The Will to Live-Shorty, the Castrated Rooster

Shorty the Pet Capon
Shorty the Pet Capon

Castrated roosters are called capons and minus testosterone, they grown fat and juicy instead of lean and mean. Shorty came in a batch of 50 capons we took home to raise.

Castrating a rooster is a bit complicated since their testes are internal. I do not know or want to know how the procedure is performed, but one result can be that gas builds up inside them and they blow up like balloons. I asked a wise farmer about it and he said just prick them and they will deflate like a popped balloon. I was rather reluctant to do this but guess what-it worked!

The capons grow very quickly and are extremely greedy for food. I noticed a runty one who limped when he walked and I figured he was a goner. Chickens are not kind to the physically challenged among them. But when I poured grain into the feeder and the big strong ones bulled their way in, Shorty sneaked in under their legs and got his. Shorty had a will to live.

When I caught the big ones tormenting Shorty, I scooped him up and brought him back to the house. He was quite docile while I carried him-maybe he was sick? But no, it turned out he was just a laid back sort of guy. He lived in the yard and sometimes we held him like a puppy which he seemed to enjoy. He never grew even half the size of the other capons. He slept under the porch and had no fear of dogs, which made them somewhat fearful of him. “Yo, Buster, do you think the poultry has a secret weapon?”

When they came to get the capons for slaughter, Shorty was asleep on my lap in the backyard.  He opened one eye when he heard the commotion and then went back to sleep. Shorty, who started out with very little chance at life dozed in the sunshine while the “winners” were carted off to their doom.

He was a laid back little guy, that Shorty-and he had a will to live.


  1. Shorty was no “capao” (Boricua for “capon”).the little feller still had his cojones…siempre Macho! con’yo caraho con’yo!..strut out to the barnyard and kick evabody’s ass!

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