Spur!!! The pointed weapon of Mr. rooster which has rigid growth on the inner leg of it. Roosters have the spurs to protect their hens, chickens and themselves against any types of predators or risk that may harm his flock. It is a natural defense system of the roosters that make them great warrior to fight against the odds they face. This article will help you to know all the details about your rooster’s spurs, why they are dangerous & how you can trim & remove the spurs of your rooster.
How to Maintain Rooster Spurs
Most of the birds have great claws to deploy. Like this Rooster have its spurs. The Spurs are actually part of their leg bone and they’re covered with keratin which is the hard material found in a chicken’s beak as it’s just like the rhino’s horns.
Your rooster’s spurs start growing from a spur bud on their leg little up to the back claw. They grow harder with their ages, be a little-curved shape with a developed sharp tip. As it matures, Mr. rooster becomes their hens’ guard and use their spurs as their weapon in order to protect their flocks and defend their own territory. He doesn’t like to see the other roosters or predators as a threat for their flock. Once a rooster senses any danger he will flap his wings to lift his feet off the ground and aim at the predator with his spurs to attack.
So, in this sense rooster spurs should be a really good thing, right? The answer is NO. Spurs are great if you are keeping your rooster for rooster fights. But rooster fight is illegal in so many countries around the world and you don’t want the roosters & hens of your backyard to fight with each other and harm themselves. So, it is not a good & beneficial part of the rooster for you if you are the owner of a farm. The spurs of your rooster might hurt & injure your chickens, hens & even you! That’s why rooster spurs should always be trimmed & if possible then removed.
Why are rooster spurs dangerous?
Most of the times roosters don’t behave much aggressive to their flock. There are some rooster breeds who are aggressive regardless of anything. Except them, most of the roosters are much docile & behave gently. But if your rooster assumes anyone in the flock as an existing or potential threat or even if he finds you as a threat, he might become really aggressive. As a result, he will attack & use his spurs thus injure his opponent. This opponent can be another rooster, hen, chicken in the flock or even you!
Rooster Spurs dangerous for hens when mating
Your Rooster has pride not only to be a warrior and having the spurs to fight but also for mating. But with its spur, their mating behavior can also cause damage to a hen. When a rooster mates with his hen, he climbs onto her back and tries to be steady by using his feet and grab her head and neck feather with the beak. But as they move, the rooster tries to hang on with his feet and his spur damage hen’s feather and skin and cause deep gashes unwillingly. In order to prevent over-mating, you have to keep 10-12 hens for each rooster. Imagine the scenario!!! After mating, all the hens will look disastrous and trust me you won’t want to see this.
Rooster Spurs dangerous for the chicks
Baby chicks are very cute and an important part of the flock. They stay with their papa rooster and momma hen together. As they are underaged, they often play in the coop and the rooster always keeps eye on them. But if Mr. Rooster feels any trouble he goes to protect the chicken and turn them back to the yard. But sometimes the chicken come into the contact of spur and get serious damage to their body. As the chicks are small in size they have less tolerance to any injury. If the injury is very deep then it may cause even death to a chick.
Rooster Spurs dangerous for human
If your rooster attacks on you and you get a cut or wound by his spurs, then it can lead to serious complications. Usually, these types of injuries are quite painful as well as deep. If anyone is injured like this he/she needs a proper treatment. The bacteria & dirt found in rooster spurs can cause you serious infections & you might need antibiotics for proper recovery.
When to trim rooster spurs?
Spurs are the natural system of defense for roosters and if you trim or remove the spurs it might not be an issue for their flock. They use the spurs for protection purpose and if kept roosters alone then the Spurs won’t cause any damage to anyone.
Removal of spurs depends on some certain times. At very young age the size of the spurs remains small and the Spurs don’t create any problem for anything. But when the rooster gradually becomes younger the spurs grow quite long and sharp. Even if the rooster is gentle, he can make an unexpected cut with the spurs while mating or attacking or even sometimes for no reason.
In this situation you have only two options, trim or remove the spurs. If you don’t feel like removing the spurs, then you should trim it. There are different kinds of tools available in the market for spur trimming. Check here for some trimming tools like Nail Clipper, Pliers. Click here to see the best product on Amazon.
How to remove rooster spurs?
There are various methods of removing the spurs of your rooster. Here I have listed the top 3 most effective methods.
You can file the spurs of your rooster to blunt its sharp end. In this method, a little number of spurs are removed at a time. This is a slower but safer than cutting the spurs. To file the spurs, you need to hold your rooster under your arms & sand 1/8th of an inch at a time. Use a metal filer for this method. As the outer layer of your rooster’s spurs will harden & the inner layer with blood flow will recede, filing method needs to be repeated every few days.
2.Hot Potato Method
This is the easiest & safest of all methods of spurs removal. Cut a potato in two pieces and boil or microwave it on high heat until it is too hot to touch. To handle the potato, use a towel. Hold your rooster under your arms & pierce his spurs with hot potatoes carefully so that the potato can’t get really close to his legs. Hold it there as long time as possible or when the potato is about to cool. Heat & moisture of the potato deeply penetrates the dry, sharp spurs & softens them. Continue this method for 2-3 days & the dry spurs will fall off automatically. You can also coax off the spurs with the help of pliers to remove them. Repeat this process whenever needed as your rooster will eventually grow his spurs with time.
This one is the most commonly used method. But it is not preferable because of safety issues of the rooster. In this method, the tip of the spurs is clipped with nail clippers. Sometimes, the Spurs are sawn with a hand saw. It is really hard to say where the quick (inner layer of rooster leg where blood flows) begins. That’s why this method of removing rooster spurs is really dangerous as you may cut into the blood supply instead of cutting the spurs. If this injury in the blood supply is not treated properly it can cause fatal infection & result in the death of the rooster. If clipping is not done correctly then it will be a very painful process for your rooster. And I am sure you will never want to give your rooster this much of pain! So, I would suggest not to go for clipping method unless you are expert in this.
Rooster spurs are an important part of their body. If you are keeping your rooster alone & far from your flock and if your rooster doesn’t attack you or others then let their spurs be in the place. There is no need for spurs removal or trimming. But if you are keeping him with you flock then you must trim or remove his spurs to protect your hens & chickens from any injury. And if you are lazy & not feeling like remove his spurs then just don’t get yourself a rooster! If you are keeping your roosters & hens together & allowing them for mating then you just need to go through spurs removal & trimming. Hope this article helped you in finding the best method for removing & trimming spurs of your rooster.