My Homesteading adventures all started with the chicken!¬† I was looking for a natural way to reduce the mice in our farmhouse when I came across a chicken that hunted mice and snakes.¬† It was the Buckeye chicken.¬†¬†After months of looking I finally found a local rooster that was two years old and I was able to buy him for $50. $50 is a lot to pay for a¬†two-year-old rooster, however he was purebred and came from well known bloodlines and I had great plans for him.
Since my original Buckeye rooster, I have hatched out dozen, dare I say hundreds, of other buckeye chickens¬†on the farm.¬†¬†Their beautiful reddish brown plumage and docile personalities make this Hertage chicken my favorite breed. My current Alpha¬†Roo is named “Buck”¬† (actually all my alpha roos have been named buck)¬† he is three years old and he is the king of the farm. When the sun comes up each morning he gives his dinosaur-like cock-a-doodle-doo, to announce it’s time to start work . It also means it’s time to start mating! And mating he does. He is not rough with his¬†ladies, however due to his length of Spurs, the hens backs are now naked and some of them are starting to bleed. This opens up for a¬†slur of problems.¬†¬†Not only are the chickens the¬†hens now¬†susceptible to easily sunburning¬†with the absence of ¬†feather, buts they are¬†also susceptible to infection if their backs get cut open and flys get to the open wounds. Because of this, I am going to remove Bucks spurs. ¬†Because¬†Buck is such a nice rooster on the farm and he’s a good rooster¬†for continued breeding program, I would rather remove his¬†spurs then to butcher him…. Now before anybody gets all upset about removing the Spurs of a chicken, it is no different then tagging your cows ears or branding them or neutering your cat or dog.¬† Is part of Farmlife!¬†¬† I am certain Buck would rather have his¬†spurs removed with a little bit of pain and blood versus¬†getting his head¬†cut off and going¬†in my stewpot.
I have made a quick video of me removing the Spurs. It is quick and easy and for the most part painless, ¬†however, I will say that is not for the faint of heart so if you don’t like seeing blood even if it’s a drop or two do not watch the video and do not post a negative comment regarding the video. Before anybody posts a negative comment this is my disclaimer.. THERE IS BLOOD!.¬†Not¬†much, but it is there, so if your afraid of a few drops of the red stuff do not watch.¬† Thank¬†you.
The first thing you need to remove the Spurs is to collect your instruments.
Heres what¬†you’ll need;
A clean pair of pliers
some antiseptic spray such as bluecoat or iodine
Blood stop or cornstarch and Cayanne pepper.
Two baked potatoes
And a couple paper towels
After you have¬†gathered all your supplies, place your potatoes in the microwave for five minutes or until soft like a baked potato.
Once your potatoes already,¬† wrap them in foil to keep them hot while you go fetch¬†the chosen¬†rooster.
Poke the spur through the baked potato and¬†hold it there¬†for 2 to 5 minutes. I found the two minutes is adequate
Using your pliers carefully twist back and forth, about a half to quarter inch away from the leg, until the spur comes loose.
The spur will literally slide off and you will notice some bleeding start.¬† Spray with the iodine and immediately¬†place the¬†spur into a baggie of blood stop or cornstarch cayenne pepper mixture. (3 tablespoons corn starch, 1 tablespoon¬†cayenne pepper) ¬†And hold it there for 2 to 5 minutes until the bleeding stops. Repeat with the other spur.¬†Once the bleeding has stopped on both spurs, ¬†you can either let your rooster go for a couple hours to give him a break or spray him down with some more bluecoat or iodine if you don’t think you’ll be able to catch him again later in the day, this will help keep¬† the bacteria at bay. ¬†Don’t be alarmed if you do see a couple spots of blood in the coop for the next couple days, this is completely normal, however, at nighttime¬†I¬†do¬†highly recommend you grab him¬†¬†off the perch and spray him with some Bluecoat and do this¬†nightly for about a week.
During the next week I will increase his protein levels to about 25 % to help with any blood loss.¬† Chickens love meat so I will give him so ground burger or leftover steak bites.
NOTE.. I highly recommend using Blucote on chicken wounds as they are attracted to the color red.¬† Using this blue antiseptic spray¬† will keep them from picking at it as well as keeping the wound free of bacteria and flies.