Extras recipes

Easy Recipe for Chicken Tacos

Most of us know that it’s healthier to make our own food than to eat out, order in, or buy pre-made. However it isn’t always feasible due to demands on our busy schedules. And sometimes it’s just nice to go out to for a bite to eat. But there are options available if you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or sacrifice nutrition. Like this easy recipe for chicken tacos.

I first started making these chicken tacos within the past ~6 years. Because I wanted a simple recipe. And this is what I came up with. So I hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

Ingredients for Easy Chicken Tacos

  • 2 lbs chicken breast halves
  • 1 can mild Rotel, drained
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 6-8 soft flour tortillas for tacos
  • 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese
shredded chicken with Rotel

Instructions for Easy Chicken Tacos

  • Put chicken breast halves in a pot and cover with water. Once the water boils, lower to a simmer, and cover the pot with a lid.
  • Cooking times vary, so when chicken is cooked (at 165 degrees), then turn off the burner, and remove the pot from heat source.
  • Drain off most of the water, leaving ~2 to 3 tablespoons of broth, and shred the chicken, using two forks.
  • Stir in drained Rotel and cumin. * I use only 1/2 can of Rotel, because I don’t want it too spicy.*
  • Then place the pot with shredded chicken, Rotel, and cumin back on the burner on med-low heat until the liquid evaporates.
  • Heat the tortillas in a tortilla warmer for 30 secs in the microwave. Or, if you don’t have one, you don’t need a tortilla warmer to heat them up. Here are some other options.
  • Top with shredded cheese and your other favorite toppings and a side.

I hope you try this recipe, and thanks for stopping by!

raising happy, healthy chickens

Egg Facts

Eggs are considered a perfect food, because they’re one of the best sources of protein. And they contain all the essential amino acids. Not to mention there are supposedly 100 ways to cook them. Apparently that’s why chef’s hats have all of the folds they have, for all the numbers of ways to cook an egg. And that’s just a couple of egg facts. But I have more that you might not be aware of.

Eggshell Colors

different colored chicken eggs

There are 3 common eggshell colors, which are white, brown, and blue. However the uncommon ones are dark brown, pink, olive, and cream.

Also, shell color depends on the breed of the hen that laid the egg. But shell color doesn’t determine how healthy the egg is.

Additionally, in grocery stores, brown eggs are more expensive than white eggs. And that’s because hens that produce brown eggs are typically larger than their white egg-laying counterparts. Thus bigger birds equal more feed and thus more costs, which get passed onto the customer.

Biggest Egg Fans

map of Japan

Japan consumes the most eggs, with an average of 320 eggs eaten per person in 2020. And they also import most of their eggs. However the average American eats almost 300 eggs annually.

Top Egg Producer

Map of Iowa

In the United States Iowa produces the most eggs with 17.1 billion eggs in 2019!

Biggest Egg

2 different sized and colored chicken eggs
This is the biggest egg we ever got. And Natalie, our broiler, laid it.

In 2010 Harriet the hen, from the U.K., laid an egg weighing ~7 ounces. And it measured ~8 inches in circumference. Additionally, when it was cracked, there was another egg inside!

It takes 24-26 hours for a hen to produce an egg. And within half an hour of laying the egg, the process starts all over again.

Also, some chickens lay eggs every day, while others lay only every other day. And then there are some hens, for show mainly, that will only lay an egg once or twice a week. But sometimes a hen could even lay twice in the same day. Although that’s rare.

Yolk Color

2 different egg yolk colors

What’s the deal with yolk color? Well, yolk color tells you about the hen’s diet primarily. And if you buy eggs from a farmer, it’s a great indicator of their environment and health. Also, eggs that have a richer color taste better. Some store-bought eggs can have a darker yolk, but that could be because the hens are being given marigold to produce the darker color. But a true pasture raised hen will forage, eating grass and bugs, and not just the feed alone. Thus her egg yolks are naturally rich.

