Pinfeathers in barred rocks - Are there less as they get older???


In the Brooder
11 Years
Oct 6, 2008
Pike County
we processed our first six barred rock roosters 2 weeks ago, at 13 weeks of age. They were small, but grandma fried them up and they were FANTASTIC... best fried chicken I've had since I was a kid.

There was just one problem - The wife and I spent hours getting out black pinfeathers. I was wondering if there were so many because the roos were still so young, at 13 weeks? I'm waiting until 18-20 weeks to process the rest of them, so they get some more growth. Will they have fewer pinfeathers at 18-20 weeks?
Yes, generally. One thing worth checking for before you start processing the heritage breeds for sure, look for pin feathers. Check for a week or so out from your date before you confirm with the team of friends you have coming over, or show up at a processor. Nothing worse than paying for processing and having to still hand pluck after the machine plucking is done.
I discovered with removing pin feathers, especially the dark colored ones, that scraping a knife edge with the grain of the feathers removes them quickly and pretty easily. You don't cut the skin, just gently press down a little while scraping. A dull knife is better than a sharp one. Also, make sure your scald is just right. If your using an automatic plucker than the scald will determine how many pin feathers are left, and for hand plucking, how easily those pinfeathers can be removed. We scald at 150 degrees for 45 seconds for automatic plucking, and at 155 degrees for 45 seconds for hand plucking.
Curious Sappy, how big did your BRs weigh out at 13 weeks? I'm about to raise a whole lot of BRs for meat. I'm well aware that I'm not going to get near cornish X weights but I'm curious what I'm in for.

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