Spur issue on a hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by rrbriss, Dec 27, 2016.

  1. rrbriss

    rrbriss Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2011
    Guildhall, VT
    We have a sussex hen that has spurs about to grow back into her legs. She does have all her toes, the back ones are hard to see in the photos. She is also a good egg layer during laying season. Sorry about the photo we just put Vaseline on her feet and legs then I decided to take the photos. As you can see they are not true spurs like on our roosters so I am not sure if cutting these back is an option? Suggestions?

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  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

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    Poor girl! She's got some serious spurs for a hen! These are some ways to deal with them, should work for her just like they do for a rooster:

    1. Have some cornstarch handy in case there is any blood and also some neosporin without pain relief and or blue coat to help with any possible infections. You can either hold your rooster for this procedure or towel him and lay him in your lap. I like to towel my birds while I am working on them. Gives me more control. With a pair of needle nosed pliers, grab at about the middle of the spur or a tad closer to the leg. Don't clamp hard enough to split the spur, just enough to hold on. Wiggle the pliers back and forth. Don't pull, just wiggle. After about 45 seconds, the spur should break off. Be ready with your blood stop just in case and ointments to apply as there is now exposed flesh. Once you have applied the ointments to the spur, your rooster is good to go. Always monitor trimmed spurs for a few days for any infection.

    2. The Hot Potato Method: You will need two whole potatoes, one for each spur. Microwave your potatoes until cooked and hot. Towel up your rooster and lay him in your lap. Stick the hot potato right onto the spur and hold there for 5 mins. You can do both spurs at the same time if you have help. After 5 minutes, remove potatoes and quickly with a pair of pliers, twist off spurs. Sometimes no pliers are needed and the spurs fall right off. There won't be any pain with this procedure as long as the hot potato doesn't contact any other parts of his skin or leg. He is now good to go.

    3. Trimming with Guillotine clippers or a Dremel tool: You can trim off small portions of the spur with your Guillotine dog claw trimmers or even a Dremel tool. Always work slowly in case you hit blood, trimming off small portions of spur at a time. And always have your blood stop powder ready just in case.

    I grabbed these right out of an article on this site. I haven't used them myself but others have with lots of success.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    We just discussed this on the forum yesterday with a rooster, but obviously hens can have similar problems. Those photos are really clear. I agree with wrapping her in a towel and having something handy to stop bleeding if it becomes a problem.

    I use a Dremel tool and the disc that you use to cut metal. Someone else mentioned they use a grinder with the Dremel tool and grind back from the end. With a white-legged chicken you might be able to see the quick inside but that isn’t always possible. You might try putting a light on the back of that and see if you can tell where the quick ends, sort of an X-ray.

    I find that if I take off about ¼ of the length of the spur I usually miss the quick. If I do hit the quick the bleeding is usually minimal. I think it would be similar with the grinder, both generate heat. The heat would pretty much cauterize the wound but having flour, corn starch, or something else to stop the blood available is a good idea.
     
  4. rrbriss

    rrbriss Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 10, 2011
    Guildhall, VT
    Thanks everyone. I was going to treat it like a spur but because it looks almost like a n overgrown toe I decided to get some additional opinions. Thanks
     

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