Since some of our hens' backs have been really getting torn up by our roosters, we decided it was time to do something about their spurs. Previously we had too many roosters, but now we only have two boys, Leggy and Muffin, but the hens are still suffering. Our roosters are mature, and their spurs are very large.
|Leggy (left) and Muffin (right)|
We researched several processes to remove spurs online, and we decided to use the plier method to remove the outer bony sheath of the spur. It will grow back in a few months and will have to removed again. It appeared to be very humane and almost painless to the roosters.
Here's a video showing the spur removal:
And so today we performed this procedure on our roosters.
Our birds are very calm and don't mind being held.
Caution - there are bloody and graphic pictures in this blog post. If you are squeamish at the sight of blood, turn away now!
First we cleaned the spur and the leg around it with warm water and soap, and dried it with a paper towel. Then we put the rooster upside down and just twisted off the bony outer part of the spur with a pair of pliers.
|Leggy getting ready|
|Muffin during the spur-removal procedure|
Support the leg when twisting off the spur. It really doesn't take much and the spur snaps off, leaving the inner core of the spur.
|Muffin after the procedure is done on one leg|
|Both legs done on Muffin|
|Muffin's spurs bled after the procedure|
|Leggy after the procedure|
|Leggy bled more than Muffin|
Leggy's legs bled more than Muffin's did.
We put styptic powder on the legs, and also put white sugar on them. The sugar forms a paste with the blood and helps it clot more quickly.
It only took like 5 or 10 minutes to complete the procedure on one of the roosters, everything was done on both boys and cleaned up in less than 30 minutes.
We planned on confining the roosters to the coop, but afterwards they both were very anxious to be outside with the hens, so we let them outside. We will have to keep a very close on on them to ensure they don't bleed anymore. We gave all the birds treats after the procedures, and both Leggy and Muffin ate without any concerns, just like normal.
Hopefully this will help our hens all summer long, and we won't have to repeat this procedure till autumn or later. I'll keep you posted on the healing process.
If you have ever removed spurs before, please let me know what you did and how it went!!