Skin or Pluck

Age and sex of the bird plus how you cook it has something to do with it.

Some people like to cook the bird with the skin on. Obviously these people need to pluck. Some people really like that extra flavor you can get with the skin. Some people like them skinless.

The older a chicken gets the harder it is to skin. Roosters especially grow connective tissue that holds the skin on. If you are talking about the Cornish X, Cornish Cross, broilers, whatever you want to call them, they are going to be processed at such a young age this is not an issue. I find that dual purpose cockerels start getting harder to skin somewhere around 5 to 6 months of age. You can still do it, you just have to work harder and maybe cut some of that connective tissue. I haven’t really noticed this problem with pullets or grown hens but older roosters can be a challenge with my arthritic fingers.

If you pluck a dark-colored bird the pin feathers can be a pain to get off. The pin feathers are still there on a light-colored bird but you can’t see them as easily so the carcass is a lot prettier.

If you pluck a bird that is in molt, the feathers that are growing back can be a real pain. They are filled just below the skin with this disgusting looking liquid, especially of it has dark feathers. You can pop it out with a fingernail and rinse it off. It’s not a huge problem but it does slow me down when there are a lot of them.

If you pluck you need to scald the bird. That means you need a way to heat the water and keep it hot if you are processing a few. Some people have some really nice set-ups for that but you might have to improvise the first time or two you try that to get your system down. If you have to buy things to do this instead of already having something on hand, this can cost a bit. If you have an open flame you have to be careful of the fire risk. Set-up time might be longer and you may have a bit more to clean up if you scald and pluck. Depends on how you are set up.

Some people can skin faster than pluck, some of that depending on how you are set up for scalding. Some people can pluck faster than skin.

It takes more finger and hand strength to skin a bird than pluck it, especially the wings.

I skin all my birds except the older roosters. That’s mostly because my wife wants all the skin off anyway. Either way works. You just have to work out a system for how you do it that works for you.
Thank you for all the helpful info. It is really appreciated. I will prob. end up doing some of each based on the information and advice you have given me.have.

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