Flame has spurs

I recently noticed that Flame has spurs. It’s usually cockerels that have spurs but there are no hard and fast rules with chickens.

I have just researched this. All chickens have buds on their legs from which spurs can grow. In most hens they remain latent but spurs are not uncommon on Mediterranean breeds. Flame isn’t a Mediterranean breed but as I said before there are no hard and fast rules!

Flame’s spurs

Chickens have three toes facing forwards and one toe facing backwards. The spur is a little higher up the leg.

Close up of Flame’s spurs

On Flame’s left leg you can clearly see her fourth, backward facing, toe and then above it the spur. On cockerels this can be scythe shaped and with a sharp point.

Luckily on Flame the spurs are short and blunt. I don’t think we have anything to worry about especially as she is such a placid girl.

Flame is definitely all girl as she is our best layer and goes broody a few times a year. In fact what made me notice her spurs was that I was hunkered down on her level trying to block her from joining Smoke in the nest box.

Over the last few days I have been closing the nest boxes after the girls have laid to try to break Flame out of being broody. It has worked as she has now given up. She had been broody for a week.

Flame lays five to six eggs a week compared to Ebony who lays four to five eggs a week. I used to say that Smoke was the best layer of the little girls but actually her constant broodiness means that isn’t really the case any longer. For the last two months Smoke has only laid seven eggs and then gone broody and taken the rest of the month off. Salmon has never gone broody and lays between ten and fifteen eggs a month.

There are definitely no rules when it comes to chickens. I quite like that Flame is a bit different with her spurs. All chickens are so individual which is one of the things that makes them so interesting.

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8 Responses to Flame has spurs

  1. marion says:

    All lovely girls.

  2. Sophie says:

    Flame is a real beauty! xx

  3. david says:

    She is lovely and, however big her spurs become (and I suspect they’ll remain fairly small), they won;t affect her personality. My Scaley has huge, curled-around spurs with sharp points, but she is totally non-aggressive and I haven;t needed to remove them, as they are not hurting her. Just a quirk of nature, not that common, but common enough for some of us back-yard keepers to have a hen affected.

    • Carol says:

      I have been waiting to hear from you because I felt sure that you would have come across this. While researching I found a post on Terry’s hen cam that showed her polish with spurs just as you describe. I commented on her current blog and mentioned Flame and she said that it is quite common in bantam game. I am not at all worried as Flame’s spurs are short and blunt and she is the most placid of girls. I just find it all so interesting. I felt sure that I would get the most interesting comment from you on this subject. I always find that once I start researching chicken matters I soon find that we are not alone.

  4. david says:

    Yes, it is good to hear about others’ experiences – there are some excellent groups on facebook. Pleased you got a response from Terry – I felt that, even before her move to Maine, she had lost interest in her poultry, in favour of her horse. She had a fantastic blog which, although accessible in archive form, is a real pity not to see periodically updated. Each to his own …

    • Carol says:

      Yes, I found Terry’s post through google by asking about hens with spurs. I then made my comment on her horse blog which she always replies to. As you say it is good to share experiences. My most ever, commented on blog post, is the one about hens having hiccups. If you search google asking about hens and hiccups my post comes up. I still get the occasional comment on it today and it was Pepper right back at the beginning that used to have hiccups. Steve says it’s because it is unusual and not something chicken experts ever mention but not totally uncommon as people who comment have also come across this. There again I have only had one girl who regularly had hiccups and now one girl with spurs so some things come around over time. It is all very interesting to me.

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