Trials And Tribulations Of Suburban Meat Bird Production

Lookin4GoodLife

Songster
6 Years
Oct 20, 2013
292
121
172
Georgia
, maybe my best bet is making one like this one but going through the trouble to improve upon it enough to make it more workable.
Wow, that's pretty sweet! With a handle on top to aid cranking or maybe a gear reduction to not work yourself to death..... looked like it did a pretty good job. I've got a ton of old bicycles around here, maybe I could rig up something I could sit on and pedal while Mama did the squirting. :) I *really* like the idea of a "man powered" machine versus electric.

Oh, for folks who don't have the washer/dryer connection, I had a new A/C unit put in last year and the guy said they just recycle all their metal and stuff. Probably wouldn't be too hard to hook up with an HVAC company to get a free motor either.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
Wow, that's pretty sweet! With a handle on top to aid cranking or maybe a gear reduction to not work yourself to death..... looked like it did a pretty good job. I've got a ton of old bicycles around here, maybe I could rig up something I could sit on and pedal while Mama did the squirting. :) I *really* like the idea of a "man powered" machine versus electric.

Oh, for folks who don't have the washer/dryer connection, I had a new A/C unit put in last year and the guy said they just recycle all their metal and stuff. Probably wouldn't be too hard to hook up with an HVAC company to get a free motor either.
yeah, it looks surprisingly easy, either that or the guy has had a lot of practice. then again, you got me looking at the yardbird, which the more I look at it, the more I am feeling lazy, it's a pretty nice piece of kit and it's on sale for $400 right now which is a pretty screaming deal. there is no way to make anything decent for less not even paying myself anything for my time, the good plucking fingers themselves are like $1 a pop! the fact that it's stainless is a serious bonus and the electronics are nicely sealed up, and its fairly compact! hmm, do I want the work/fun/pride of a home build human powered plucker or the shiny, easy to sterilize, someone else to turn to when it breaks or shocks the sh!t out of someone plucker? I'll have to think this one over. I'm pretty sure I know which one the wifey will vote for...
 

Lookin4GoodLife

Songster
6 Years
Oct 20, 2013
292
121
172
Georgia
I just looked to see where I could get one on sale and found that Tractor Supply has them "in stores". Course the $399.99 is the "online only price", but I've heard that a lot of store managers will honor that price for things they carry in store. Anyway, even if you had to order it and pick it up at the store, if you bought it, thought the quality was shoddy or didn't like how it stripped a chicken, you could always return it and get your money back. TS has a nice little video on their web site. http://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/yardbird-chicken-plucker
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
yup, TS is the one I saw and there is one 30 minutes from my house. I have to say, looking at the build quality and all, for what I"m doing it should be perfect. it's pretty much decided that this is the way we will go, thanks for the tip, it looks like the best model in the price range and with no shipping and a brick and mordar store to stand behind it it, you are right, it really just doesn't seem rational to try and build one myself.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
so I called around and found a tractor supply store that would accept the on line price even though it said on line only and they had one left and they were in driving distance so we bit the bullet and took the drive yesterday. we now have a rather large and heavy box to unpack tomorrow. i'm excited to put the Yardbird together, even though I won't be using it for another 7 weeks or so. thanks to Lookin4goodlife for your recommendations!
 

Lookin4GoodLife

Songster
6 Years
Oct 20, 2013
292
121
172
Georgia
Awesome, hope it works out well for you! I want to go buy one myself, but I won't have my meat birds 'til next spring probably and just can't pull the trigger on it yet. My wife will beat me if I come home with a plucker and don't have the chickens to pluck yet. :)
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
I will definitely do a full review on it when the time comes, in about 6 weeks. I'm kind of amazed that something this well put together is available for $400!
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
Well it's day 14 and the chicks are growing so fast for a minute there I had convinced myself that I got them three weeks ago, I had to look at the calendar, LOL! they are feathering out nicely, running about and doing jump flap shenanigans. I separated the egg layers on day 11 or 12 when I switched from 24/7 free access to food to a 12 hr on 12 hr off cycle. the egg layer chicks almost seemed to be getting smaller, LOL! in the picture below I show one of each for comparison, it's hard to believe they were hatched on the same day... this pic was taken at night so I had to use a flash (sorry kiddos).


happy, healthy and stout!

 

sparton

In the Brooder
Mar 12, 2015
74
11
46
Vancouver, Wa
I know in our neck of the woods you can rent the plucker and the processing equipment for a fair cost and a deposit (to make certain you clean the equipment). Not certain if that is something you have out where you are at. We did meat birds a few years ago and they were such a gross contrast to our silkie flock that we were kinda on the never again bus. I had no idea chickens could poop so much.
 

Birdinhand

Crowing
May 23, 2016
1,100
1,650
267
Pacific Northwest
I went through the seattle farm coop initially, followed up on a number they gave me but to no avail for renting equipment, I left several messages even. It's ok, I'm pretty satisfied with the quality of the plucker so far and I have all the rest of the gear I need. as for the cobb 500, managing the moisture/poop is a bit of a challenge. I now have a insulated tumbler composter and will be going into full swing with composting the manure as fast as I can... it makes amazing fertilizer for the garden. the comoster is already steaming. last year I went through so many bags of pine shavings that I decided this year to bag up a pile of wood chips that had been sitting around for a couple of years. I bagged it up in the middle of the hot summer so it was nice and dry. now that I have plenty of substrate and don't have to worry about economizing it, I am doing a better job of keeping the chicks clean and they are happier for it. I have quite a bit of room in my coop, divided into several pens and I will be spreading them out as they grow, in part to manage the manure. ... and in 6 weeks, they will be in freezer camp.
 
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