I was once told by a farrier to soak (overgrown, large) chestnuts overnight in vaseline (basically just goop as much on there as you can), then the next day wipe off, and peel off any chestnut that may have come loose; nip off any that is still protruding (not super close though) with a pair of nippers/a knife.
I'd assume ergots would receive similar treatment, though haven't had direct instructions to do them that way.
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