Are Eggs Fertilized

chickens in cages at egg factory
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on

I get this question a lot. And no, chickens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs. So eggs from the grocery store should be unfertilized. Besides the majority of the hens are in cages, therefore they wouldn’t be mixing with each other anyway.

Eggs Have a Long Shelf Life

sunken chicken egg in pitcher of water

Eggs don’t have an expiration date in grocery stores. However store bought eggs can last up to a month. But if you purchase eggs from a farmer, they can last months as long as they haven’t been washed, due to something called bloom.

Furthermore you can tell how old an egg is based on its buoyancy. So if you have an egg that’s questionable, just put it in a cup or bowl of water. And if it floats, it’s old. But if it sinks, or stays at the bottom of the cup or bowl, then it’s fresh.

I hope you enjoyed these egg facts, and thanks for reading! Feel free to comment or ask a question.

Extras recipes

Homemade Pasta Sauce with Meatballs

Today I’m sharing a recipe that I’ve been making and perfecting since my husband and I got married. And that was 20 years ago. It’s one of my family’s personal favorites. Therefore, they request it often. It’s a simple homemade pasta sauce with meatballs. Though, the meatballs are also homemade.

The base of this recipe is just a tomato sauce originally. Meaning that it contains no vegetables, other than tomatoes and garlic. However, garlic isn’t normally viewed as a vegetable. But, rather as an herb.

The Origin of My Homemade Pasta Sauce with Meatballs

This recipe is passed down from my mom’s side of the family. And I also got the basic meatball recipe from my mom, which includes pretty much all of the ingredients, except Italian sausage. But just like so many other recipes I’ve gotten over the years, I’ve tweaked this one as well. Additionally I add fresh vegetables to the sauce. And instead of just beef meatballs, I add Italian sausage.

Ingredients for Homemade Pasta Sauce with Meatballs:

  • 1 (29 oz) canned tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5) oz canned whole tomatoes, diced or crushed in food processor
  • 6 oz of tomato paste
  • 5 oz of water
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp or 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
homemade pasta sauce with meatballs

Instructions for Homemade Pasta Sauce with Meatballs:

In a pot, add all of your ingredients and stir together on med to med-low heat.

Ingredients for Meatballs:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 lb ground mild or sweet Italian sausage
  • 1/4 cup of Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 tsp dried mint

Instructions for Meatballs:

  • In a large bowl, add your ingredients together.
  • Then, using your hands, mix the ingredients together thoroughly.
  • Next, shape the mixture into balls. Also, you can make big meatballs or small ones, depending on what you prefer.
  • When you’ve used all of the meat mixture, add the meatballs to the sauce.
  • Get sauce to a boil. Then lower the temp to med low or low, till it’s simmering. And cover the pot with a lid. Furthermore, cooking times may vary. So cook until the meatballs are at 165 degrees at least.
homemade pasta sauce with meatballs

When the meatballs are cooked, serve with your favorite pasta and a salad. And top with grated parmesan cheese. Then enjoy! Thanks for reading this post.

bunnies Extras

How to Tell the Gender of a Rabbit

Do you know how to tell the gender of a rabbit? You may or may not know how difficult it is to tell the gender of a rabbit when they’re young. A female rabbit is called a doe, while a male is referred to as a buck. And baby rabbits are called kittens, just like baby cats. Also, females hit maturity anywhere from 3 to 8 months. But it’s dependent on the rabbit’s breed. Further, smaller breeds mature faster than larger breeds.

How to Tell the Gender of a Rabbit

Kittens, or baby rabbits, don’t have any external indicators, like birds, to let you know if they’re male or female. Just like cats. And females and males can physically look alike. So how can you tell gender? The only way, it is reported, is by inspecting the genitals. So, in order to tell the gender of a rabbit

  • First, place the rabbit with his/her tummy up, in order to examine the genitals easily. However be gentle, because rabbits are prey animals. And they’re naturally scared.
Bunny on its back
Watercolor of bunny on its back, courtesy of Paul Smith

Get some help. But don’t pick the rabbit up. Instead, put it on a cushion or a low table to prevent any accidents if it tries to get away. Also, if the rabbit doesn’t cooperate by being face-up, then you can achieve similar results if it sits on its tail. Try not to let them kick. And don’t hold them by their ears.

