trimming spurs?


14 Years
Oct 13, 2008
Ok, so I've searched through a number of old threads and found basically two methods of trimming spurs. I apologize if I'm being thick, but I'm confused...

The first method involves clipping/cutting/sawing off the tip of the spur to make it dull. Somebody said you can cut them almost halfway down from the tip, but when I tried to cut off less than a quarter of an inch off the tip of my cock's spur I hit quick and it bled, so I'm puzzled. Now the other method involves removing the dead outer casing off the spur, leaving raw, exposed quick that the other chickens may be tempted to peck at, and that, I might add, still looks quite pointy, and supposedly (according to one member who posted) is sharp and pointy again as soon as it's healed. If the point of removing spurs is to blunt them for safety (for humans, other animals, and the other birds), how practical is this? What am I missing?

There seem to be some strong feelings among different members and a lot of experience among BOTH camps suggesting that one method or other is better. So far, I can't help but think that NEITHER of these methods SEEMS that satisfactory to me. So obviously, I feel like I must be missing something....

Your thoughts, anyone? Thanks
I use the spur trimming method, sometimes you will get a little blood but the saw cauterizes it. Some birds are different, most of mine you can cut down to at least half the length (depending on how long the spur is originally) and it won't bleed, maybe yours "quick" goes a little further. I've heard you can hold a bird up to the light and see how far you can cut before it starts to bleed but I have never done this. If nothing else you could just take some pliers or wire cutters and just clip off the very tip. It will still leave a long spur, but it will be blunt at least.

How long is your birds spur? For instance my American's will get long spurs, even some of my Shamo cocks (and one hen) and I can trim those spurs back halfway pretty easily. But I have one Shamo cock that is two years old, I've never trimmed his spurs and his spur is only about a inch in length probably. I would never cut his spur half way at the length it is, I am thinking I may just have to file the tip down to make it smooth/blunt. But not 100% sure on what I'm going to do, it isn't a big deal at the moment because the Shamo's are gentle birds toward people (as all my birds are generally) and it's not a long spur that would damage the hens.

The other method I don't like too much, one because it leaves a point (which I don't guess is too big of a deal, but I prefer blunt spurs) and then you have that it leaves open a higher chance of infection.

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I "unscrew" the spurs off of my roos when needed. When the outer casing is removed, the bump underneath isnt very pointed, & not nearly as sharp & pointed as the spur that was just removed. I will remove the spur about once a year to keep the roo from hurting anyone, including DW & I.
Could you please elaborate on "unscrewing" spurs?

My 9mo old rooster still has just nubs where his spurs will be, but they are pretty good-sized nubs so I am anticipating some big, sharp spurs to deal with once they come in.
Thanks, folks.

The rooster I was referring to was actually some time ago, and has since been eaten because he was an aggressive pain in the butt. I was just trying to do some research on this again though, because his successor is starting to get some lengthy ones as well, and I wanted to research all the options to be safe. But since he has yet to show any signs of aggression to us, the hens, or his fellow cock, and the spurs still aren't that sharp, for now I'll probably leave this one in the "if it ain't broke don't try and fix it" category...

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