Removing Rooster Spurs

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 Blu-Kote 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 Blu-kote 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.

Check out more Homesteading posts from Livinlovinfarmin  Homemade Poultry Feed | Chickens | Turkeys | livinlovinfarmin (.com)

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  1. Author ImageCarly says

    This is so great! You can tell by the way the rooster doesn’t freak out that it isn’t that painful. I will definitely be trying this when my roosters get older!

    • Author Imagelivinlovinfarmin says

      Carly, all the roosters I have “de-spured” have handled it exceptionally well!. I think the toughest part for them is being cradled like a baby for 10 minutes. :)
      Thank you for your comment!!

  2. Author ImageKatie says

    Does this have to be done routinely? If so, how often? I have a young roo and plan on keeping him for protection around the hens.

  3. Author ImageTracy Valdez says

    Great informative video. So the spur is the whole thing and the outside part that you took off – that particular piece grows back or once removed stays removed? Never had boys before so still learning. Thought we purchased a boy in our past batch of babies – all hens wouldn’t you know. Thanks for info!

  4. Author Image says

    I recommend something much easier than daily applications of Bluecoat, iodine, etc, though those are all great things. Get some charcoal (real stuff, like real charcoal briquettes). I have used it all across the farm for injuries, cuts, and it works fantastically. It is an antibacterial coagulant, meaning it stops blood and prevents infection.

    I used it on a goat when her horn broke off. Packed the place with charcoal, applied a bandage, and took of the bandage the next day. The charcoal literally made itself into a pack. Never had to do anything else. Used it on my chicken when a dog ripped into her thigh. It started to smell. Packed it when charcoal with aloe vera as a binder and once her feathers grew back you could never tell. It is wonderful stuff. To use, just grind it into powder with a mortar and pestle or some other grinder. Use aloe vera as a binder and it stays where you put it.

    For the rooster, I would simply pack a little charcoal/aloe vera on the wound. You’ll never have to worry about it again and it will heal back without you ever noticing.

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