken to a few vets and the vets just think I am nuts. I suppose you need to find a vet that has qualification in avian science. Not all vets have specialty in that area.
In addition, you have to convince them that what you are doing is justified. In fact, vets are more than happy to neuter dogs, cats etc but are reluctant to do it on avian species.
In australia capons were non existent for nearly 40 years and not many people know about it. The only people who know about it were too old to pass down the art. Thus, only vets are the best option to carry out this surgery if you are squeamish to do it yourself. Even if the vets are able to it, there’s a chance that the surgery might fail and the rooster still have its reproductive organs thus render these exercise a complete waste of time.
In relation to your question whether a neutered rooster will still crow, I have research this question quite thoroughly via websites and personal discussion with poultry enthusiasts and farmers and the answer is yes. Although the rooster was neutered, the vocal cord is still connected and thus it will be able to crow however the tendency to crow is severely inhibited by the lack of hormone. This means that it may still crow when the neutered rooster feels like it.
Just like you, if I can find a vet that is willing to take up this challenge to neuter a rooster I am happy to take it to them.

Santa Marta de Magas, Spain

I suggest you wait until they start crowing and then neck 'em, pluck & draw 'em and hang 'em for 24 hours before cooking - lovely. A neutered rooster is a sad thing - neither one nor the other. He'll be bullied by any entire rooster and his life will be miserable.

If you want a pet buy a parrot - they're much more fun.

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