a mechanical plucker can toughen meat?


9 Years
May 11, 2010
Northern Colorado
i was reading this article that someone posted a link to ( http://www.albc-usa.org/documents/cookingwheritagechicken.pdf ) and it says and i quote, "Also, it may be that hand plucking could result in better meat quality for older butchering age ranges, as the mechanical pluckers are said to toughen
meat somewhat."

is there any truth to this? my boyfriend and i have already processed and plucked 100 by hand (and are getting quite fast at this point). however, we just received our whizbang book, and before i gather (buy) the parts and assemble it for use i want to make sure that i am not doing the meat any injustice.

could the be referring to industrial (like the a-frame or whatever) pluckers?

PLEASE... any personal experience/opinions/results...post them! i have around 200 freedom rangers to process the end of summer and don't want to "harm" the meat in any way.

I will still be aging them and all that properly... so this is purely about whether or not a mechanical plucker toughens meat.
Now what on earth would cause them to toughen the meat?

Anyway, I have eaten home grown birds both hand plucked and machine plucked. I have noticed no difference in texture based on either.
i was wondering that myself...

but thank you for easing my worried mind. not to mention.. plucking all those birds by hand wouldn't have been the best of times.
, "Also, it may be that hand plucking could result in better meat quality for older butchering age ranges, as the mechanical pluckers are said to toughen
meat somewhat."

it does seem they are saying that in the "older butchering ranges" it MAY affect quality but I really have no clue either way and am only pointing out my interpretation fo what I just read
true, and i read it that way as well... but being that i am currently raising rangers, and plan on raising heritage breeds for meat in the future this was of interest to me.

i understand they didn't say it was a 100% fact... that was basically why i was asking for personal experiences w/ pluckers altering meat quality, as we have always done everything by hand.
I read that same article, and most of it is good, solid info, but not the part about the plucking. It's nonsense. Older birds tend to be tough anyway, and require special cooking methods. I know that for sure, as I eat them frequently, and I've hand-plucked every blasted one of them. Except the ones DH plucked. There's not even any way you could tell whether a mechanical plucker caused an older bird to be a tad tougher or not. They still need long and slow cooking (low temp, long time, like 200-325F, 3-6 hours, sometimes more with really old ones) in any case, regardless of how they're plucked.

As for young birds, I guarantee that the commercially produced birds at the store were machine plucked. They're tender.

So build your whiz-bang and enjoy it pluck 3 or 4 birds at a time for you. We're gonna build one.
thanks everyone for your great input!!

We have been using a featherman plucker for years and just this year bought a new comercial plucker that plucks 45-50 cornish x in 3-5 minutes. No one has complained that their birds were tough. It probably depends on the mind set (for or against) the use of mechanical pluckers.

I, myself would like to see definitive proof that it makes the meat tougher. Maybe they could get some politician to give them a couple million $s to do a study.

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