Spurs, should I cut them off??

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LaurelRidgeDreams, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Songster

    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I read in Storey's Guide to RAISING CHICKENS that for permanent removal of spurs, cut them off close to the leg when cockerels are 10 to 16 weeks old and their spurs are no more than 1/4 inch long.

    I'm thinking about doing this and wonder if others have done this or what you might think about this. The guide gives no infomation about treating the cut off spur area.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    Storey's guides have come in handy for me, but as far as cutting off the spurs, that sound painful. Maybe others will have some input.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I saw a youtube where the guy just took some pliers and twisted them off gently while holding the chicken in his lap. There were a couple of drops of blood and that's it.

    This needs to be repeated when they regrow.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  4. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Songster

    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I was hoping that cutting them off when less than 1/4 inch long, as described in Storey's guide, would not be too painful and also not bleed so much. I've also read about twisting them off when they are really long. Would seem to me that if the spur issue could be eliminated by cutting at early growth, it would be best. Doesn't twisting off the spur hurt also?
  5. Animalian

    Animalian Songster

    Jun 18, 2011
    I thought the pliers grab and pull just took off the outer casing of the spur, leaving a softer smaller spur beneath? Also hardly any blood but needs to be repeated

    To stop it growing you'd have to cut the quick. So I guess early cutting would probably be better because it would be smaller. I don't understand how you would destroy the base of the nail though, you would have to cut through the quick and maybe burn it like they do with calves and goats horns, but they generally use a local anasthetic to do that. Ow!

    To stop the bleeding use corn flour (mix in some blue food dye to hide the blood colour from other chickens) or styptic powder, but you'd have to watch it in case he knocked the scab. Nails tend to bleed a LOT

    You could always glue some caps onto them, I've heard of people supergluing electrical plugs and other small caps onto the end of them so they can't do damage. They stay on for months
  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I personally wouldn't cut off my roosters defense mechanism. I would feel bad if he was attacked & couldn't defend himself . But, I live in the country.
  7. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Songster

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    Quote:i was told my bcm were roos, One is 10 weeks and one is 13-14 weeks and they neither one even have spur bumps?
  8. Personally I wouldnt remove the spurs.. any rooster that spurs me or tries to gets to go to Camp Kenmore.. with my mutts they never act up .. purebreds that we bought this year as chicks or hatched out have already gone through the first culling of nasty roos.. i don't tolerate bad behavior.. so eventually we breed out the troublemakers and end up with nice docile bloodlines
  9. crj

    crj Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Rocky Point, NC
    I remove spurs. I did do the plier one and it did work but the core of the spur is still somewhat long. The best way to do it is to saw it off. Yep, it's painless and little or no blood. I will have to get a a picture of the saw. It's small, you get it at a hardware store. The blade has small teeth, the size you would cut metal with. I learned this from a friend and it works great on all birds.
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    All we've ever done is blunt them with a Dremel tool so there isn't a sharp point, but the hen damage is from toenails, not spurs, so, unless he's human-aggressive, there is no need to remove spurs. As mentioned, that is his defense against predators and that is his job, right? You don't want them so long that they trip him up or grow back into his leg.

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