Best/favorite low effort chicken plucker?

ChocolateMouse

Crowing
6 Years
Jul 29, 2013
2,756
5,695
387
Cleveland OH
Hi folks! I'm looking for suggestions on the best chicken plucker for handling small batches of chickens that comes either as a COMPLETE easy to assemble kit, or completely pre-assembled.
I would be looking to do extra cockerels, retired hens and extra big Cornish crosses in it, so should probably handle birds from 3-4lbs-12lbs live.

The most important thing; I'm looking for something I can open the box and put together without any more effort than a trip to our local understocked home depot in a smallish four door sedan for parts. So, for example, if I have to try to source a motor I know nothing about or a 55 gallon drum and drill 50 perfectly sized plucker finger holes, I don't want to even try it. I don't drive and my partners car is limited. Nobody with more knowledge or resources than me is going to help me with it. If I have to order my own rubber fingers, I'm just sitting wondering why such an essential part is not included and waiting for it to be delivered from somewhere else.... Well, you get the idea. I don't have a ton of opportunities to drive around from store to store getting parts so something shipped to my door complete or ready to assemble with no extra parts is really best, though I can make a trip for a few screws and washers and have some standard tools for assembly. Things that need a lot of extra work, tools, or trips to assemble never get assembled in my household.
(Case in point, the rain barrel my sister got me, promised the tools to help me install cause I didn't own them, and 5 years later is missing half its pieces and cracked and defunct in my back yard dreaming of being repaired and used. It just doesn't end up getting done for 'Reasons'(tm))

It can generally be a very small or slower plucker. I wouldn't be doing more than 20 birds at a time. I don't mind waiting 20-30 minutes for it to finish a batch like that. I don't mind doing one bird at a time most of the time. It just has to be good enough and complete enough out of the box that it will actually get built and then used!

Obvious bonus points for an affordable price. Extra bonus points for being big enough to hold small turkeys for the holidays but still gentle enough to handle small extra cockerels.

Thanks so much for your suggestions!
 
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aliciaplus3

Crowing
Oct 24, 2016
2,329
7,522
462
Colorado
I ordered from ebay... a no name plucker 23 inch drum and it arrived needing only the box removed and the shrink wrap taken off. Please keep in mind it is Big! We did 2 turkeys last Saturday and it was a help but didnt do a great job on them.
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i built the feather catcher from left over hardware cloth and it worked great! For chickens this was great! Ducks it plucked the tail very well leaving some clean up to be done by hand and turkeys
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about 1/2? But still helpful. The smaller one might be easier if you plan to mostly do chickens. They offered a 20 inch drum plucker for less money .
 

Phunktacular

Songster
Oct 29, 2016
172
164
121
Fulton, NY
I ordered from ebay... a no name plucker 23 inch drum and it arrived needing only the box removed and the shrink wrap taken off. Please keep in mind it is Big! We did 2 turkeys last Saturday and it was a help but didnt do a great job on them.View attachment 1970443 View attachment 1970444 View attachment 1970445 i built the feather catcher from left over hardware cloth and it worked great! For chickens this was great! Ducks it plucked the tail very well leaving some clean up to be done by hand and turkeys View attachment 1970442 about 1/2? But still helpful. The smaller one might be easier if you plan to mostly do chickens. They offered a 20 inch drum plucker for less money .
I bought this same plucker about 3 years ago. I've plucked hundreds of chickens through it and have not had any issues. I intend on getting turkeys this year and trying them out for the first time. The last time I tried a turkey, it didn't fit in my scalder. I ended up having to skin it and cut it up to freeze it. Was a disaster. New equipment has me more hopeful, this year.
 

Phunktacular

Songster
Oct 29, 2016
172
164
121
Fulton, NY
I'll also mention, I occasionally get birds that don't like to turn over inside the plucker. They kind of just slide around it on one side and it would miss a large patch of feathers on the bird, similar to your turkey. I wear a pair of silicone gloves when I take the birds out of the scalder and put them into the plucker. When I see them skidding, I reach right into the plucker and use my hand to roll the bird over while it is running. Once it rolls over once, it usually finishes all the feathers without any other issues. I imagine that that would work on the turkeys and you'll get a better plucking on them. I can tell you, if you're not wearing a somewhat heavy pair of gloves, getting hit in the hand by those plucking fingers sting pretty good. After a few birds without gloves, your hand will be sore.
 

aliciaplus3

Crowing
Oct 24, 2016
2,329
7,522
462
Colorado
I agree good equipment makes a world of difference. The better they are scalded the better the plucker works. Our biggest problem with the turkey is it got stuck between the drum fingers and the plate fingers stalling the plucker. Of course we would shut the plucker down and restart the process but I was concerned with brushing the bird or breaking the skin.
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
Apr 13, 2016
2,828
4,169
351
North-Central IL
I've had my Kitchener plucker (similar to a Yardbird, but cheaper) jam and stall with the long, stiff wing feathers this last go round. If I were going to pluck a turkey, I'm betting the plucker would actually do it quite well IF I pulled the wing and tail feathers first, and cut the legs and head off first.
 
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