Plucking Dark Feathered Chickens

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bigredfeather, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,194
    28
    211
    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    I dressed some extra roos this weekend. Some of them had black/dark feathers. In the process of plucking, the feathers broke off the quill, releasing a dark inky looking substance. Is there any way to avoid this? What is the easiest way to remove this stuff after butchering? I have a feeling either my water was too hot or I scalded them too long. I tried to keep the water right at 145 degrees, and I scalded them for 1 - 1 1/4 minutes. Any hotter water or shorter time scalding and the feathers wouldn't come off.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2009
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    25
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    That's just pigment from the feather follicles. When you pluck white birds, you get the same gel-like ooze when you pull some of the feathers, but nobody notices much because it's pink, no dark pigment. You can scrape part of it off with a fingernail, and there won't be much left by the time you finish cleaning the bird. It's not noticable after it's cooked, and it doesn't change the flavor in any way I've ever noticed. If you have a dark, scratchy feeling hole, you've still got a bit of feather shaft in there, you can pull it out with tweezers, or what I like, a pair of hemostats. Like these:
    [​IMG] If you have any friends or family members who work in healthcare, they can probably bring home some unused ones from a suture removal kit or something. The kits (talk about waste!) are sealed packages with several items in them, usually a small pair of scissors, tweezers, hemostats, and a few other things. It's not unusual for some of the items to not be used, but once the kit's open, they have to throw them away.
     
  3. chickeydee

    chickeydee Chillin' With My Peeps

    179
    0
    109
    Jul 9, 2009
    I did some RIR s this past weekend and had the same thing .I just squeese it like a pimple . It came right out .
     
  4. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,194
    28
    211
    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    Thanks. I have never read anything on here about it this being a problem, but wanted to make sure. I'm glad to hear it doesn't taint the flavor of the meat, as that is what I was most concerned about.

    Thanks again.
     
  5. GBov

    GBov Chillin' With My Peeps

    617
    8
    154
    Apr 3, 2009
    Nope, not a difference in flavor and it goes right away when the bird is cooked. It jsut looks different to the eye than the birds we are use to in the shops. Its the reason white birds were develloped, to avoid that staining.

    I did a couple of spanish black turkeys and got some odd looks from the in laws when I brought one up for Christmas dinner because of the speckled look from feather stain but after it was all crisp and yummy nobody said anything about it again.[​IMG]
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,965
    3,131
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Agreed. Purely appearance but it does look disgusting. That is why I skin my Black Australorps but usually pluck the Delaware and Buff Orps. Specific instructions from my wife!
     
  7. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,836
    25
    191
    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    I kinda like the darker feathers, it's easier to see them, so you don't have unnoticed feathers on the bird when you cook it, like I've often seen on supermarket birds.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by