Butchering - to pluck or to skin?


In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 30, 2008
I'm raising my own meat chickens for the first time, and I have 10 cornish X who will be flying to the Big Coop in the Sky in about two weeks.

I'm wondering about skin. Do you folks skin or pluck? Skinning seems like it would be so much easier. When I buy whole chickens, I cook them with the skin on, but remove it before eating (unless I'm frying them).

How much does the skin contribute to keeping a bird moist during cooking? Does it help with freezer burn? Any other benefits of keeping it on?

Right now I'm leaning toward plucking, but skinning a couple to see how that does. I just wanted some opinions before the Big Day. Thanks!
When we did ours I did some skinned and some plucked. I prefer a roasted bird with the skin on. Mmmm crispy skin and tender juicey meat. Also skin on for fried chicken. Skinning did make it go quicker but next time I will pluck the majority. The breasts, when skinned, dry out more when cooked. I use the ones we skinned for chicken in recipes. One thing we did that was good with the skinned birds was to wrap them in bacon and slow roast them for juicey tender birds.
if you skin the chicken you wont have to pluck it.an if you leave the skin on youll have to pluck the feathers out.personally i think id skin the chickens.skinning will save you about 45mins of work pre bird.
I have had so many people tell me that skinning is soooo much faster than to pluck. I guess it just depends on who's helping you. My husband and I have tried both methods and were disappointed to find that when we skinned out birds it took so much longer than when we plucked. I suppose it also depends on which kind of bird your skinning. Maybe? It only takes 4-5 minutes for my husband and I to pluck a bird. He holds one leg and works on one side of the chicken and I hold on to the other leg and do the same. Besides in our family the skin is the best part of the chicken. So try it both ways and see what you think. I guess everyone has their own techniques.
Depends on how you cook it. I find skinning easiest, about 5 min per bird total, with plucking in the 10 min range, plus the fact I have to lug the water from the house and get the temp right in a bucket one at a time... I don't have a fryer or outdoor heating source.

However, if I were to roast a bird, I'd need to pluck it, most of the time though, my mom makes chicken where the skin isn't really used, such as in curry or stir fry. She does boil down bones though.
yes you can pluck them if your used to killing an plucking them in 12 mins.but you need to remember alot of these people have never killed a chicken before.an its their 1st time to kill drain pluck and or skin a chicken.then get it wasned cut up an cold.
My husband had never done it until this year. He plucks quickly as well. If you set out prepared it is not a huge process to get it done. Yes, it takes time to learn but it is not a long drawn out process. I would never tell a bigginer to go out and take on a 100 meat birds. Doing 5 or 10 or 15 for a first timer is doable and it doesn't take hours per bird to do it.

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