please tell me an easier way to pluck my duck

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by D'Angelo N Va., Sep 26, 2011.

  1. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    I read somewhere to dry pluck a duck. Well that's all fine but when I dunked it in hit water to remove the remaining wing feathers it became tedious. It took me almost 2 hrs. UGHHH!!
     
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    i skinned my last batch. i know...totally cheating, but i didnt have forever to pluck the darn things.
     
  3. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Trust me. I thought about it. But once cooked I hear the skin can be so crunchy and delicious.
     
  4. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    D'Angelo N Va. :

    Trust me. I thought about it. But once cooked I hear the skin can be so crunchy and delicious.

    Yes... skin is sooooo crunchy and delicious!

    I have a plucker machine so I can defeather (at least 95% defeathered) a duck in 30 seconds. But the important thing is the scald water - I fill a 14 gallon galvanized washtup with hot water and set it on a coleman camp stove.

    * Heat it to 160 (a candy thermometer works great, I use a digital meat thermometer).
    * You'll want to add some dishsoap as a degreasing agent (just a squirt) and about 1/2 cup of vinegar.
    * Have a "hooking device" to grab the feet out of the hot water for a good dunk (a short garden trowel works fine).
    * Then you want to dunk and pull a few times to get the hot water under the feathers. Pull it out by the feet and hold it out of the water for a few seconds, then right back in again.
    * Every time you pull it out, tug a wing feather to see how loose they're getting. Dunk it and pull it out until a wing feather comes out without too much resistance - but be careful not to cook the bird.

    At this point I'd put it in the plucker, but if you're hand picking, start with the chest and belly feathers so that cool air can get in and keep the skin from cooking. Those feathers should come out like butter. By the time you're done you should have fairly loose wing and tail feathers (on Muscovy I still have to use pliers for some of those). Some folks swear by duck wax for the downy business. I haven't tried it but plan to for the next harvest. You're supposed to melt the wax, dip the mostly defeathered duck, then immediately dunk in cold water to crisp up the wax. When you pull off the hard wax the down should come off with it. Then you put the used wax back in to melt again.

    Good luck!​
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  5. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ah, no wonder the processor I found wants $12 for a duck and only $2.50 for a chicken... the ducks need degreased! Makes sense.
     
  6. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    Quote:Oh my! Save your $12! It takes twice as long to process a duck because they have 4x more feathers! I purchased my plucker machine from these folks: http://cconlystore.com/Plucker_c5.htm but I process over 100 birds each year. You can probably get by with this thing if you're only doing a few each year: http://www.pluckwitheasypluck.com/order.html

    If
    you'll be doing more than 10 and less than 100 of them you might be able to rent a plucker machine: http://www.featherman.net/rentals.html. Also, check with your county extension as they may have mobile processing units available or equipment rental (like this one in Washington state: http://www.piercecountycd.org/poultryprocess.html). You can also put a craigslist ad up asking to rent equipment. I saw this guy in my area on localharvest.com: http://www.localharvest.org/mobile-...-for-rent-from-green-akeys-family-farm-M33744
     
  7. D'Angelo N Va.

    D'Angelo N Va. Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 28, 2009
    Wow thanks so much. I was dry plucking them and it is taking me forever. I will take a break, have something to drink and try it again. So far 3 down this a.m, only about 50 to go, not this month though. Lol
     
  8. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    D'Angelo N Va. :

    Wow thanks so much. I was dry plucking them and it is taking me forever. I will take a break, have something to drink and try it again. So far 3 down this a.m, only about 50 to go, not this month though. Lol

    Dang D'Angelo! 50?? You need a plucker. And I think it's hunters that dry-pluck mostly. I mean, their birds are already stiff by the time they're getting around to pulling off the feathers and the birds are tiny. If I were to field dress a duck, tho, I'd do it this way: . Not much to eat on a 1.5lb duck but the breast anyway!

    Now, you can't have ducks to cook without visiting this blog... Hank is my waterfowl cheffery hero [​IMG] he eats everything but the quack.
    http://honest-food.net/wild-game/goose-recipes/
     
  9. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since we're residential my thought was the $12 eliminates the mess and clean-up here, as well as the emotions tied to the deed itself since I'm a wimp and husband is no better. It's the back-up plan for extra boys.. we'd rather eat them than give them away for someone else to do the same. If I can't sell them for what I have in them for feed costs and care... then we'll take them all and pay the $12 unless I find a better deal elsewhere that doesn't skimp on the quality and clean facility. The $12 guy is USDA inspected and all that.

    Doing the math... with the gourmet stores wanting $30 + for duckling, we'd do a little better than breaking even eating our extras.

    Plus I've hand plucked scrawny roosters before and that was a chore... can't imagine a bigger duck. So until we're on a farm, I'm ok with the $12.
     
  10. FarmrGirl

    FarmrGirl MooseMistress

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    Quote:I can totally see that. I don't have as much trouble with the chickens or the mallard-type ducks but the Muscovy are tough for me. Of course, I'm a really huge cheapskate so I'll just have to toughen up, I guess!

    LOL!
     

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