*If you’re gendering a kitten, then wear rubber or latex gloves so you don’t pass on any diseases. Or your smell, which could cause the kitten’s mother to reject it. And when you’re finished inspecting the rabbit, let it go. They easily get stressed if held against their will.

  • When you’re ready, to know how to tell the gender of a rabbit, find the anus opening and genitals. In both females and males, the anus will be near the tail. If you have a female, as you follow the tail, near the abdomen, you’ll notice an oval hole. That’s the vulva, which indicates your rabbit is a female.
  • But in males, the opening is a little further from the anus. And there’s a clear separation. Also, the space is more spherical.

Some people recommend applying pressure on the surrounding edges of the hole to extrude the male rabbit’s member. However it could hurt him if you don’t know what you’re doing.

  • You can also check if you can see the testicles. A male rabbit’s should be easy to spot since they’re hairless and of a purple hue.

Some people claim that by examining the genitalia of rabbits, that females and males have very recognizable features on their bodies. Females are supposed to have V-shaped, or a mountaintop, appearance which can be sticking out some, while males have 2 oblong testicles above their genitalia.

gray dwarf lop eared bunny

However I don’t agree. It’s not always so cut and dry. Take, for instance, our first dwarf lop eared rabbit, Mabel. The breeder told us he was a female. And we grew to love our female lop. We spent months thinking he was a ‘she.’ But after we got Ricky, our 2nd dwarf lop, Mabel chased and harassed him all the time. So we decided to get them both fixed. Although, since Mabel was older, and he was causing problems, he would go first. Then it would be Ricky’s turn. And that was when we learned the truth about Mabel.

Hannah dropped Mabel off at the exotic animal vet. But not long after, she received a phone call, and was asked if they had the right bunny. And if so, did we still want them to proceed with Mabel’s alteration. She was momentarily confused. So they proceeded to explain that once the sedation was administered, Mabel’s testicles descended. Which meant that Mabel was never a ‘she.’ He was always a he.

We learned that this is actually common if a rabbit is scared. That they can actually hide their testicles. Or gender, if you will. So that if you look at the genitalia, when the rabbit is scared, then the male rabbit will be hard to distinguish from a female. Now we could have at any time checked Mabel ourselves, once he was relaxed and familiar with us, to see whether he was a female. But we trusted the word of the breeder. She was the one who did this for a living. Thus we figured she would know. And when it came to Ricky, she was spot on. I guess Mabel didn’t want anyone to ever know he was a boy.

Two dwarf lop eared bunnies on a tiled floor
Ricky and Mabel.

Obviously we were quite shocked by this discovery. And then we wondered if Ricky was in fact a female. We sort of hoped so. But after Mabel was home and healed, Ricky and Mabel started fighting. And fighting, with neither looking too happy about their situation. Which is a post for another day.

I hope this answered any questions you might have about how to tell the gender of a rabbit. But if you still aren’t sure about your rabbit, then you can always make an appointment with an exotic animal veterinarian. Especially if you get another rabbit.

And thanks for stopping by! Feel free to comment or ask questions.


What Causes Chicken Eggs to be Blue

There are a variety of chicken egg colors. But most of the time we only see white and brown. Though I’ve heard that some stores carry blue eggs. I sell blue (and brown) eggs to some neighbors and people I work with. However I also give a lot away. Recently I was asked, “What causes chicken eggs to be blue?” Do you ever get this question? Or have you asked it yourself?

