Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Trimming a rooster's nails
For the last few weeks, I've been noticing a disturbing trend. Four of my hens are showing noticeable signs of feather loss on their backs above their tail feathers. Wynonna seems to be experiencing the worst of it:
But some of my other hens are losing feathers now, too:
After thoroughly checking them for any kind of bugs or mites that may have caused this, I've determined that Roopert the rooster:
is the true culprit. This is due to the, um, special attention he gives his girls on a regular basis.
I recalled a post that my blogging friend, CeeCee, of My Little Bit of Heaven, did last June on trimming her rooster's nails and realized I needed to do something like this or risk my girls' tender skin being damaged.
So, after dark last night, armed with my trusty LED flashlight, I quietly went down to the coop...:
...opened the coop door...and immediately saw Dottie, my crazy White-Crested Black Polish hen, sound asleep in the nest box, her head hanging completely slack:
Then I quickly located Roopert on the roost, squashed in amongst the girls:
I carried him into the house:
And handed him over to Jim to hold him tight:
Now, Roopert and Jim aren't the best of friends, so I'm sure it was interesting for both of them to be so close:
Look at this amazing looking foot. It's not difficult to see dinosaur ancestors when you look at this foot. His spurs have been growing very fast lately:
I used the dog clippers to snip off the pointy ends of his nails and spurs:
Of course, they then needed to be filed. He and I caught up on all the latest gossip as I did this:
I cut one nail a bit too short and applied a styptic solution to stop the bleeding. The quick on his nails was much closer to the nail tip than I could see or expected. The bleeding stopped quickly after applying this:
Look at these gently rounded nails now! Hopefully, this will protect the girls a bit:
Roopert was very well-behaved through the entire pedi-treatment, but he did draw the line at Farmgirl Pink nail polish. He wasn't having any of that:
When it was all over, I think it was clear that Roopert and Jim liked each other just a bit more than when we started:
I carried him back out to the coop and said goodnight.
When last seen, Roopert was back on the roost between the girls, giving me his steely-eyed glare of thanks: