I have got to say that in my experience plucking by hand is really NO big deal. But I've read a lot of posts from other folks who complain about how long it takes to pluck, or how difficult it was for them, or who construct elaborate plucking machines before they begin processing their birds. So I want to say here that with the proper preparation it shouldn't take very long, or be too difficult, and can easily be done by hand. Of course, if you have a large number of birds to process at one time, if you find that you have an aversion to the smell of wet feathers, or if you're a person who needs little excuse to build some nifty machine, then go right ahead and build your mechanical plucker. Or sharpen your skinning knives. Otherwise, you will need only two, maybe three things to make your hand-plucking chore a breeze: 1. A large pot of scalding water. Large enough to fit the bird head-first and reach up to its tail. Make sure the water is good & hot, around 140-150 degrees. You can keep the water hot over a camp stove, fire pit, BBQ grill, turkey fryer, or on your stove top. It need not STAY at that temp the whole time you are butchering, just be hot during the dunking. I keep pots simmering on the stove inside and have my teen periodically refresh the water in my scalding pot outdoors. Hold your bird by his feet & agitate him up & down so the hot water reaches down to the skin. After about 10 dunks try pulling out a wing feather, if it comes out easily then he's ready to pluck. 2. A sturdy place to hang the bird by his tied-together feet. This can be a tree branch, fence post, clothesline, whatever. Hang your bird so he's about shoulder-height. I use a metal porch-swing frame I've repurposed for my processing chores. When you hang the bird you'll have both hands free for plucking, which makes the chore go much faster. It's as easy as cleaning the lint trap in the dryer, and goes almost as fast. 3. (Optional) Gloves. The feathers will be sticky & you'll need to frequently shake your hands to get them off. They seem to cling less to rubber gloves, and those cloth gardening gloves with the rubber dots work really well. You can just let the feathers fall where they will, or put a garbage can under the bird to contain the feathers. The last time I processed I was able to pluck each bird clean in about 5 minutes. I usually have to work by myself, and do only about 6 or less at a time.