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Farm Animals
Chickens and Roosters

Can you trim a rooster's spurs without causing him pain?


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May 16, 2011 3:20PM

Trimming a Rooster's Spurs

  • Yes you most certainly can! Be sure not to cut them too short and cause bleeding. If you aren't sure, a vet should be able to show you how to do it. Before you start, it is very important to make sure you are holding him tightly enough so that he won't move when you're cutting it. I find that using dog toenail clippers works well. Just cut it short enough that he can walk and so that it isn't growing into his leg.

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When they are young, use a soldering iron to cauterize the new spur growth.

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  • If they start to bleed, you can put some flour in it, but some believe this is not a good method to use.

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  • Instead of cutting them, which is dangerous, you can take a pair of pliers, place them at the base of the spur near the leg, and twist until they come off. It removes the outer sheath of the spur leaving a much smaller spur underneath. I do this to my show roosters as it makes them look more "classy" to the judges' eye.

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  • The plier method will make them bleed, but I have never had one scream in pain yet and I've done thousands of roosters like this. Just put some water on the spur and dab some fresh household WHITE SUGAR on it. This will keep the spur clean while helping to clot the blood. The spur shell makes for unique jewelry/pendants too.


The safest way to trim the spur is to use a Dremel tool with a cut off blade attached. As the cut off blade grinds through the spur, it cauterizes the blood vessel which prevents bleeding. The problem with clotting solutions is the rooster can cause the wound to open by picking or even straining to crow, the wound then causes "bleed out" to occur which means, the rooster would bleed to death. Grinding the spur off with the dremel would not only be the safest, it is also the quickest and least painful.