Leaving Spurs on..is it okay?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Country Parson, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    I've never removed a spur before, and am cautious against trying it (I really don't want to hurt my Roo without a good reason). As it happens, he is quite gentle. We always keep an eye on him (he is a rooster, after all), but for a year now he has been great (we received him as an adult). Throughout this time I've never removed his spur.

    Am I wrong to let it go? One looks like it fell off on its own, but the other is really long.

    I WILL remove the spur if he acts aggressive or if it is cruel NOT to do so. Advice from those with more knowledge would be appreciated.
  2. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    i've got 3 and 4 year old roo's that i have never removed their spur, had one or two loose spur's but i've never removed any
  3. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    You don't have to remove the spurs. The reason some folks do, including me, is to keep the roo from tearing up the backs of hens during breeding, or 2 roos constantly fight & don't want either to get hurt.
  4. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    My two roosters are super-nice guys, and I have never had to worry about their attacking me; however, for the hens' sake, I do remove their spurs. Like you, I would not do it if it hurt them, and there's a method that's so simple and easy for you and the rooster.
    Wrap the rooster in a large towel that totally covers both his body and head.
    Take a pair of regular pliers; get a firm but not overly tight on the spur; twist up and down with the pliers two or three times until you feel or hear a slight snap, then pull outward, and the entire spur comes off. Have some paper towels to wipe off a couple drops of blood, and then put some Neosporin antibiotic on the remaining spur. Your hens will appreciate your doing this.
    Here's a YouTube site that shows its being done:
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  5. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I have never removed spurs from my roosters. If they become a problem maybe you should consider it, but it's not really necessary.
  6. boxermom

    boxermom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2009
    I removed the spurs on my roo last summer because a couple of my hens had slices on their backs. I could not believe how simple it was. My 11yo DD held him and I clipped it. Just like a round finger nail. Simple and quick. He wasn't bothered at all. We held pressure for a couple of minutes and let him go. There is a great video on here that shows how to do it. Just search for spur removal.
  7. HorizonSon

    HorizonSon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Pacific NW
    Your question seems completely backwards [​IMG] It would make a whole lot more sense (to me) if your question was worded; "Do roosters have to have their spurs?" AND "Is it crewl to remove them?"

    I have a super aggressive RIR roo; and am challenged frequently. However; our birds free range and I would never ever intentionally allow a flock to free range without a matured (with spurs) roo present to protect them... period...

    If your flock is always kept penned up in cages; then you could (and probably should) remove all spurs from all roosters with them..

    I can wait to make stew of that all-too-protective RIR cock!
  8. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I have eight roosters, all with spurs. They do spar with each other from time to time but there is more damage from feather pulling and comb biting than the spurs. My roos must also be expert chicken surfers because there is rarely a hen with damaged feathers. (I am also not of the mind that missing back feathers is a result of spurs).
  9. Country Parson

    Country Parson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2010
    Bellefontaine, OH
    David, I already knew that Rooster don't NEED to have their spurs (so there was no point in me asking that question). I've already read many, many posts about people removing the spurs (proving they are not essential). But as someone fairly new to roosters, I wasn't sure if removing them was necessary or not (for example, does failing to remove them pose health risks? If I never clipped my toenails it would eventually make things difficult to walk...is it the same with spurs?). As for the cruelty issue, if I had an aggressive roo I would remove the spurs (cruelty is a two-way street, methinks). So, while I understand your questions, they don't really address what I am specifically looking for (which is whether or not it is OK to leave spurs on).

    From what I'm reading from the other responses, it seems that it is OK to leave spurs on (but also that I should keep watching for aggressive behavior or damaged hens, and to remove the spurs if these become issues).
  10. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    I have over 20 roosters living together, none with spurs cut or removed. . . Noone has ever gotten bloody or injured, except on the combs. And of course, all the boys are sweeties, and if not, shy towards people, so we've never had issues with being attacked.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by