Does your homestead menu include “coop-to-table” meat birds? Or are you in the planning stages for a backyard flock? Either way, an important step is figuring out how you’ll defeather the birds.
If you’ve ever plucked poultry by hand you know that it takes practice, skill, and patience. Plucking a few birds is doable but can be fatiguing and strain hands and fingers. Plucking dozens of birds is downright exhausting!
And if your goals include the satisfaction of bringing a beautifully roasted whole chicken to the table for carving, then skillful plucking is key. That’s because poor plucking leads to torn skin, leftover pin feathers, and exposed flesh — resulting in a bird destined for the stew pot rather than gracing your dining table.
Do you want your birds to look as good (or better!) than supermarket fare? Consider an electric poultry plucker. It takes the labor and guesswork out of feather removal.
The first step to a good pluck involves scalding the bird by dunking it into hot water, which loosens the quills and makes the feathers easier to remove.
Once the bird is scalded, you need to remove the feathers as quickly as possible because once the bird cools the feathers won’t come out as easily. Experienced pluckers can completely pluck a chicken in about five minutes. The rest of us need quite a bit longer — up to a half hour per bird — to remove all the feathers, including the tiny pin feathers.
Unfortunately, as the bird cools the muscles stiffen and plucking gets more difficult, making the task take even more time-consuming and often yielding unsightly results. (The plucking process is even more challenging when it comes to heritage breeds, game birds, and waterfowl.) A mechanical plucker, in contrast, can perfectly pluck a bird in less than 30 seconds.
Talk to anyone who processes their own meat birds and you’ll likely hear that a good mechanical plucker is a game-changer. It saves time, reduces fatigue, and achieves reliable results.
Our Stainless Steel Poultry Plucker consists of a stationary tub atop a round, rotating plate. Both the tub and plate are studded with rubber “fingers.” When you turn on the plucker, the plate rotates. After dispatching and scalding the bird, you drop it into the rotating tub and as it tumbles around the rubber fingers grab and pull the feathers. In less than 30 seconds it’s time to turn off the machine and remove the perfectly plucked bird.
Once you’ve decided that a mechanical poultry plucker is right for you, it’s time to choose one. Here are some things to consider.
For a helping hand with your backyard poultry and other homesteading activities, look no further than Roots & Harvest.