Plucking Muscovies

Dfarago

Chirping
Feb 23, 2019
97
107
96
High Desert, California
I just processed about nine of my Muscovies and let me tell you, those feathers were a pain in the butt. We did three different methods. They were dunked in boiling water before being plucked. We used latex gloves, garden gloves that were textured and paraffin wax. After all that there were still some very small feathers left over under the skin we couldn’t get to.

Is there a step that was missed or are Muscovies just very difficult to be pluck? And does anyone have any tips or tricks to help for future processing?

I don’t know if it’s relevant but the ducks were about 4-5 months old, and I’ve read you can process at three.
 

Claires Poultry

Crossing the Road
Mar 24, 2019
3,720
17,148
872
Sheridan, Wyoming
I just processed about nine of my Muscovies and let me tell you, those feathers were a pain in the butt. We did three different methods. They were dunked in boiling water before being plucked. We used latex gloves, garden gloves that were textured and paraffin wax. After all that there were still some very small feathers left over under the skin we couldn’t get to.

Is there a step that was missed or are Muscovies just very difficult to be pluck? And does anyone have any tips or tricks to help for future processing?

I don’t know if it’s relevant but the ducks were about 4-5 months old, and I’ve read you can process at three.

I know eggsactly what you mean! I usually butcher 75-100 plus Muscovies a year and plucking them is an absolute pain in the butt!

I scald mine in 145*-160* Fahrenheit water for 1-2 minutes and then pluck them in an automatic plucker. The plucker gets some of the feathers off, but not nearly all of them.
I always end up having to finish plucking them by hand, and I never get quite all the feathers off. That doesn't bother me though, a few feathers aren't that big of a deal to me, I just leave 'em on.

I've heard of waxing them before, but I've never tried it. Maybe I'll try it this year, not sure. :idunno

I usually butcher my Muscovies at 15 weeks old.
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
6,823
32,749
1,032
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
I’ve read that a squirt of dish soap as a wetting agent (don’t know the brand/amount) in the scalding water will help in getting the water all the way to the skin. I put a tiny bit of Dawn in when I was butchering chickens. My first time so I don’t know whether it made it easier or not, but the chickens don’t taste like soap at all, and when you consider the other stuff meat chickens tend to have on their undersides, soap seems very benign. Plus it *is* the *outside* of the bird so it’s basically like giving it a bath.

I’ve seen this particularly recommended for waterfowl... maybe worth a try.
 

Claires Poultry

Crossing the Road
Mar 24, 2019
3,720
17,148
872
Sheridan, Wyoming
I’ve read that a squirt of dish soap as a wetting agent (don’t know the brand/amount) in the scalding water will help in getting the water all the way to the skin. I put a tiny bit of Dawn in when I was butchering chickens. My first time so I don’t know whether it made it easier or not, but the chickens don’t taste like soap at all, and when you consider the other stuff meat chickens tend to have on their undersides, soap seems very benign. Plus it *is* the *outside* of the bird so it’s basically like giving it a bath.

I’ve seen this particularly recommended for waterfowl... maybe worth a try.
Thanks for the suggestion! I'll definitely take that into consideration! :)
 

Jpat

Life’s a garden: dig it.
Apr 30, 2018
4,491
20,542
832
Nova scotia
i wouldnt know forsure, Thats what i use for chickens

i use a tiger torch but its realy easy to damage the skin. ive made some ugly carcasses. But it all looks the same in soup!
 

Gray Farms

Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock
5 Years
Apr 11, 2016
14,355
19,124
647
NW Missouri
Melt paraffin wax in hot but not boiling water "wax will stay on top". Dry pluck the hard feathers "wing, tail, outer body feathers" leaving only the short down feathers. Dip the whole bird in the water with wax on top. Then straight into very cold/ice water. The wax will harden into a "shell" on the duck. Then crack the wax and peel. All the down will come off with the wax. Works awesome!! Only way to process waterfowl.
 

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