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Q: What are shanks and spurs?

A:

A chicken's shank is the bottom part of her leg, above the foot, but below the hock. The spur is the chicken's chief weapon, and grows out of the shank. It's something every chicken has... but generally only the spurs of males grow very large.

chicken shank and spur

Older hens may grow larger spurs as their hormones change, and there are some breeds where it's fairly common for younger hens to have spurs, too. But for the most part, hens will simply have small spur numbs.