Chicken Plucker in Action

The chicken plucker I built last winter has finally seen some action.  Sunday afternoon, despite the 25* temp and winds, we were out harvesting ten laying hens that reached the end of their productive life.

The only other type of plucker I’ve used or even seen in action was a table top, drum style plucker, sort of like this one.  Oh my what a difference this made.  My friends commented that this machine took what used to be the hardest part of killing chickens and made it the easiest.

The only difficulty was when we had to wait a little while for the scalding water to come back up to temperature.  The clumps of feathers froze together and seized the drive belt to the pulley.  Running some water from the hose over the feather clumps thawed them out and operations continued.

In his instructional book on how to build the chicken plucker, Herrick Kimball recommended 145* water with a 30 second scald for optimum results.  We weren’t using a thermometer, just the old fashioned finger test.  The plucker pulled all but a few feathers on the heads (which would be discarded anyways) and a few of the larges ones on the wings.  Easy to pull by hand after the plucker was shut off.

All in all, this was a monumental success, so we celebrated with a newly canned Black IPA from our favorite local microbrewery, hence the product placement above.

Thanks, Robert.


4 responses to “Chicken Plucker in Action

  1. Great post, and thanks so much for coming out!

  2. I have never in my life heard of a chicken plucker 0.0 and we use to raise 400 birds each summer! But of course we only ever had 1 order where they wanted the skin left on, my dad usually just took the skin off in one piece with feathers still attached!

    • Robert @ hisandhershomesteading


      I’ve heard about how that can be done, but never tried. I also know that on the pretty, multi colored birds you can save the feathers from the breast area and sell them to people that tie flies for fishing.


    • Robert @ hisandhershomesteading

      I’ve heard that works just fine, too. But, you don’t get to use a cool chicken plucker!

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