Spring must be in the air because my turkey gobbler has been fluffed up for a week and yesterday they were breeding! Now that the chickens are laying again soon we will start thinking of setting chicken eggs to hatch.
But we started noticing that the roosters spurs were getting awfully long and we don't want him hurting his honeys so we decided it was time to take care of the problem.
As you can see he is a big healthy boy with some healthy claws but he is gentle with humans.
If you look in the picture of the hen above you can see that when a roosters spurs get too long they can tear up the back of the hens. If you have too many roosters they can keep the hens backs absolutely bloody. Sometimes I have seen a rooster pick one hen over and over and injure her back as well.
They also make saddles for hens to prevent this but they can be pricey. I have seen patterns online for making them yourself. But for us we simply remove the spur.
It's rather simple. You will need pliers a paper towel and some antibiotic spray or ointment.
O Wise One simply holds the rooster firmly on it's back with his head under O Wise One's arm. He takes the pliers and gently grasps the base of the spur and gently turn or rotate until you hear a slight pop. The hard outer covering of the spur breaks loose and you can simply slip it off. There will be a little blood but not nearly as much as if you cut that. What you are removing is the hard outer cover of the spur itself. It is similar to your fingernails.
The part remaining is actually an outgrowth of the leg bone itself and you do not want to damage that in any way. We simply use a paper towel to blot any blood drops that may form on the remaining stump gently and spray with an antibiotic ointment.
The rooster is then isolated from the hens for a week to heal. Once healed he is placed back with the hens. Doing this once every year or two greatly reduces the damage to the hens backs. The hard outer covering will eventually grow back.
I have read that some people take hot cooked potatoes and place over the spurs and allow them to remain on the spur for a couple minutes. Once the potato is removed the spur comes off easier. I have not tried this method though.
We do like removing the spurs so much more than cutting the spurs the way many do. There seems to be much less trauma to the bird and much less bleeding.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter