Young Roosters - Permanent Spur Removal : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Does any one have any experience in permanently removing the spurs on a young rooster? I have a four year old son and would just feel better about having another rooster around if he didn't have his spurs. In Gail Damerow's book "A Guide to Raising Chickens" she says that you can permanently remove the spurs between 10 to 16 weeks of age with spurs no longer than 1/4". She also says to rub in potassium hydroxide. I looked up postassium hydroxide on the computer. The material saftey data sheet makes it sound like a pretty serious chemical. I don't know if it's something you could pick up at the drug store or not. Has anyone given this a try or have alternative suggestions for eliminating a rooster's spurs? Many thanks!

-- Mel Carroll (, June 28, 2001


KOH (Potassium Hydroxide),is a very close cousin of NaOH (Sodium Hydroxide--commonly known as lye), is a very base chemical (opposite of acid). Be careful with it, depending on concentration--also look up MSDS on common household chemicals (acetic acid--vinegar, or SOdium Hypochlorite--bleach), and you'll see they can look dangerous too, which they can be. If you don't get any other info here, just excersise caution--never hurts, right?

Have you tried for potassium chloride?

-- Brendan K Callahan (, June 28, 2001.

Some breeds/individuals of roosters are not at all mean. I had one Light Brahman rooster who would protect the children as he would his own. The mean ones you don't want around little children with or without spurs. We always ate the mean ones, and kept the nice ones.

-- mary, in colorado (, June 28, 2001.

Hello, Mel. You can "dehorn" a rooster just like dehorning a calf. If you have access to an electric calf dehorner, that's perfect, or you can heat a small piece of iron red hot and use that. Just touch the hot iron to the spur bud throughly but lightly, since the leg of a chicken is more delicate than a calf's head. If you're worried about burning them this way, it's not much different from the chemical burn you're proposing, and when you let the rooster down to the ground when you're done and he runs off, the job is really done, not just starting as with the chemical stuff. Another way to do it is let the spurs get started and cut them off with a pair of cutting pliers. Same principal as using Barnes dehorners on a calf. This is perhaps the easiet way to do it. I was chased by a mad rooster when I was a kid and it scared the living daylights out of me, so I agree to despurring yours. But the other poster was right in that some roosters never bother. I too have had Brahmas and they are very docile. With a little kid, though, it never hurts to err on the side of safety.

Jennifer L.

-- Jennifer L. (Northern NYS) (, June 29, 2001.

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