I processed my first chickens yesterday, and all went fairly well except for the plucking. I had three cockerels. I let them bleed out then gave them a pretty long (30 seconds or so) dunk in hot water followed by a dip in ice water and then sitting in the sink until I got to the next step. I was doing a step at a time to all three birds--that is to say dunking them all, plucking them all and so on. The first one I plucked was easy and I didn't have a problem, but on the second two I tore the skin considerably while trying to pluck them. Was this likely a result of having them sit around after the ice bath or was it something somewhere else in the process? Too long in the hot water? The water was just short of boiling. I don't know the exact temperature because my candy thermometer was not long enough. I ended up skinning the other two birds because I had made such a mess of them. So much for my perfect golden-brown roast chicken.