I think people are under the impression, that because the shell is colored differently, somehow it will affect the taste. But that just isn’t the case at all. Although all farm fresh eggs taste differently compared to store bought eggs. That is if they’re free-range or pasture raised eggs. And that’s due entirely to the hen’s diet, not to the shell color.

broken chicken egg placed on white table
Photo by Klaus Nielsen on

Additionally, I think people get the idea that shell color determines how healthy the egg is. And once again, that isn’t true. But eggs from large farms, where the chickens are all caged, are going to taste different from the eggs my birds produce. And just why is that? To a large extent, that’s due to the bird’s freedom to forage. If a bird is caged all day, without interaction from her peers or social order, she’s basically just a machine. Or a tool. Eggs from a farm taste richer. And the yolks are more orange than yellow, signifying a healthier diet for the hens. Which will result in more omega-3s and vitamins for those who consume them.

So Why are Chicken Eggs Different Colors

matrix background
Photo by Markus Spiske on

Well, firstly, most egg colors are determined by the hen’s genetics. And all eggshells are made of calcium carbonate, including the white ones. They’re just lacking pigment. But also, all eggshells begin as white. Although eggs that have shells in colors other than white will have the pigment levied on them as they make their way through the hen’s oviduct. Kinda like the hen is painting the egg. Weird, right?

The pigment, known as protoporphyrin IX, is responsible for staining eggs brown. Which is deposited later in the whole process, only making the eggs brown on the outside. So, certain hens only lay brown eggs, while others only lay white. But where did the blue come from?

Well, blue eggs also have a gene that’s essential to their pigmentation called oocyan. The key differences between protoporphyrin IX and oocyan is that blue eggs are blue inside and out. And the gene oocyan got there because of a retrovirus, called EAV-HP, hundreds of years ago. This was learned in a study completed around 2013 by the University of Nottingham.

Cream Legbar hen in mixed flock
This is our Cream Legbar hen, just one of many of our hens that lays blue eggs.

Furthermore, one of the first birds to have acquired the blue egg trait, and thus the virus, were the Mapuche fowls of Chile, possibly 500 years ago. Consequently, these birds are ancestors to French, Spanish, North American, and British chickens, such as the Araucana, Ameraucana, and Cream Legbar chickens, to name a few. And Asia has their own breeds with the oocyan gene, the ancient Dongxiang and Lushi.

But the virus isn’t harmful. In the case of causing pigmentation in chicken eggs, it’s actually pretty cool. We’re all profoundly aware that viruses can cause sickness, including foodborne illnesses. However they can also change an animal just slightly, like EAV-HP did, resulting in blue eggshells.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and I thank you for taking the time to read it.

Extras recipes

Beef and Pork Meatloaf Recipe

Today I’m going to share the best beef and pork meatloaf recipe. So, I know what you might be thinking. But, I promise you, it’s delicious.

When I was younger and had to eat meatloaf, it wasn’t one of my favorite foods. And, as I grew older, it started to conjure up images of everyone’s least favorite food. Although, it probably had a lot to do with the way they said it. “We’re having meatlooaaff.” And then they would look up to the sky for salvation.

However, all of that changed after I got married and tasted my mother-in-law’s meatloaf for the first time. Plus, I know it had everything to do with the way she prepared it. Therefore, majority of this recipe is thanks to her. Though, the only thing I changed is adding ground mild Italian sausage.

Ingredients for beef and pork meatloaf recipe:

  • 1 lb each of ground beef and ground mild Italian sausage
  • 1 chopped each bell pepper and yellow onion
  • 14 oz can whole tomatoes (drained and pulsed)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 c oats
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce, divided
  • and 4 oz of ketchup
beef and pork meatloaf recipe

Instructions for beef and pork meatloaf:

  • Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a 12 cup muffin tin/pan and (1) 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 x 2-1/2 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, mix the first 7 ingredients together.
  • Mix 4 oz of the tomato sauce with the other ingredients.
  • Take remaining tomato sauce and mix with ketchup.
  • Fill the muffin tins and then the loaf pan with the meatloaf mixture.
  • Top the muffin cups and loaf pan with the remainder of the sauce/ketchup mix.
  • Bake at 350 degrees, covered with aluminum foil, for 30 mins. Then take aluminum foil off of the muffin tins for 10 more mins. And check temperature for muffin tins. They should be at least 165 degrees.
  • Re-cover the loaf pan with the aluminum foil, and keep in the oven for 20 more mins. Then take cover off for 10 mins. Check the temperature, which should be 165 degrees.
beef and pork meatloaf muffins with homemade macaroni and cheese

Serve with a side of your favorite vegetables and a grain, like rice, or a starch, like macaroni and cheese or potatoes.

raising happy, healthy chickens

What are Easter Egger Chickens

Perhaps you’re familiar with the term ‘Easter Egger’, if you have backyard birds. Or maybe not, if you don’t. No, they don’t lay Easter eggs, in case you’re wondering. However their eggs do resemble those we color for our kids. Which is how they got their name, after all. So, just what are Easter Egger chickens?

Well, in the U.S., really an Easter Egger chicken has come to be recognized as any chicken that has the colorful egg gene, oocyan. Although, traditionally an Easter Egger chicken was, and is, considered a hybrid. Meaning, it’s the result of crossing one breed of chicken with a blue egg-laying breed, like Ameraucana or Araucana chickens. Also, they don’t have a set standard like other breeds. Therefore, Easter Eggers are not recognized as a breed by the American Poultry Association.

History of Easter Egger Chickens

Ameraucana Chicken

Even though there are ~8 blue egg producing chickens around, there are only 2 chicken breeds that are currently accepted in the APA. And one of those is the Araucana. However the ear tuft gene can be lethal, causing few eggs to hatch. Additionally, those that hatch may die within a week. So, Ameraucanas were bred in response to the lethal tuft gene of Araucanas, by breeding Araucanas with other breeds of chickens. Sound a bit like Easter Eggers? It does to me too. Except the only thing that qualifies as a breed is whether the bird fits the standard. And there isn’t one for EEs.

Though there is a standard for Araucana and Ameraucana chickens. Usually the standard is based on color (of the bird), egg color, bird size, legs (whether they’re clean or feathery), the type of comb they have, and in the case of Araucanas, if they have ear tufts and are rumpless. And for the Ameraucana, if they have beards. However, if you have a chicken that matches one of these standards, someone might still claim you have an EE, simply because you got it from a hatchery, rather than a breeder.

So What are Easter Egger Chickens?

Now that we’ve covered what they are not, a breed, we’ll go over what they are. Since they are backyard birds resulting from a cross with a blue egg-laying breed, the hens can lay an assortment of colors. Green, olive, and blue are the most common egg colors that they lay. Although they can also lay pink, brown, and cream eggs. These birds have also been named ‘Rainbow Layers’, and no wonder! Although the hen won’t change what color egg she will lay from day to day. Which means, if she lays a blue egg, she will only ever lay a blue egg. But if you have a number of these birds, you will most likely have a number of different colored eggs.

collection of chicken eggs

Easter Eggers are also docile, which means they’re very laid back. Additionally, the hens are typically good layers, laying ~200-280 eggs per year. And when the hens are fully mature, the eggs will end up being large. Or extra large in some cases. Moreover Easter Eggers are dual purpose, indicating that the birds are also good for meat. Although they tend to run small. Hens might weigh ~4 lbs, while roosters tend to weigh ~5 lbs.

Also, since they have Araucana or Ameraucana in their backgrounds, they can take on some of their traits. Like ear tufts, beards, being rumpless, etc. And they come in a variety of colors. Plus, Easter Eggers don’t spend a whole lot of time being broody. Which is great, because they’ll be laying eggs instead.

Easter Egger rooster
This is our other rooster, Baby Nay. He has crooked beak, but it’s not as evident currently. He must’ve chipped it.

