Used The Duck Wax

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by Oregon Blues, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Put 21 ducks into the freezer yesterday. It went a lot better this time.

    My son has mastered the EZPlucker. Last time we stopped because it was breaking bones. Not one broken bone this time. We slowed down and butchered 2 ducks at a time, working fast so they could be bled, scalded, and into the plucker before rigor (which is really fast with ducks). 2 ducks at a time and no longer than 15 seconds in the plucker.

    The ducks were covered in pins last time. This time, virtually no pins on the 16 week old Swedish. They cleaned up beautifully. However, it wasn't worth the extra time because they didn't put on much growth for the extra feed.

    9 1/2 week old Pekins were starting to get some serious pin feathers. They were big enough to butcher at 7 weeks, and probably wouldn't have had pins then.

    We tried several different things with the duck wax. Followed manufacturers instructions and floated the wax over hot water. Temperature is fairly critical. We got the wax too hot at the end of the session and then it goes on too thin. Also, it apparently never cools down, so if it is too hot, you wait and wait and wait and it is still too hot.

    Best removal of pin feathers was when the bird's skin was hot, then dipped in wax and into ice water. Peeled when the wax was set and the skin was still warm.

    We took the bird right out of the plucker, dipped it in wax, and into the ice water, to be peeled as soon as the wax was set. If a bird needed to be dipped a second time, it worked best to put it in the scald water to warm the skin up, and then back into the wax.

    A thick coat of wax was really hard to peel off. A thin coat worked best and pulled feathers just fine.

    I didn't weigh them all. I just picked up the Pekin on top and it was 4 3/4 pounds, dressed without neck and giblets. The very largest Swedish was 2 1/2 pounds. The very biggest Pekin drake and the 2 largest Pekin ducks got a pardon and they have been added to the breeding flock, so I would have had some bigger Pekins if I'd butchered everybody.

    After the wax, some of the Pekins still had a few random pin feathers. I could have dipped them again, but it was getting late and the number of pins left will be very quick and easy to hand pull when I get the birds out to cook them.

    The birds look beautiful and are going to make very nice roast duck.
     
  2. momofpets

    momofpets Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 11, 2011
    Thank you for the info! I plan on raising Muscovies. I wonder how they are going to compare in difficulty in the defeathering department.
     
  3. becky3086

    becky3086 Crested Crazy

    Oct 14, 2008
    Thomson, GA
    I never did try the wax and I never scalded my ducks. I dry plucked them and it seemed to go just fine. Maybe I just did it at the right time, [​IMG]
     
  4. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Central Oregon
    Follow up.

    Wax filtered just fine. I use a window screen type of strainer and dipped the wax out with a soup ladle.

    Big warning. My son put the wax and feathers directly into a pot and turned the heat on. We won't do that again. Wax burns really easily and so next time, there will be a layer of water at the bottom of the pot to prevent the wax from burning. It was burning at the bottom before the top was even melted.

    Also, I going to buy one of the Chinese strainers and dip the large feathers out of the wax before I start filtering.

    I filtered the wax into silicon baking pans. It's in the refrigerator right now and should pop right out of those silicon pans and will be stored in the freezer until next time.

    The feathers I filtered out were put into a large flat pan with the end tipped up. A bit more wax drained off the feathers and was saved.
     
  5. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For those not wanting to work with duck wax another good method is scalding for 45 seconds to 1 minute then wrapping in newspaper for about 10 minutes.

    Newspaper method lets the feathers pull out easily by hand --even the down. Marian Ridgeway at Ridgeway Hatchery told us about this and it did work well for us.

    Edited to add Ridgeway link

    http://www.ridgwayhatchery.com/
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  6. California Gurl

    California Gurl Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I know it's stupid of me to ask, but will this work on Chickens too?
     
  7. happydog

    happydog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 22, 2009
    Western NC
    Quote:Thanks for posting this. I'm going to butcher a couple of my ducks today and plan to try this method. What temp do you scald the ducks?
     
  8. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ohio
    I scald over a pot in an open fire, and the temp varies between 150 to 180. I aim to dip around 170 though. Make sure the water gets down to the skin by dipping and swirling.

    When using the newspaper, just a couple to 3 sheets work fine, but I suppose more will work better the cooler it gets outside.

    We were very pleased with the results. Nothing against the wax but we though it was much messier then using the paper and when we were done the cleanup simply involved tossing out a few sheets of wet newspaper.

    EDITED TO ADD FOR THE OTHER POST:
    For the other poster: I have never tried it on chickens, but my neighbor asked this too. Ducks have a thick layer of fat under the skin which chickens do not. I'm not sure but the meat of the chicken might start to cook if using this type of wrapping. A good hot scald will usually get the feathers off nicely on most chickens.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011

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