Rooster spur trimming for the hesitant owner.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Debipets, Dec 14, 2014.

  1. Debipets

    Debipets New Egg

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    I have noticed lately that my older rooster Napoleon's spurs are extremely long and curving up and inward. I spoke to a friend today that owns chickens herself and asked what she thinks should be done. She had never trimmed any of hers but admitted that something should be done. The poor guy can't continue on like that and being my first flock of pet chickens I didn't have a clue. She held Napoleon while I tried to use dog nail clippers to trim at least the points down. This was to no avail as I discovered that these spurs are no way easy to clip. I ended up breaking the nail clippers. Decided to search the web to see what to do about this. I have watched a few Youtube videos and I don't have the heart to twist off the spur as viewed in a couple of the videos. This looks brutal and bloody. The closest video that I viewed that looked doable to me was using some sort of dremel like tools. The sound on my computer doesn't work so I viewed without hearing the advise that I'm sure the demonstrator was giving. Can anyone give me a step by step directions for trimming these spurs easily? If not is it possible to take the rooster to a vet to have the job done? I appreciate any advise I can get. Thanks!
     
  2. myfarm4579

    myfarm4579 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A really good pair of dog nail trimmers should work easily on them. Some of the cheap clippers r not worth a darn. I would just trim a little bit off at a time should cause him no pain at all.just don't trim to short:)
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm gonna have to do mine some day I know, so I've been researching too, and also didn't like the idea of twisting them off (and keeping him in isolation for days while they harden). However, the Dremel thing seems very dangerous. A power tool that cuts through steel with no safety shield operating on a skidish bird sounds like a good recipe for cutting off more than just a spur. I'm still not sure what I'll end up doing, but I'll probably try the dog clippers first, and hopefully have better luck than OP had.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The way I use the Dremel too is to wrap the rooster in a towel around the wings to keep him contained. He very seldom resists anyway but I do it by myself, not with someone to hold him. So wrap him in something. I don’t even have to hold him, just hold onto his leg. It might help keep him calmer if you cover his head as well as just wrap him but don’t suffocate him. It’s amazing how just wrapping him normally calms them down.

    Using the metal cutter on the Dremel tool, cut off the end of the spur. It cuts through really quickly. You might want to practice on something else, like a nail, to get used to holding the tool and using it. You do need to hold it steady.

    The spur grows something like a fingernail. It has a quick in it that can be hard to see. It grows sort of like a core out from the base. That’s what’s left when people twist off the spur. If the spurs are really light colored you might be able to see the quick, but that’s not likely with darker spurs. As long as you stay out of the quick it should not even bleed. Even if you cut into the quick the rooster will probably not even flinch.

    I don’t know how long the quick is in that particular rooster. I haven’t trimmed one with spurs that long. You should be able to cut off half the spur easily without hitting the quick, but if you want to play it real safe, just take off about a third. If those spurs are curling like I think they are, 1/3 should be plenty.

    When I finish I just take the rooster back to his flock and let him go. He immediately mates with a hen and goes about his business.

    Stuff can happen. If he does bleed, it’s not that big a deal. It’s usually not much, if any. You can have some flour handy to use to stop the bleeding as a precaution, but taking off less than half you should not need it.
     
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  5. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! We're going to have to do this to one of our roosters soon, and you make it sound simple. Great information!
     
  6. Debipets

    Debipets New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2014
    Thank you for the inputs!
     
  7. Debipets

    Debipets New Egg

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    Thank you. I thought they were good but those spurs are like metal. Will try another pair.
     
  8. Debipets

    Debipets New Egg

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    Dec 14, 2014
    Very informative. Thank you.
     
  9. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other thing mentioned in a lot of YouTube videos is to only cut in for a second or two before backing out and letting the bit cool. Otherwise the heat from the friction could cause the bird to flinch in pain.
     
  10. aldarita

    aldarita Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner, do you happen to know if the spur grows back the way it was originally?
    Three weeks ago when I went to clean my roosters coop I found a spur on the ground, so I looked around and saw blood on my small rooster's leg. I cleaned up the wound, disinfected and wrapped it. The quick was bared. I have no idea how he came to break it, so after three weeks of changing the wrapping, it is off today. The spur was growing parallel to his leg and sort of curving inwards and I had been worried about having the same problem as the OP so now I wonder if it will grow back the way it was (hopefully not). BTW the spur is very thick and hard, no wonder you have to use a dremel to trim it.
     

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