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Friday, September 24, 2010

Rooster Spur Removal

For months now I've had a dilemma. I have a rooster that I really like, he's kind to the hens and he was good daddy roo to the few eggs that made it to hatching over the spring. However, he had spurs that eventually killed one of his favorite hens. I didn't know that she was wounded or hurt in any way. I only have one hen that will come up to me and let me pick her up and that still has to be her choice. I don't have a habit of chasing them down to pick them up for examination, UNLESS they give me reason to do so, ex. limping, or just acting any rate, they just haven't warranted that to happen. The evening before she let me know something was wrong I was in the pen with them feeding them, they were all around me and she seemed fine. The next morning is when I saw her lying alone and she let me pick her up, that's when I knew something was wrong with her, but by then it was too late. Upon examination I saw where her thigh had been cut (by a spur) it had healed but it was a nasty scar, still sore to the touch. I waited till dark and put Domonique (my roo) in a pen to himself. I didn't know what to do, I had thought about putting him in the freezer, but it's still so hot. My husband doesn't like *putting things in the freezer* when it's so very hot outside. I don't blame any rate, I would let Domonique out for about an hour each evening to be with the rest of the flock, after all it wasn't his fault he lost his favorite girl, he didn't know he hurt her. So over the next few weeks I started feeling sorry for him and looked for an alternative way to deal with the problem. There isn't much on the net about spurs, I found a few about cutting them but you have to be careful of infection or cutting them to close to the quick. A spur is a lot like a finger nail. I did find two videos on youtube about removing the spur completely but temporarily. That's what I wanted to do!Here they are! My husband removed them while I held the roo. It was sooo simple, easy and no harm to him at all! He didn't even flinch! I videoed the last one being removed but it won't download on to my blog :(
It was a little blood but not much at all. I dabbed some purple violet antiseptic on each spur and put him back in his pen for the night.
How we did it:
He was already in a pen, which I highly recommend (it reduces his stress) (and yours);)
One person can do this but two makes it easier. Hold him with both feet in one hand (if you're alone)
Take a pair of pliers and gently place them around the spur. Twist firmly, but gently, ever so slightly back and forth. This shouldn't take but maybe two to three slight twists back and forth. You'll feel a *give* then finish with the twist. It comes off so easy! I was so thankful! Now I get to keep my roo!
Be sure to keep him separated for a day or two because the spurs are very tender. You'll even notice him stepping softly ;) Almost like having real long finger or toenails then having them cut real short.
He's fine...grooming himself ;) I let him go back with the girls the next afternoon, after checking his spurs and making sure he was healing okay. Now that I know how to do this properly and pain free, (for me as well) ;) I'll be able to it again, without worry.

Until next time!


  1. Wow julie what an ordeal, sorry for the loss of your hen, dis you prep her for the cock pot??? I really want to get a few hens for eggs. When I was a boy we had chickens and my Mom has chickens now and fresh eggs every morning. I envy you...bees, chickens, nature....Bill c beekeeper

  2. Bill, no I didn't put her in the crock ;) I haven't ever killed any of my hens, I let them go naturally, then bury them. I don't have the heart to put them in the freezer, to me it just doesn't seem right. They give their lives to giving me eggs and making me laugh, but we (my husband and me) have put quite a few roos in the freezer. Sometimes we just get over run with them and nobody wants a rooster.:(
    Why don't you get some chickens? If you live where you can have bees, you can have a hen or two. You don't have to have a roo to get eggs. And get out in your yard! You have tons of nature out there! You just have to look for it....
    Thanks for your comments, I enjoy getting *feedback* ;)
    Take Care!