Pin Feathers

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jaku, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. jaku

    jaku Songster

    I hate pin feathers! I plucked this weekend and it took FOREVER to get them all. It doesn't seem like I would need pliers, tweezers, and 45 minutes to pluck a chicken. I scalded for 30-40 seconds in 130 degree water. What am I missing?
  2. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Anything? After reading some of the posts here, was 130 degrees not hot enough possibly?
  3. tuskajones

    tuskajones In the Brooder

    Dec 18, 2007
    Sewickley, PA
    Hi Jaku--I am new to this as well. I butchered 12 of my chickens last week over a period of 5 days. It too took me FOREVER to pluck them. I tried scalding with 130 degree water but found the 150 degree water to work much better--not perfect but better. I took a group of 8 birds to a local guy and he dipped them in water that was about 180 degrees and the feathers just stripped right off for him. I didn't do that since I was worried about cooking the meat but he just had them in and out real quick.

    I got most of the feathers off, did the evisceration, a good cleansing squirt and into the cooler. I later picked off the pin feathers after they were cool and I wasn't so tired.

    I am going to write up some "chicken butchering" notes to myself for the next time I do this so I don't forget!

  4. greyfields

    greyfields Crowing

    Mar 15, 2007
    Washington State
    You need a propane torch, like the kind chef's use to make creme brulee or the kind plumber's use with a trigger on it. You just quickly pass the flame over the skin and they burn up. I find it works very well even after you have chilled them a couple hours, as the feathers are easier to see then.
  5. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    I am one of those folks who uses needle nose pliers or rubber gloves to rub the feathers off. Seems to work just fine for me. I would like to try the torch method on our next batch of chickens when we butcher tomorrow.
  6. Half-a-dozen

    Half-a-dozen Songster

    May 26, 2007
    Quote:??? what do you just rub the rubber against the feathers??? then what?....They just come off?
  7. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Quote:For the pin feathers or the hairs? Doesn't seem like the torch would get the deep feather shafts, unless I'm confused about what pin feathers actually are???
  8. annaserv

    annaserv In the Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    northern Wisconsin
    About how many weeks old were the chickens with the serious pin feathers problems? I remember years ago when we butchered a lot of chickens over the course of several weeks. It started off easy, then eventually they hit the major pin feather stage, then it was slow going.

    Oh I was so hoping to avoid it.
  9. jaku

    jaku Songster

    Quote:They were 8 week old Cornish X's.
  10. bheila

    bheila Songster

    Feb 8, 2008
    Kent, Wa
    Quote:??? what do you just rub the rubber against the feathers??? then what?....They just come off?

    Yup! It's kind of like a plucker with the rubber fingers. Of coarse you do get some feathers that you have to squeeze out. My husband likes to refer to those ones like popping pimples.

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