I processed 3 mixed-breed roosters today, 2 of them were about 24 weeks old and the 3rd was just 17.5 weeks. With so few birds to do at once I decided to pluck by hand. The first two went very well, with lots of good hot water for scalding it only took about 7 minutes to pluck each of them. "This really isn't so bad", I thought, "why does everyone complain so much about the chore of plucking chickens?" Then I started on the 3rd one. All of his sprouted feathers came out just as easily as the others', but underneath he was covered with lots & lots & lots of pinfeathers! He looked like a porcupine or a hedgehog, like a pincushion, like a 3-days'-growth of beard. He was a black-feathered bird with white skin so it just looked nasty. There were too many to pull out with my fingers, and it's just too disgusting to pinch the skin below each one to pop them out. I don't like the way the black goo oozes out of them. I dipped him again in the scalding water & used a knife to scrape against his skin, first against the growth to get most of them out, then with the growth to push out the remainder. There still are some more inbedded in the skin like ingrown hairs, I may go ahead & skin him completely before cooking. I've never had a bird with this many pinfeathers at processing time. But I usually let my roos grow out to 18-20 weeks before butchering. I'm going to look more closely at my candidates and pay better attention to their age before the next session. Is there a better way to remove such a quantity of pinfeathers? Please share your technique!