What's the best way to remove spurs?


8 Years
Mar 4, 2011
Clanton, Alabama
Hi. I just recently borrowed a bantam rooster from my grandma for my little hens and he's got extremely long spurs. So long that he sometimes trips himself on them.
My grandma said that she doesn't know how, but that you can remove/cut them shorter. Any suggestions on the best (and least painful) way to do it?
The way I do it is to use a dremel tool with those discs you use to cut metal. I don't do it to many of mine, but when I do, they don't even flinch. I really think they cannot feel it. Something like cutting a toe nail.

I wrap him in a towel to keep him under control and cut the ends off. I do not try to cut the whole spur off, just the end. If you go too deep, you will get into the quick and it will bleed so you probably should have some flour handy to stop the bleeding just in case.
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My preferred method is to grasp the spur near the base with some pliers. Gently twist back and forth until the outer spur loosens, then lift off with your fingers. It will be like a hollow "horn". What remains is a soft nub, and there could be a drop of blood on it. Clean it off and put some ointment on it. It'll harden is a day or two.

The spurs will take over a year to grow back.

You can use dog/cat toenail clippers to cut off the major portion of the spur, but this risks cutting into that inner nub and you could have some heavy bleeding.

Also, there's the hot potato method. Heat potatoes, and place on the spur for a few minutes until the spur loosens, then lift the spur off. There's usually no bleeding with this method, but you risk burning the rooster if he gets wiggly on you.
I agree with the above poster. Just grasp at the base with pliers (hang on to the leg so it doesn't get twisted) and twist the horn right off. Dust with a little styptic powder or flour. It will bleed a little sometimes, but better than having your hens bleed from those big spurs!

Video on removing spurs:
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I disagree on grabbing them and twisting with pliers. That just seems cruel to me. I have not yet trimmed any of my boys except to file the point off but I saw speckledhen do her big rooster, Suede. She used the dremel tool with the cutting disk and as it cut through, it cauterized it as well so there was no bleeding and Suede was not bothered by it at all.

IJust think of it this way...if it bleeds then most likely it will hurt so please do not grab it and twist it off.
Ok, so call me crazy but there is a method to remove spurs with a hot baked potato! You bake a large baked potato, you wrap up the rooster in a towel so he can't move--with the feet sticking out. Then you stick the spur into the baked potato, all the way in. Leave it five minutes, and TA-DA! The spur comes right out easily. No pulling or anything, no blood!

I guess you could just use one big potato to stick both spurs into, or two separate potatoes, but it really works!

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