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 Post subject: Rooster spur trimming
PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 8:59 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Location: Brissie West
I am having trouble trimming my rooster's spurs and need help. I did research on various methods here and elsewhere, watched YouTube videos that make it look easy but it isn't! So far I have tried:

1) Bench grinder
This worked when he was younger and only had a little to be ground away. This is taking far too long now given the length (about 6 cm) and he is getting stressed out from the noise and the vibration.

2) Hot potato/twist off method
Supposedly this is easy and the spurs should twist off quickly and painlessly. Not for me. Outer shell wouldn't budge after potato and using pliers, and rooster struggled considerably with more force so gave up as I didn't want to break the spur and hurt him.

Last resort is the angle grinder which I am petrified to use. What am I doing wrong? Any other options? :help:

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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 10:09 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Use a dremel - easiest with 2 people but can be done by one if you get him in the right hold. It's much easier to manipulate the tool than an uncooperative rooster and a fixed grinder.


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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Golden Swan
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Yes, I agree, it isn't as easy as it looks. I tried various methods and eventually bought a dremmel (little baby angle grinder). I am a small woman and it is just easier for me to hold and feel in control of. I bought a rechargable one so I wouldn't have to worry about cords and plugging it in somewhere and personally I wouldn't want to use anything else. Yes, it still makes noise, but not nearly as much as an angle grinder. It is slower tho, so you have to perservere. And the burning smell is a bit yukky. Most of the time they barely seem to feel it, unless you hit a bit in the middle that is still alive. Just get a GOOD grip on the bird (tucked under your non-dominant arm against your side. Hold the leg you are doing FIRMLY and use the dremmel in your dominant hand. Which reminds me, I had better do my two silkie boys .....

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My Dremmel

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Great Game
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I'm surprised the bench grinder isn't working for you, mine's a 6 inch and goes through the longest spurs in seconds.

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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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My problem with the bench grinder is that like Nelly it is about me (not very tall) struggling to hold a large rooster to a grinder set to hubby's specs re bench height. (and him being a princess about spur grindings and feathers contaminating his men's shed :-( )


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PostPosted: Sun May 21, 2017 8:34 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Thanks for the quick replies, much appreciated!

It looks like it might have to be a dremel. I was really hoping to avoid using power tools as the bench grinder was not a good experience for the rooster and for me. My issue is a struggling bird and a nervous me. That's what is taking long, and the longer it goes on, the more stressful it gets for us both. It's good if the dremel is quieter, and hopefully cutting rather than grinding is quicker.

I just tried the poato and twist method again, with no success, and he wasn't even struggling today. If anyone has any tips to share on doing it this way, I would be grateful. I would much prefer doing it this way if I can help it.

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 12:19 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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If you are having trouble holding onto the bird, I suggest you get your self some kind of cone and place him headfirst into the cone, that will quiten him and allow you to use both hands.
Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 12:32 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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I trimmed by Australorp X a couple of weeks ago with a pair of secateurs. He's very quiet though, I'd hate to try it if he was squirming.


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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 7:39 pm 
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Great Game
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You've got to be careful using things like secateurs or dog nail clippers the bird can bleed to death.

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 8:29 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Is there a way of trimming spurs when they first appear without doing damage? I can't see a reason for waiting til they are nasty/dangerous and it has to be done with hot potatoes and dremmels and angle grinders - if there is a way of trimming little and often from an earlier age without all the "overkill". Or is this just not possible or practical because of the growth system being untouchable until the spur becomes overgrown.

Are spurs trimmed for showing, a lot or a little - or not touched? What are judges looking for when looking at spurs - untouched full natural growth or very well trimmed or just sharp points filed smooth?

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 9:52 pm 
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Golden Swan
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You can trim little and often. It is probably a good idea. But for me they seem to grow suddenly when I'm not looking! I check and they are too small to trim. I check and they are an inch long lol. Maybe I don't check often enough!

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PostPosted: Mon May 22, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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They only grow when you are not looking ;-)


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 1:07 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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My solution to trimming spurs. I don't, and only breed from boys with no desire to spur me to death, and then I eat the others. That seems to suit everyone :-)


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 7:22 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Halleluja, we did it! My lovely other half brought home a dremel tool yesterday and tonight we got working on Charlie's spurs. I held him tight under my arm, facing backwards and OH did the cutting. Charlie was reasonably good and mostly held still, but I did hold him firmly, wings to the body, leg with spur stretched out, other leg out of the way. It took about 30 seconds for each spur and as predicted, it smelled. No blood (phew!), and the rooster didn't seem to be in any pain during or after the procedure. He will be walking much more easily tomorrow. We left about 25mm of spur and used another dremel attachment to smooth the edges a bit. Not sure if I would attempt the procedure by myself, though, a two person job for me I think, but very doable. Thanks for everyone's help and comments!

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1 x Gold Laced Wyandotte boy and the girls: 1 x black Australorp, 1 x Barnevelder, 1 x Gold Laced Wyandotte, 1 x Silver Spangled Hamburgh


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PostPosted: Fri May 26, 2017 8:16 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Well done
Spurs 101 - tick :biggrin: :biggrin:


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