Spurs:trimming safely

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HawaiianChicken, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. HawaiianChicken

    HawaiianChicken Hatching

    Sep 2, 2007
    Does anyone know of a safe and bloodless way to trim spurs....
    I rescued a lost Bantam, and his spurs are so long they are soon going to curl back into his legs at the tip end.
    If they have a quick inside...is there a way to trim them
    without hitting the quick, as in other animals hoofs, and toenails?

    If not, just how much of a bloody painful mess will this make for him and me?
    The only info I can find is to twist them off abruptly counterclockwise at the leg with pliers:Does that sound correct? Is it equivelant to amputating a human finger?

    He is an old little guy, and a pet, so the least blood and pain the better....no blood and no pain, best yet.

    many thanks
  2. ella

    ella Songster

    I feel your pain [​IMG] this is an issue alot of people with pet roosters have to deal with.

    The spur is somewhat like a hoof with a hard keratin surface and a sensitive quick inside. With a light colored spur you can shine a light through it and see pretty well where the quick is and that can help.

    But the quick is quite large and close to the surface. Just trimming the keratin part usually will not do much to keep the rooster from damaging whatever he chooses to with them. So...

    I've cut them with a dog nail trimmer to about 1/4 '' from the leg, it was very quick with a clean sharp blade but there was lots of blood. Didn't cause much pain or health issues though, they recovered quickly.

    Last time I used a pliers and twisted. Lots less blood just a little dripping, but it does expose the quick and seemed to be a little more painful. Best suggestion for this method is not to squeeze to hard with the pliers because it seems to bruise the quick and be painful. And to make a score or slice along where you want the spur to split, that makes it easier to pop off.

    Either way have something with Lidocaine in it -like sunburn relief gel- and some stiptic powder. Also helps to do it at night when he's calmer.

    Good Luck![​IMG]
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  3. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    I had read about the hot potato method of taking a hot potato and sticking it over the spur and then I think twisting it? It is supposed to cauterize the quick at the same time creating less blood.

    Personally, I have used the oil and pliers method by soaking in oil and using the pliers to twist it off. It did bleed, just out the styptic powder on it till it stops and then it should be good. It was pretty neat looking and then, after the soft tissue dries up, it falls completly off.
  4. GoodEgg

    GoodEgg Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    NW Florida
    I have zero experience with roo spurs, but I used to have to get my cockatoo's (black) nails trimmed regularly.

    I usually took her to a vet so she would resent ME less. They used a variety of methods, but the dremel was my favorite. She had to be restrained while being trimmed, but there was no bleeding and no problems afterwards, and it did a nice job of blunting the nails.

    Then again, if your roo's are SO long ... you might want to consider doing it in stages, if the handling is less stressful than any pain/bleeding? The quick in most birds that I am aware of will retreat as the tip is trimmed, so that you can trim a little more in a week or two, and so on, and the quick can be avoided altogether. I imagine roos are the same?

    Good luck whatever you decide!


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