Roosters, roosters and spurs and baked potatoes?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by scooby, Jan 11, 2012.

  1. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a few questions,1) one of my hens went broody first time, only one hatched back in august, and looks like a humongous mixed version of daddy(white/super huge) and mommy( blk. jersey giant). i was thinkin it was a hen but it kept growing more and more like daddy, but has no spurs of any kind yet. so i just kept telling myself it was a she but today as i stood at the back door "she" crowed and crowed at the sliding door. So i might have to face my fears. 2 roo's for 9 girls that is two much isn't it? my DH already walked up and said so which ones going? thats to many isn't it?........(he's always wanted to get rid of daddy ever since he chased our girl 3 yrs ago) So how old till spurs come in what age should they be? i thought i would see them by now, 6 month?

    2) my second problem is Daddy is very very big with spurs that are about 3 - 4 inches long and they literally gash my girls badly. so this summer I added 4 more girls for nine total and was hoping baby would make 10. it appears to have worked cause i havn't had a gashed chicken or featherless backs for a few months now. but if baby turns out to be a roo and baby is already bigger then daddy then i figure it is safe to assume that his spurs will be as big as daddys........i am very interested in the baked potatoe method but i would like to hear from someone that has actually used this method themselves and can tell me step for step what is suppose to happen. and if this even works. i'v heard it does and i'v heard its a wives tale... what would be even better would be someone with a video to show how it works .................... or are there any other suggestions anyone could offer....i watched a video on utube that was just grabing the spurs with pliers and twisting but i saw blood... anyone done it this way? i have got to do something about the spurs i even asked the local vet if they could de-spur him and they looked at me crazy.....
     
  2. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just added a photo of how to hold the roo while you remove the outer spur. It's from last month. Hope it's helpful if you decide to use this method.
     
  4. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok kinda confused , so on your site...... so the "inner nail" it says it will bleed and be sensitive for a few days but then it says if you must handle or if it is bumped or anything for the next month that it can bleed and cause pain... so does it harden within a few days? or does it remain sensitive till a new case grows? a month is a long time i cant see my girls being "nice " to him for a month and he would be so mad if i kept him separated for that long they already beat him up i can only imagine if he was gone that long......also i thought you used the potatoe to take the nail off and most the stuff i'v heard about it was that it was suppose to cause no bleeding the reason for using the potatoe, of course i'v heard it also causes more too. what does the potatoe do if you use pliers also? I'v seen just pliers used on youtube videos so whats the added plus when using the potatoe?

    so i'm still wondering is it better to take the cases off or just clip or file, i'v also heard to use a dremel, causes it to cauterizes?
    he is a bleeder so i am worried about what will make him bleed.......he riped off a toenail once and bleed for about 2-3 days even with me slapping flour on him repeatedly, i thought he was going to bleed out and i was gona find him dead. or maybe i'm just a wimp....
    o and one more thing i noticed it said that cold will hurt the sensitive spur so it would be wiser to do it in the summer, right?
     
  5. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    anyone else what to chime in........ clip,file or remove......best method....anyone

     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I personally use the Dremel tool with the disc used to cut metal. I do not try to get the spur back clean to the leg but just shorten and blunt the end. I also blunt the toenails. I think the toenails do as much or more damage than the spurs. Again, I do not try to take all of them off, just blunt the sharp ends.

    I wrap the rooster in a towel to control the wings and cut them off. I get very little, if any, blood. After I am finished, I put him back with the flock. No recovery period and no treatment. It only takes a few seconds and it is over. The rooster does not even flinch. I expected the rooster to freak from the noise of the tool, but maybe it is the towel wrapped around him. Mine stay calm the whole time.
     
  7. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner - I like your technique of using a towel when restraining the roo. I might add that idea for some treatments listed on the site. Thanks for sharing about it!

    Scooby--Thanks for the questions. That will help me clarify the page to better help people. I'll try to revise when I can.

    Answers:

    The inner quick bleeds very little--a few streaks on the outside or maybe 4 drops if shell bumps a little against it while sliding off.

    I would want to cut so far as the actual quick with a dremel or anything else. My experience leads me to deduce that cutting the actual quick would be excruciatingly painful to a rooster.

    There is no need to keep a roo protected from hens while healing, because any conflicts with them won't involve spurring. He only needs to be protected from other roosters because roosters jump up & spur at each other for offense & defense. If the roo decided to do that while healing (if he's the head roo, he will & can generally safely avoid that until his spurs are healed enough), he could hurt his spurs.
    Roosters also are generally sufficiently careful in how they walk & how they mount hens while healing. I think it's wise, tho, to still separate him a couple days if possible while the quicks grows a little bit of covering and he figures out the most gentle ways to handle his shortened & sensitive spurs.

    My impression is that the warmth of the potato combines with moisture around the base of the spur to make the twisting off less "wrenching", & therefore hopefully less painful.

    Twisting off the spur shell with pliers (no matter how you do the prep) usually causes very little bleeding at all, & any that happens stops quickly.
    If you use another method that includes actually cutting thru part of the quick, that will cause PROFUSE bleeding.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Have you actually tried cutting with a Dremel? The rooster did not flinch or react in any way. When he went back to his flock, he acted normally. There was very little blood. No drops, just a thin filmy bit showed up, and even that tiny bit does not happen each and every time. I only took about half the spur off. I did not go all the way to the leg.

    I've done it a few times and the results were pretty similar. I'm not going to say that everyone's results will be exactly like mine. They probably won't because all of us are a little different, but I really did not see any signs of pain and practically no blood.

    On the towel, I don't even cover his head. It is surprising how calm just wrapping the towel around him made him.
     
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgerunner--I just bolded & added a few words in my earlier post to help be more clear.

    Thanks for added details on the towel method--Very good to know. Maybe being wrapped up feels reminiscent of being tucked under a mama's wing...

    From yours & others' experience I've heard of, cutting off part of the end of the spur (beyond the quick) works fine with a dremel.

    If you use nippers, the spur may get squeezed enough to pinch the quick if you cut all but the very ends. The pinching could possibly cause pain & some damage.

    I like the spur shell removal cuz it really cuts back spur power & for a longer time. Broad blunt ends on spurs could still have some punch, tho theyd much less hazardous than pointed ones.

    However, it being winter, I do think trimming the ends would be better in the cold. Or taping masking tape over the tips without trimming them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2012
  10. jenkassai

    jenkassai Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't have any experience trimming chicken nails or spurs, but DO have experience doing dog nails. I would highly recommend the Dremel method! I love my Dremel, it is sooo easy, and less stressful for me because I don't have to worry about cutting into the quick. If I were going to do chicken nails, I would definitely use the Dremel!
     

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