Warning: Graphic description in this post (but no pics)
First of all, the cockerel was slaughtered before I tried out the caponizing tools. I know I mentioned one of the white cockerels had basically volunteered for the stock pot, but he was easier to catch than the red cockerel, so the red went to the tree of destiny first. This was probably a Production Red cockerel, given his appearance and poor attitude towards the world in general. The production red cockerels and roosters have a reputation for just being mean to chicken and human alike. Whether he was or was not a production red, he certainly was not going to go quietly into the night ... as I was securing his feet at the tree he took the opportunity to given my shirt several frustrated nips. Ornrey to the end!
Now, for the initial use of the caponizing tools, I was doing this solo. Hubby had gone into town to get a bigger pipe wrench to fix a new leak in the pump house, that appeared overnight (and of course on the weekend!). My headlamp has not yet been delivered, so I was also poking around with limited light. Any wonder why I did not try on a live bird?
The testes were smaller than I anticipated, which made them a little harder to locate at first, but I used the kidney as the landmark and looked anterior (in front of) to that. I was able to get one out through the incision and rib spreader, but just could not get a good enough hold on the other so I turned the cockerel over and tried from the other side. That side did not go as well, as first I broke a rib with the spreader then still could not get a hold of the second teste.
I will need to work with the tools some more. Along with reorganizing which ones I take out with me, I need to work the spreaders more until they no longer feel so awkward. I will also make sure the next two I try on are already slaughtered. Because I bleed my birds out for slaughter, I am not seeing the vena cava that runs between the two testes, so that will be something to be mindful about when I get comfortable enough to try caponizing a live bird.
The red cockerel sort of had the last laugh. There is hardly any meat on him, and no visible fat, so I am going to need my cooking creativity to get more than just one meal out of him. I guess he was too busy scratching, pecking, and squabbling with the others to put on any significant amount of weight.