I just got the catalog for an upcoming show in my area. It is chock full of information, but does not include an entry form, nor does it say how much it costs to enter. I wonder if that oversight cuts down on the number of entries they receive?
Yes, I did email for the information.
I think it is interesting that they are offering a competition and prize money for capons.
Sounds more like a 4H fair. Didn't know anyone caponized any more. Easier to just raise broiler Xs.
It's an APA approved show.
I can see where capons make sense. A 6 month old rooster isn't premium eating, despite all the insistence to the contrary. People who hatch chickens have got to get about 50% males, and what are they going to do with them?
It's not an issue for me because my excess drakes are big enough to eat at 8-10 weeks and they are fat and tender at that age. I raise Cornish Cross for fried chicken. But if I had 30 excess Buckeye roosters every year, I might be interested in Caponizing. There is a very low limit to how much chicken soup my family will eat and deboning and grinding a chicken is a lot more work than I want to do more often than occasionally.
Caponizing was a better way to use extra cockerels, then to just grow them out intact, before the time of modern broilers. They are still not as efficient meat producers. Given the time and extra feed needed to grow them, you would still be better off getting rid of all of your cockerels and buying broiler chicks to grow out. People still cling to the false economy that they are at least using something that would go to waste, but they'll spend more in feed than they'll ever save. In recent years I've seen a fair number of johhny come lately, BYC types, who think that they have hit on a long lost old fashioned solution to the problem of what to do with extra cockerels, and it will revolutionalize modern backyard chicken keeping. If it was that good, the practice wouldn't have died out in the first place.
It would make the most sense to me to just kill male chicks at hatch. But, of course, to be able to do that, you must be able to sex the chicks. Then there is the issue that you would have to grow them out in order to pick your keepers. So the males would already be half way to butcher age and already that much invested in them.
This show will include breeders from the Seattle area, where there is a lot of money and a lot of buyers for expensive quality local raised food. So perhaps they can see a market for high priced capons.
I've never eaten capon, so I have no idea whether it would be worth more money to me or not. I don't mind paying more for quality food. For proof, I raise my own roasting ducks and eggs instead of buying the cheaper food at the grocery store. I could buy fruit at the grocery store for decades and it would still be less than the cost of the fences to keep the deer put of my orchard. So if I could buy an exceptional flavored capon, I'd pay money for it. Not going to raise my own, though. 8 weeks for Cornish Cross is all the time I want to put into raising chickens. (and incidentally, those are cheaper to buy at the supermarket, too)
Given that half the hatched chickens are males it is important to know how much they will eat after 6-8 weeks. If they are healthy the diet has to be increased
I think that you just got an old catalog from 40 years ago that has just now found its way thru the USPS.
Originally Posted by Oregon Swedes
You ever hear stories of the old timers who learned to caponize while in 4-h/FFA in the 50's and 60's? The way they tell it more of the cockerels died than survived their experimental surgery.
Our local Kroger store carries capons from time to time.