EEs are great for first time backyard bird keepers due to their happy disposition. And they’re a good choice for families with children because of this fact. Also, they aren’t prone to health issues. But they could get run-of-the-mill mites in their beards or tufts, if they have them. And Araucana chickens have a genetic deformity that causes their beaks to grow crooked. Additionally, the condition, scissor beak, can worsen over time, making it difficult for a bird to eat or drink on its own. Although many birds can also live long, healthy lives with the right kind of care. EEs could get this condition as well, though not as frequently.

Typically Easter Eggers do quite well in most environments. And they can cope with heat as long as they have shade and plenty of water. Furthermore, they usually do well in the winter too. And because of their comb size, they don’t ordinarily suffer from frostbite. Also, they do well foraging for themselves, which is a great way to supplement their diet. But they also put up with confinement in the coop well. Although they prefer to free range.

In Conclusion

Easter Eggers are a great all around dual purpose bird, even though they aren’t considered a breed. They’re easy to raise and are good with families. And they’re popular simply because they come in a variety of colors as well as their eggs. They’re sociable, curious, and tolerant. And they lay a lot of eggs. So they are productive and fun, making them a great complement to any flock.

raising happy, healthy chickens Roosters

How To Remove a Rooster’s Spurs

Both roosters and hens have spurs, though you might only see a nub on the latter. And both the breed of bird you have and their level of growth will determine the size of the rooster’s spurs. So in this post I’m going to discuss how to remove a rooster’s spurs. You’ll find a few “easy” methods out there for doing this. And if you have a backyard flock, you might even have tried them. But the technique I’ll cover, for removing a rooster’s spurs, is both gentle and safe.

young rooster's spur nubs
This is an adolescent rooster. You can’t see his spur nubs in this photo.

A rooster’s spurs are kind of like small appendages on each leg. They’re made up of soft tissue and covered in the same hard substance as his claws and beak.

And when a rooster is a young cockerel, his spurs begin as small bony protuberances. But some are so small, you might not even notice them. Some cockerels may have fully developed spurs as young as 3 months old, while others will take as long as 9 months. However, as he gets bigger and fully develops, the spurs get bigger, start to curve, and form pointy tips. And as long as the spurs are untouched and remain intact, they’ll continue to grow.

Why Remove a Rooster’s Spurs

Roosters have spurs as a defense for themselves (and their harem of hens) from predators. They also have and use their spurs for protection against the competition, aka other roosters. So, if you remove their spurs, they’ll no longer have that natural defense. Therefore, why would you want to remove them?

There are a few reasons that might cause you to de-spur your rooster, such as

  • if he’s aggressive with family members and other pets
  • he’s aggressive and/or hurting the hens
  • or the spurs are getting so long that the rooster is in danger of hurting himself

In the first two options, the roo could be aggressive. There are many sites that claim if you remove a rooster’s spurs, he’ll actually become tame. That makes me want to laugh. Because I haven’t personally witnessed this. And we removed the sheaths (the hard keratinous material that covers the spurs) on our first rooster’s spurs. Twice. Though he continued to attack us as soon as the sheaths grew back.

The only reason Casanova avoided attacking us during that time-frame was because his spurs were unprotected and thus sensitive. It had nothing to do with him being tame all of a sudden. Some people endorse cauterizing a cockerel’s spur nubs so they don’t develop. But I have no experience with this. However I will suggest that the hormones aren’t located in the actual spurs. An aggressive rooster will attack regardless. But if he has no weapon at his disposal, it will just be hot air.

If you have an aggressive rooster and hope to tame him by de-spurring him, you’ll be disappointed. Whether a rooster is aggressive or not is not based on his spurs. However, if he has an aggressive streak, he will most likely utilize them to attack.

So, if you have a belligerent roo, you’ll have to decide whether or not it’s worth it to remove his spurs. This decision should be based on where you live, whether or not you have predators, weighing both the pros and the cons.

