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How to De-Spur a Rooster

| Updated September 26, 2017

Things You'll Need

  • Pan

  • Toothbrush

  • Pliers

  • Cornstarch

Rooster have sharp, horny spurs that grow at right angles from their bare legs. They use these spurs to fight with other roosters, but they can also use them to hurt the hens or their human handlers. While a veterinarian can remove the spurs when the rooster is very young, it is also possible to remove the spurs yourself, leaving behind a very short spur that is harmless.

Fill a pan with warm water.

Soak your rooster’s feet in the water for a few minutes, as this softens the skin around the spurs. Hold the roosters wings close to its body to keep him calm.

Brush any dirt from your rooster’s feet with a toothbrush.

Sit down and hold the rooster on its back on your lap, using your thighs to hold him in place gently. Keep the rooster’s head lower than his body, as this keeps him calm.

Grip the leg where the spur protrudes between your thumb and forefinger firmly.

Clamp the jaws of a pair of pliers firmly around the base of the spur.

Twist the pliers until the spur comes loose and pulls away, leaving a short, bloody spur.

Dust the bloody spur with cornstarch to staunch any bleeding.


  • Keep the rooster in its own pen on clean pine shavings to allow the spurs to heal completely.

    Repeat the process every year to keep the spurs short.