Roos Spurs...


In the Brooder
11 Years
May 27, 2008
I have 36 chickens, one roo. They free range in my fenced in pasture. My roo, Elvis, is a bit agressive towards myself and my family. Out in the pasture, there's enough room for all of us to "get along".

My concern is that we live in VT where the winter drives everyone into the barn. We will be in close quarters with the roo and I am getting a bit nervous about it.

Elvis has long spurs and I want to cut them down, but I don't know if they are like the nails, and will bleed if cut too short? Any advice will be appreciated.

Mojo Chick'n

Empress of Chickenville
11 Years
Mar 8, 2008
Republic of Chickenville
I have a roo with long spurs that need to be trimmed, also. I am afraid to do it, but I know I have to, so I've been looking online.

You can cut them back by half (no shorter than 5/8 of an inch left on him) with either a hack saw - which is harder to do- or with a dremel with a rotary cutter - which will be my choice once I get the courage to do it. The rotary cutter provides some heat and cauterization if ya knick a vein. I have heard also, you can put melted wax onto it if it bleeds a bit. Don't go shorter than 5/8 of an inch, though, because that is where the core (really bigger veins and such) start (probably not saying that right, but it'll bleed and might kill them).

I may do the melted wax anyway, since it wil seal the open end and maybe help prevent any infection that might happen.

I clipped beaks last week for the first time, also - it was much easier than I imagined it would be. I am hoping the spur cutting will be easier than I imagine, too.

ETA - I think I saw on one site where the core begins/ends at twice the width/length of the base of the spur. - so if his spur base is 1/4 inch (just as an example) the core will go 1/2 inch up the spur. You would therefore not cut below that 1/2 inch mark.

Good luck -
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12 Years
Dec 28, 2007
I've found it is easier if you just twist and pull them off. I did it today, and got my roo's spurs off. They will bleed a little bit, but not much, and there is a little part that will stay on the leg, and don't mess with that or it will bleed alot.


11 Years
Jun 27, 2008
Marion County, IN
Just last week I saw the need to do something with my roosters spurs so decided to try the hot baked potato method. I did one spur on one morning and the othe spur the next morning. I held the hot baked potato on nthe spur until he flinched that leg and using a pair of plyers, simply because it is hot and you don't want to touch it with your fingers, the outer horny layer slipped right off. Now his spurs are half as big or long.

And my rooster is no worse off and it hasn't changed his attitude toward me. I've got a picture of them, but don't know how to post it.


11 Years
Apr 22, 2008
The inner core of the spur has blood vessels and nerves... by twisting off or otherwise fully removing the outer core you are exposing nerves to temperature, pressure etc that they were never meant to feel... although I can only guess how much it will hurt or bother them it is much more humane to carefully remove the excess outer core by sawing or using a drimmel. Done properly the inner core will stay completely covered and you have done no damage to your rooster.

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