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Advice on clipping Rooster toenails, and spurs

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have four roosters, and fifteen hens. All are one year old, and all are bantams.  My hens are losing feathers on their backs from the roosters matting.  I know we have too many rooster to the amount of hens, and we are rotating, but I still think the roosters toenails need trimming, and maybe de-spurring, if that is possible.  My husband, nor I are use to caring for hens, and we need to know how much of the nail to clip, and also the spur.  Will there be bleeding, and does this hurt?  Also, what do we use to clip? A farm hand told me the spur could be removed painlessly with a pair of plyers, by gently turning slightly one way, then the other, and the spur would come off, revealing a soft cone underneith.  And the spur would eventually grow back.  Is this true? I have searched and cannot find any information concerning de-spurring that sounds logical.  Thanks for any information that will help us.

post #2 of 5

Personally I would cut back to just one maybe two roosters. You can pop the spurs as suggested or you can just nip the tip with a set of dog toenail clippers. Then just round off with emory board or sandpaper. As for the toenails trim them as you would a dogs toenails being careful to avoid the blood vein  or core on the inside.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you, I will see if we can do the clipping.  However, about cutting back the roosters, since we started keeping chickens around Spring of last year, I have become so attached to them, that I can hardly eat any kind of meat.  So, to get rid of the roosters will have to be a last resort.
Thank you so much for answering.  Carol

post #4 of 5

Have some bloodstop powder close at hand if you twist the spurs off because they tend to bleed.

I use a dremel to cut the end of the spur off and round the edges.
I use dog nail clippers on their nails.

"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
Reply
"Yeah...Here comes the Rooster..."  - Alice in chains
http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2588-Roo_behavior
Reply
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

That twisting the spurs off; does that hurt? I was told that it didn't, but I can't see how it wouldn't.  And once we tried to clip the nails, just a wee bit, and it bled, and what we clipped off wasn't near enough to do any good.  It seemed like the 'quick' was absolutely at the very end of the nail, so no matter how much came off, it would bleed.
Thank you, Carol

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