Haven't posed in a while, so here it goes.

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by ProviderEx, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2014
    Good morning and good day to you all.
    I haven't logged in for a couple months, but I have been watching from the shadows.

    Last I posted here I had 26 birds, now I am down to 19 birds of which I don't think there are any roosters left.

    Now let me get on with what I have been up to.
    I got sick and tired of wasted food on the ground so, I have managed to come up with a pretty clever way of feeding them that has basically eliminated any waste.
    As you can see they eat in a line and this has eliminated any pecking order. they all eat at once and have food around the clock.
    What I did: I bought a rain gutter from the local hardware store and mounted it outside of the run at the bass of the chain linked fence.
    it can hold a 25 pound bag of grower feed with no problem and they just stick their head through and eat. the natural lip of the gutter combined with the chain linked prevents their waddles from dragging out food and they can't scratch or stand in it. works great if you ask me.

    The next think I have done is setup the following station.

    On the left: Street cone attached to a 2x4 that is attached to a 5 gallon bucket. this is perfect for bleeding and beheading. (I brake the neck before bleeding)

    The object in the middle is your standard deep fryer that I use to blanch the birds in.
    I have found that 157 degrees and a 10 second dunk work amazing.
    I found out that at 155 i have to dunk them twice for 10 seconds. and I also found out that at 160 and above the internal fat start to melt a bit which makes for a very stinky cleaning.

    Now moving on to my favorite build in this whole adventure.
    The Chicken Plucker
    Me being a huge fan of building things, I had to own my very own chicken plucker.
    However, I am not deep in the picket and I couldn't see my self dishing out hundreds of dollars just to build one.
    so I got the reading and imagining.
    First I knew that i need a motor and I knew this was going to be the main cost, I also knew that nothing under 3/4hp would work.
    I went to a couple stores including good old harbor freight. they have farm duty motors for $140 but I didn't see myself spending that much. so i decided to look on craig's list. I found a Brand New harbor freight 1 horse 1800 RPM farm duty motor with a 2 inch pulley on it for 100, with the receipt and extended waranty from a guy that buys storage units. This was a lucky find and not very common at all. but they do happen from time to time, so just keep looking.

    Next I Needed a barrel to use as the tub. I was not about to go buy a 50 gallon drum just to cut it up. so i went to home depot and bought a plastic 30 gallon trash bin. cut it up and used that as my bin. and used the bottom as a feather plate.

    Now I had to get some chicken plucker fingers. According to the whizbang guide, you need 150 kent plucker fingers.
    Again, me being not a fan of dishing out money, I only bought 50 of the c-25 fingers., drilled the holes and put them in.

    Next I had to go get a 12 inch pulley for the main shaft and a belt. Good lord these things are pricy. Well, I went and found a kids plastic bicycle rim and bought a universal adjustable belt. the rim cost me 3 dollar at a junk store and the belt cost 12 dollars at harbor freight.
    I mounted the rim to the all thread shaft that i had lying around and BAM, works amazing. and the belt sits in the tire groove and is almost impossible for it to slip or walk off the rim.

    The finished product looked like this.
    all the lumber i had lying around because I collect and reuse any lumber i find.

    I was so excited that i had to toss a bird in it just to see how it works. Let me tell you. it works better than i ever imagined.

    So now it was on to the next step.
    I need a full metal one. not this plastic stuff.

    Things got a bit fun here. Now that i know 50 fingers work just fine and I had my size set.
    I went back to the junk store.
    I found a 17inch halogen reflective housing. This will act as my feather shoot.
    I went to ralphs and bought two 16 inch pizza dishes. This will now act as my feather plate.
    I went to homedepot and for 25 dollar i bought a 2x20 sheet metal roofing materiel. This will now be my tub.
    The trash can lid, this will now be my motor cover to prevent splashing on the motor.
    after hours of drilling and pulling on fingers, this is how the plate and sides look. I learned that if I dip the fingers in war water, they slide in a lot easier.


    As you can see above from all the feathers, this machine works amazing.
    now for the chicken.

    as you can see. they come out clean. I mean i am shocked at how clean they come out. No broken bones, no torn skin, no smashed guts. I didn't even have to pull a single feather.
    and let me tell you, it does the job in about 15-20 seconds.

    Ok so that is what I have been up to.
    On a side note, my frien had a black silkey rooster that was very rude to the other birds she owns.
    she asked if I could dispatch it.
    I said sure and did the job. I had never seen an uglier bird. I mean I had always heard they have black meat, but i was not prepared for it.
    See, disgusting looking meat. looks rotted and beat, but no, this is just how they are.
    My wife could not eat it. I ate a bit of it, but it really was psychologically off putting. and i don't think i will ever eat a silkey again.

    Well, these have been my adventures. sorry for the long post and rambling.
    If anyone has any questions, don't hesitate to ask. I know a lot of people want to build a plucker but the cost if off putting.
    My total cost was about 200 dollar when all was said and done. So I will be happy to answer any questions to help others build one.
    1 person likes this.
  2. KentuckyMom

    KentuckyMom Songster

    Jul 15, 2013
    Foster, Kentucky
    I am bookmarking this page for possible future reference. My hens are still young and laying but some day...Also, eventually I'd like to get some meat birds to add to my layers. Your ideas are intriguing, especially the feather plucker. My hens are in a mobile chain link dog kennel during the summer months and the feeding system you devised might work well for them. They are already constantly sticking their heads through the fence. I have been fermenting feed this winter and it seems to cut down on waste also.
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    That silkie meat. [​IMG] nope.
    I understand being put off.
    Clever ideas.
  4. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Loved your stories! Sounds like you are quite the builder! When it comes to engines, I usually don't know where to start!
  5. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2014
    thank you all for the kind words.
    As for eggs, my hens just started laying. well two of them are laying every day.
    I have identified one Rhode island red but the other I haven't seen lay yet. but i'm sure it's another RR, because it's a brown speckled egg.
    I doubt the buff orpingtons are laying. They haven't shown any signs of nesting and all the others will lay white eggs.

    I love the adventure.
  6. Aust1227

    Aust1227 In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014
    Great post. Love the plucker! The finished and clean birds speaks volumes about what you have built!
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Songster

    May 11, 2013
    Eastern WA
    Nice plucker you built there.

    Sorry you didn't like the silkie. Send them our way, we love them! Their dark meat is considered medicine for longer life in China. I actually really liked the richer, deeper flavor of the silkies. Way more flavor than other other of our chickens we've tried.
  8. ProviderEx

    ProviderEx In the Brooder

    Aug 27, 2014
    Good day to you lovely.
    I have logged in to share a random thought.

    Am I tripping to think petting the chickens makes they lay better?
    So I am down to 17 birds and I am getting 13-16 eggs every single day, yes my neighbors hate me, I am shoving eggs down everyone's throat.
    I have noticed that being spring and all, the birds are a bit on the horny side and they get right in front of me and take their "take me right here" stance. and I reach down and pat their back and they fluff up and run off.
    I swear if I don't do it, the next day I only get 10-12 eggs.

    Could it be that they thing they got mounted by a rooster and they must lay? or am I just tripping cuz I got too many **** eggs.

    Ok, I am done ranting

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