The last option where the rooster is in danger of hurting himself can also be combined with him hurting the hens, if he isn’t doing it intentionally. This can be when he’s mating, if his spurs are exceptionally long. In this case the hens will reject him more times than not. But it isn’t his fault, because he just needs some assistance.

Our rooster Megatron has never attacked us. And until Baby Nay, our 1 year old concurrent rooster, he didn’t fight other roosters. In addition, living where we do particularly, the biggest predator threats our birds face are from the sky. Consequently, Megatron’s spurs were getting extremely long, I noticed, a couple of years ago. They were curling inward, and eventually they would pierce his legs. Thus, he was starting to walk funny. And I observed that he was failing more times than succeeding in the love department. Therefore, I concluded that his spurs needed attention.

With our first roo we used the hot potato method. It’s where you basically cook a baked potato. Then, you put the hot potato on the spur. Furthermore, wait a few minutes. And then the sheath will come off after some manipulation. I don’t recommend this method on a rooster with long spurs. Casanova’s spurs, at their longest, were half the size of Megatron’s. And that’s because he frequently used them. As always, we were his targets.

Since Megatron’s were so long, I didn’t want to do that. I knew that he would most likely bleed due to their size. And I didn’t want that to happen. So I recalled that we were given a battery powered pet nail file by a neighbor. Which is very similar to a Dremel. We used it to trim our roo’s spurs. And it did the job without hurting him. Or scaring him.

Now I’m going to go over how to remove a rooster’s spurs by trimming them.

battery powered pet nail file to remove a rooster's spurs

How to Remove a Rooster’s Spurs by Trimming Them

First, you need to gather your supplies. Because, once you get started, you don’t want to have to stop, since it could add more stress to the bird.

Supplies for Removing a Rooster’s Spurs Via Trimming

  • Partner

This is a 2 person job; 1 person needs to hold the rooster. And someone else does the actual trimming. So make sure you have help.

  • Towel

This is to wrap around the rooster to help him feel secure.

  • PPE gear, ie, gloves and masks

You definitely want to wear a mask when the dust from the rooster spurs starts blowing.

  • Battery powered pet nail file or Dremel

You can get these at pet stores, online at any home improvement store, or on

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

This is to clean the wound just in case you trim too far and cause your rooster to bleed.

container of alum on a counter
  • Styptic Powder

Styptic powder stops bleeding. But, if you don’t have any, you can use alum. It’s found in the spice aisle at the grocery store. However it doesn’t contain any benzocaine to prevent pain. So, if your rooster is bleeding and you use alum, just know that your rooster will probably, at the very least, flinch.

Instructions for Removing a Rooster’s Spurs by Trimming

Once you have your supplies, you’re almost ready to remove your rooster’s spurs. The best time to accomplish this is at night. Some people even wait till their birds are already in the coop for the evening. However, you know your birds’ temperaments better. If you think you can trim his spurs when the sun is down, with just a headlamp, then do that.

We wait until the end of the day at our house. But not when it’s completely dark. So that means we have to catch the rooster. Although, that’s ok, because he’s pretty calm.

So once you have your rooster,

  • You or your partner wrap the roo securely in the towel

Cover his head, but ensure he can breathe.

how to de-spur a rooster
  • While he’s firmly held by one person, the other person uses the battery powered nail file, beginning on one spur

The person who’s trimming needs to hold the roo’s foot. And start away at the tip of the spur like you’re sharpening a pencil.

  • Avoid trimming down to the quick

Rooster spurs have a ‘quick’, just like fingernails, that can be seen as a darker area within the spurs. That said, if you happen to hit the quick, that’s what the peroxide and styptic powder or alum are for. Clean the spot gently. And either dip the spur in the styptic powder or alum, whichever you have.

how to de-spur a rooster
  • Round off the spurs

Don’t make the spurs pointy, so he doesn’t inadvertently hurt the hens or anyone else.

  • Give your rooster a treat

This last part is entirely up to you. But if it’s not completely dark, and you happen to like your roo, then give him a treat for enduring his pedicure.