pin feathers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by ttrammell, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. ttrammell

    ttrammell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2013
    SEK Pittsburg area
    butchered 12 roos the other day, all went well, except for pin feathers. Scalded and hand plucked, feathers came off like they should but the number of pin feathers that are not sticking out of the skin is of some concern. How do you guys and gals deal with this? my wife finally just took a butter knife and used that to scrape the skin which worked pretty good at forcing the pins out. is there a better way? Does one of those commercial pluckers like the wizbang drum style take care of them? I'm planning on doing about 100 later this year, would like to not have to scrape each bird with a butter knife to get it "clean" of the little black pin feather sacks
  2. curious chickee

    curious chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I use tweezers, but would love a better method too.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I don’t know a better method. On the few occasions I pluck I just squeeze them out with my fingers, not a good method at all. But I avoid that by skinning them instead of plucking. Many people like them with the skin on, but my wife prefers skinless anyway so it works for me.

    How old are the ones you butcher, with black pin feathers it doesn’t sound like the Cornish Cross. I find cockerels start to develop connective tissue to hold the skin in somewhere around 5 months, some even a bit earlier. That makes skinning slower.

    I really hate to get one that is in a juvenile molt when I butcher if I pluck. Those are just covered with pin feathers. That’s where skinning really come in handy.
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    I butcher young roosters before their first major molt. Older rooster I just pull the skin back and only take the breast, thighs and legs. I also pull out the heart, liver any gizzard for my snake.
  5. ttrammell

    ttrammell Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 9, 2013
    SEK Pittsburg area
    That might be the problem, these are Black Australorps and they are about 5 months old, could be they are in, juvenile molt ? The ones I plan on doing later will be CornishX and be butchering at 8-10 weeks, so do you think that will make a difference?
  6. allykay219

    allykay219 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 13, 2016
    I have only butchered one chicken. My grandma showed me how, she grew up on a chicken farm. After plucking the chicken she had me turn on the stove and burn the little feathers that was left off.
  7. curious chickee

    curious chickee Chillin' With My Peeps

    My older cockerels (16-20 weeks, I just skin now because all the hidden pin feathers. Burning doesn't get the pin feathers under the skin. My meat birds, I will pluck and leave the skin on.
  8. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2013
    Northern Wisconsin
    Cornish cross will pluck far easier than dual purpose birds, most CX don't have very great feathering in the first place and white birds of any breed always clean up nice for me. If your birds were loaded badly with pin feathers they were likely in a molt, a few are normal but not covered. I had one of my rainbows like that, just skinned it didn't bother with pulling them all that would be next to impossible and not at all efficient time wise.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by