Skinning vs. Plucking?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by DenverBird, Feb 21, 2011.

  1. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Duhhh. It just dawned on my how much easier this could make things for me when it comes time to butcher my first-time batch of Meaties I've got growing.

    Is it easier and is there a downside to skinning meaties instead of plucking?

    Pros and Cons?

    Thanks!

    -DB
     
  2. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    You don't get crunchy skin when you roast them? That's my favorite part [​IMG]
     
  3. marquisella

    marquisella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We processed for the 1st time last week.

    After soaking, we rehung the birds up, shoulder level, put a wheelbarrel underneath them, and 2 people plucked one bird together in 1 minute. I think its the combo of having the right temp for the dunking, and pulling the feathers off in a downward motion, the same way they grow, really made them almost fall out. I was amazed, I was afraid I'd be plucking all day!

    If you're plopping a bird around on a table trying to pluck it, it is much more time consuming, not to mention a mess!

    Sue
     
  4. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sue - Thanks - how did you hang them up?

    -DB
     
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    Quote:I hang mine using a dog choke chain, strong, cleanable, easy to find, works good for turkey's too. and skinning is not as easy as some say plus if you are roasting you bird they can dry out with out skin
     
  6. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all, just so I understand, are you hanging by the feet?
     
  7. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

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    yup, plus I kill hanging too, slit both sides of the neck just under the jaw bone, they bleed better that way,
     
  8. DenverBird

    DenverBird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks - Yes, I've used a cone and plan to again.
     
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    I am always surprised to see how many people dislike hand-plucking, who say it's such a daunting task that they'll either spend time & $$$ to construct a mechanical plucker, or choose to skin their birds. I find hand-plucking to be one of the easiest parts of the process. Like Sue described, it sure helps to get a good scald and then have the birds hanging upside-down by their legs, suspended from something sturdy so the bird is between your shoulder to elbow height. Then I can use both hands and swipe most of the feathers off with downward motions, like cleaning the lint from the dryer trap. It takes about 5 minutes per bird.

    My processing station is a reclaimed metal yard swing frame with a 2X6 plank bolted sideways across the top. I have 3 home-made cones tacked there, with wire hooks placed in-between. I use zip-ties to hold the birds' legs together before they go into the cone (to keep them from trying to climb out). The ties also make a handy way to hang the birds from the hooks after they're scalded. A 5-gallon bucket is filled with pots of water boiled on the stove inside and brought out when I have birds ready to scald (this is my son's contribution to his chicken dinners). I do 2 at a time, and more hot water can be brought out for the next batch to re-heat the scalding water. I can add water from the hose to bring it down to about 150 degrees.

    I dunk the birds about 10 times, up & down & twisting around to get the water down to the skin. When I can easily pull out a wing feather I know the bird is ready to pluck. I don't bother plucking the tail feathers, that part gets cut off anyway.

    I did try skinning my birds but didn't like doing it nor the results. It's like trying to pull a really tight snow suit off a fat little kid and I found that I lacked the arm & hand strength to do it easily. Plus, there would be a lot of "chaff" from the feathers that got stuck to the sticky surface of the skinned bird, bits that would be nearly impossible to remove before cooking.

    My hand-plucking method works well for me with the small batches of birds I process at one time. If I were doing dozens of birds in one day I'd consider a mechanical plucker.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 21, 2011
  10. Captain Carrot

    Captain Carrot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dry pluck chickens. I sit down with them on my lap...feet facing me. Then I pluck away from me, starting with the breast then legs, then turn over for the back and wings. If the bird is still warm, there is no need to scald first although I'm sure it's faster if you do.

    I do the ducks differently, I hang by their feet with bailing twine at chest hight, then go over them with a blow torch to get the stubborn down off.

    I've skinned chickens before and I found it to be easy, but I really like crispy chicken skin. So I only skin when I'm going to joint the bird, and then I only skin the breast.
     

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