Advice on pluckers, need help.

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by irf1983, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2009
    Brooksville, FL
    I'm thinking of raising some meat birds. I have a few dumb questions.

    1) Do the meaties need to be in a different run than my layers?

    2) Any advice on breeds?

    3) I am very short on time, so I want to by a plucker. Any advice or opinions on what to look for/avoid?

    thanks!
     
  2. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Port Washington, WI
    If you go with Cornish X they won't leave the feed bowl. Put them in a tractor in your yard and let them fertilize otherwise your run will stink

    Are you looking for quick growth or long? Quick = Cornish X, long = Red Rangers or something dual purpose.

    I picked mine up from EZPluckers.com

    Reasonable in price and delivery. I got the EZ-188 which will do up to 6 chickens, 1 turkey and I also got it because it will do quail. Have plopped many in at a time and very little get torn skin.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2010
  3. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks very much. Mind if i ask what kind of chickens you use for meat?
     
  4. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
  5. dawnchick

    dawnchick Out Of The Brooder

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    We eat regular old rhode Island reds and Buff Orps, which are much more pleasant to raise. Meat birds, Cornish X, grow out a lot faster and taste more like store bought, though experienced folk often say they much prefer the taste of "regular" chickens such as ours. Cornish X, which are specially bred and which you cannot breed, also smell incredibly bad, and the kind we grow smell little or not at all if you have enough space. Plucking by hand only takes maybe 10 minutes: I do not have a plucker and would not consider buying one unless I killed professionally. You should really browse in the meat section for an hour or so; you will learn an awful lot. You don't really need anything but a good knife and a large pot of hot water. An outdoor table in the shade with a garden hose handy makes a great setup.
     
  6. Salt and Light

    Salt and Light Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I butcher maybe 100 - 150 chickens a year. Last year, I built a drill-powered rotary plucker made from PVC pipe and rubber bungee. The thing works like a charm, especially for getting out the pin feathers. When scaled correctly, the plucker quickly removes 95% of all feathers and pins. Here's pics:

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    [​IMG]
     
  7. irf1983

    irf1983 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I would definitely want to breed my own, so i guess cornish are out. I've got some houdan crosses that i was going to try. Any suggestions on a good dual purpose breed? Also what is the preferred method of slaughter? And do I need to do anything specific before they are scalded and plucked? Thanks for all the help, sorry I know my questions are pretty basic. I've done some hand plucking of geese and duck, and maybe i'm doing something wrong, but the juice just was not worth the squeeze. All I ended up with was a mangled bird with torn skin full of pin feathers.
     
  8. Buster52

    Buster52 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I like Dark Cornish, but others here have mentioned Buckeyes and Delaware and various Plymouth Rocks (white, barred, etc.). At least, those are the most mentioned.

    Personally, I like to chop because it is my experience that it is a quicker death, but do slit when selling or when the birds are for friends. They don't bleed out as well when chopped but I actually prefer that. The blood does bother other people, though.

    My process is to wire the feet with a long wire, chop the head off, hang the bird using the wire to let it bleed out. A nail or other object would be fine for hanging.

    Catch and cage the birds at night before processing the next day. They are much more calm that way. I also like processing in the wee hours of the morning for the same reason.

    If you don't care about the skin, skinning is much faster and easier than plucking, unless you own a plucker.
     

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