Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by creekrocket, May 21, 2011.

  1. creekrocket

    creekrocket Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2011
    Savannah, Ga
    I have zero experience plucking chickens. I do have experience plucking wild turkeys, which probably isnt that much different.....I've read a couple posts on this site from folks having a hard time getting it right. Like most people have suggested, dont worry about the temp. A rule of thumb that I go by, which can be briefly painful and 'backwoods', is that you can dip your finger in the water the first time(burning like all get out), and when going in for the second 'dip', you just know its gonna melt your skin off(and it almost does). Its ready! I know that this is a crued way of explaining this, but it kind of puts it into terms that most people that havent done this, can understand. I for one, have to have many things explained to me as if I were a kid. [​IMG]
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    I've never plucked, but a lot of my friends just skin the birds so they don't have to deal with plucking
  3. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    get your water to 140-150 (opinions on temp vary). if you get the water too hot, you'll cook the bird.

    add a touch of detergent (dish soap, for example; years ago, we used clothes detergent - it's not getting into the bird and it will rinse off), to help combat the oils in the skin and feathers.

    holding the bird by its legs, dunk it in and swirl it around for 30 seconds or so, and start checking the feathers. just pull it out a bit and give a tug on a handful of feathers on the underside. if they don't come off easily, dunk it back in for another 30 seconds.

    once the feathers come off easily, quickly take it to your plucking table. you should be able to get most of the body feathers off with a swiping motion. your hardest feathers are going to be the wing feathers and tail feathers, so don't let the bird cool before you get to those. go for the bulk of the feathers first. if the bird cools too much, dunk it for 30 seconds or so again.

    it's not too difficult once you figure out what you're doing, and the end result is a better eating bird, IMO (especially if you plan on roasting it)

    if you're just going to fry it and don't like the skin, just skin it.
  4. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA

    I did 6 geese and I hated plucking by the end of that job. NO matter how hot and how much dish soap! Next time a feather plucker!!! IMHO!!!!
  5. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    So far I have processed all of 3 roosters this year.
    I got a magazine, Backyard Poultry November 2010 issue I think, that has a step by step with pictures on processing chicken. This article was very helpful.
    I make sure the scalder is ready first before doing the bird in for processing. Get the scalder at 145 to 150 with a couple of drops of dish soap. Swish the bird around, do a feather check and when ready a fast dip in ice water to stop the scalding. Pull wing and but feathers first. They come out so easy.

    If I every get to were I need to process more than 1 at a time then I would be tempted to get an auto plucker.
  6. Saltysteele

    Saltysteele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    those auto pluckers are sweet!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by