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TRIMMING SPURS

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by centrarchid, Aug 11, 2018.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    I have some chickens, American Game mostly, that have spurs that cause issues of one sort or another. A four year old cock has spurs that may pose a risk for hens in a breeding pen and are approaching point where his ability to ambulate is compromised. The hens are having troubles during incubation as they experience a high rate of egg breakage and poor hatch of eggs that remain. To correct I am trimming spurs. The cock's spurs will be trimmed using a hacksaw. Effort dawn at dawn when air cool and gut empty to minimize stress.

    TRIMMING WITH A HACKSAW

    Over-sized spur approaching 4" long.
    20180811_070842.jpg
    Cut to between 0.75 and 1" from base.
    20180811_070849.jpg
    Hacksaw used. Ideally two people would do work to mitigate stress.
    20180811_070927.jpg
    Start of cutting process showing nick.
    20180811_071031.jpg
    After spur trimmed back. Bleeding minimal and stopped withing just a couple minutes.
    20180811_071453.jpg
    Both spurs shown after trimming.
    20180811_071846.jpg
    Trimmings showing asymmetry from combination of cutting location and differences in spurs before procedure started. Smaller closer to natural as wore closer to normal.
    My son will now use the trimmings as part of his dinosaur DNA experiments.
    20180811_080520.jpg
     
  2. Soon2BChixMom

    Soon2BChixMom Crossing the Road

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    I've seen some spur trimmings that just twist the outer keratin casing off which leaves a nub of sorts. Have you ever tried that method?
     
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    By accident, yes. Process is quicker, but I think it has a higher ouch factor for the chicken. I am not comfortable doing that for purposes of demonstration, somebody could post that process.

    There is the hot potato method as well.

    The remaining stub allows me to attach my preferred tie-cord and it generally bleeds least of methods i have seen. It also requires more wrestling of bird during the process so pro's and con's to all methods.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    Wow, that longer one is gnarly...
    ....almost looks like it was maybe broken/damaged at some point?
    Do you do anything to cauterize the bleeding?
    Great documentation, thanks!
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    The longer spur was about to shed the end which would result in it looking more similar to the shorter spur. Bleeding generally not enough to justify acceleration of clotting. I have never had a bird trimmed come even close to bleeding out. Dubbing is a different story and much more stressful on birds. I will be doing that in about 90 days, but most people will not have stomach for that. To be clear, I hate dubbing as nasty too.
     
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

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    What's the purpose.....do you get cold enough there for frostbite, and its that why?
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    Absolutely, my games sleep under stars even during winter. Besides several selected for show. Get dq'ed when not dubbed.
     
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  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    Below are images from two game hens that spurs were trimmed using a cutting shear.

    The cutting shear. 20180812_104245[1].jpg First hen. 20180812_081204.jpg Second hen.
    20180812_082354_HDR.jpg
    First hen following trimming of spurs. She bled for a couple minutes stopping before I walked her straight to barn.
    20180812_081428.jpg

    Shears I do not like when trimming to near base. Compression can cause the spurs to shatter. Doing tips with shear I like better.
     
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  9. Brahma Chicken5000

    Brahma Chicken5000 Araucana Addict Premium Member

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    Watching dubbing videos on YouTube makes my stomach churn a bit, but will you be documenting how you dub your birds? You seem to be extremely knowledgeable in your care of chickens and I would be very interested in your preferred practice and method when it comes to dubbing birds.
     
  10. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging 9 Years

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    I am assuming all can imagine how he spurs can impact incubation success. The first hen even damaged a couple chicks resulting in death of one. Chicks got impaled on spurs when she got riled keeping another hen away from nest site. She is the mother of my first cohort of Little Edgars that were trouble in their own right a few months later.
     

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