rooster's spurs broken off...why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Daisy8s, Jan 7, 2014.

  1. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 2 yr old Barred Rock rooster had almost 2 inch long spurs at the start of winter. Every few weeks now I see they look a bit shorter. Sometimes they are black on the end like dried blood, other times they are the same color as his legs.

    His comb and wattles are fine, as are his toes, so I don't think it can be due to the cold. He is going up/down a different ladder into the winter-time run than during the summer. It's a wooden ladder with 1 inch dowels pretty close together that none of them seem to have trouble using, but it's the only difference I can think of.

    Any thoughts? Is the spur breaking off part of a natural process?
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it is part of the natural process. People that want shorter spurs have a way to break the old one off and there is a new one half grown inside. (Don't ever try it unless you read threw their entire process for the safe way to do it.) It could be that they are getting caught on something, he is shedding them for new ones, they are too long for proper mating with the hens, or he broke them off on a predator. If they are not bothering him or causing excessive bleeding or infection then you shouldn't worry.
     
  3. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much. In all that I've read about roosters I've never read that they shed their spurs naturally. Is this like deer shed antlers? Will it happen every year?
     
  4. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, not every year. I only found out about it when I was reading up on people removing the spurs. I wanted to know why people remove them, why they cut them, and if it was required. Sometimes you find information in the least likely of places. I have a friend who has a rooster on his third set of spurs and also some that never got rid of their first set.
     
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  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Biotin and phosphorus are a few important nutrients necessary, and when deficient in a diet can cause brittle bones. If spurs are allowed to get too long on some breeds, they will be a hindrance to leg movement in addition to getting broken on an active rooster. I've seen that more with Bantams though, not Standards. I don't know what you mean by a ladder with 1" dowels close together. I use a ramp with 1.5-2" rungs spaced 3" apart for them to go in and out of coops. My roosts are at one level about 2' off the floor. You might change the ladder you mentioned and supplement water with vitamins.
     

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