Some breeds, including Silkies, have extra toes that grow in funky directions,
requiring periodic nail clipping.
Two nail clipper types.
Styptic powder and paper towels on standby
Dog nail clippers (guillotine style or plier-style clippers with a safety guard)
OR a Dremmel tool (the noise and vibration are upsetting to many chickens, so I opt for nail clippers)Nail file or Nail Grinder tool (optional)
A partner to hold the chicken.
Most chickens don't care to be handled, so it is easiest to trim a chicken's nails or spurs well after dark when they're roosting and half asleep using a headlamp and a partner.
TRIMMING A ROOSTER'S SPURSothers. To maintain a reasonable spur length, the spur cap can be removed or trimmed, however, when the hard outer layer of the spur is removed, the exposed bony tissue may bleed, is very sensitive, if not painful when touched, and is vulnerable to infection. For these reasons, I do not uncap my roosters' spurs, preferring to trim them instead. The same method for trimming nails applies to spurs: steer clear of the live tissue underneath the spur cap, cutting only the first 1/4-1/3 of the projection with very sharp, large dog clippers, filing to dull any sharp edges. The spur caps will re-grow.