Friday, September 22, 2017

How to remove rooster spurs

My least favorite part of the rooster is the spur. I bet you're not surprised at all by that little confession. Spurs are actually quite useful though, as they are a roosters main line of defense against predators. However when they're used against people or are hurting the hens, then it's time to remove your roosters spurs!

Spurs are actually an outgrowth of bone covered by a sheath of horn. A spur grows from the base outwards. Like an animals toenail, there is only a blood supply at the base and the tip can be easily trimmed. Spurs continuously grow and can get quite long.

rooster spur removal

To control the length of a roosters spurs you can either trim or remove them. When you remove a spur you leave the base and only take off the hard outer covering. Removing spurs on a rooster is fairly easy to do. It requires very few tools and only takes a few seconds to remove each spur. In fact it's so easy to do, I once did it by accident!

The first time I removed a roosters spur I had only meant to trim it. The spur had actually grown with a curve backwards toward him and was pressing into his leg. I noticed the rooster limping and when I picked him up, I saw that it was because the spur had started digging into his leg. 

rooster spur removal

I decided to cut the excess off but was having a hard time getting the clippers to grip it. I tried with the big toenail cutters but they weren't getting a grip. Finally I switch to dog nail clippers and grabbed the spur with them then I realized...it was no longer attached! It had come off just like that from me messing with it!

rooster spur removal

To remove a roosters spurs you'll need a pair of pliers and some cornstarch or blood stop powder. Have someone hold the rooster and flip him over onto his back. Holding the leg with one hand, grasp the spur with the pliers and gently twist slightly in a clockwise motion, then turn back in a counter clockwise motion. The spur should pop free exposing the quick below it. 

Remove the second spur then dust them both with the cornstarch or blood stop powder. They should only bleed a tiny bit and will dry up fairly quickly. Don't put him back in the coop till the bleeding has stopped. It shouldn't bother him much but might bleed a tiny bit if he bumps it over the next few days.

removing spurs on rooster

The spur will grow back so you will have to repeat the process annually. This is the way I remove spurs though many people like to use the potato method. I don't use this method but in the interest of education: How that works is you microwave a potato until its cooked through. Shove the potato over the spur and let it sit for several minutes. Remove potato then twist off spur with your fingers.

The theory is that the heat and moisture of the potato softens the spur making removal easier. The spur may be a hard object outside, but the inside is softer and sensitive. I just can't imagine the pain he must feel as heat is applied to his spur heating up the quick where the blood supply is. If I can't stick my finger in a hot potato for several minutes without hurting me, why would I do it to an animal? However, many people have used the potato method to remove rooster spurs and it does work.

If you just want to blunt the end of a roosters spur you can file it down with a metal file like you would a fingernail. Just be careful to hold it steady because they do pop off fairly easily. I've also used a Pedi Paws that I had for my dog to blunt the tip of the spur a little. It's just a rotating nail file disc inside a holder to prevent injury. Just be careful not to file too far down or it will cause pain and bleeding. Good luck!

~L

Want information on raising chickens sent right to your email weekly? Click right here to join my list and get new posts sent directly to you the day they're published!

(this post contains affiliate links. If you chose to purchase something from these links, I will get a small amount from the company to thank me for sending you their way and help support this blog. It will not affect your purchase price)

                                         

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...