A few weeks ago, Swingin’ Goat Farms (Boulevard Farm + Sugar Creek Family Farm) bought a chicken plucker. (For the record, the original plan was to make a Whiz-Bang plucker, but after pricing out the parts we’d need, it wasn’t too much more to just buy one, and the time savings was more than worth the extra money.)
Now, everyone has been telling me “oh, it’s so easy to pluck a chicken by hand, you don’t need a machine!” After doing it, I can totally agree that plucking a chicken by hand is not difficult and is totally doable. But my response to all of those people doesn’t change – we did approx 50 birds on Saturday, and we will continue to have sizeable quantities of birds in future years. Plucking them all by hand would have been even more exhausting than it already was. And we would never have finished! (Now I just need a machine that scrapes the guts out…)
So the first step after the bird has bled out is to dunk it in hot water. We used water about 150 degrees and dunked for about 45 seconds.
Toss it in the plucker, turn it on, and voila! Actually, you can see the torn skin on this chicken – Foghorn (our GIANT white rooster) was pretty big and kept getting stuck in the plucker, and he got a little beat up. That’s not supposed to happen.
The YouTube video below is a short clip of our plucker in action.