Here are some pictures of the chicken plucker I’ve been working on in the garage. As previously mentioned, Courtney’s birthday present to me a few years ago was the book Anyone Can Build a Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker. If any of our neighbors are viewing, this is the reason for all of the sawing and lights on late at night.
Off in the far left corner you can also see my propane fired water heater that I got for fifty bucks that was barely used. I’m going to make this with it. The guy that sold it to me was suspicious that I was going to make a moonshine distillery with it because he knew I wanted it for parts. Nope! Just chickens here, man!
Here’s a view of the supports for the drive shaft and bearings. The large pulley in the next picture will go on the bottom once I’ve got the motor. The last step is to find the right motor and a pulley and wire it up. You’ll also see in the next picture that I’ve got the wiring half way done too.
That big 16″ pulley is very hard to find, but it will get the RPMs to the perfect speed for some clean plucking. I bought mine straight from Herrick Kimball, the author of the book. He has a website where he sells some of the hard to find parts. Some of them he fabricates himself. I also got the featherplate, shaft, bearings and rubber fingers from him.
In total so far, I’ve spent $510 on the project. I still need an electric motor which is $200 new. I’m going to try to find a used one for much less. When you compare the cost to a new stainless, commercial plucker that would be $1500 to $2000, I’ve saved a ton of money and had a lot of fun as well.
I’ll be posting again once I have found the motor and wired it up. And then once more when I’ve finally gotten to clean some birds. I never thought I’d be longing to kill chickens like this before!