My first attempt at plucking.... (poultry- general) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Well I plucked my first chicken at the weekend. It went a lot better than I expected and took me about 20 minutes or so. I scalded it in 140 degree water (with a squirt of dish soap) for one minute and the feathers came out without too much effort at all. After I finished dressing the chicken he weighed in at 7 lbs. I'm going to roast him up tonight.

-- Anita in NC (, November 21, 2001


Congratulations! The first few times we plucked chickens, I had to wear a bandana over my nose and mouth. Wet chicken smell made me gag. I did get used to it, but it is NOT one of my favorite farm activities. I would rather build fence!

-- Rose (, November 21, 2001.

Yea! Build fence or muck out the barn! I leave the butchering to my teenaged boys. They do a much better job and have stronger intestinal fortitude! Good Going Anita! You make us proud!:~)!!

-- Nan (, November 21, 2001.

Thanks Anita! You give me courage for when it's my turn....

-- Sandie in Maine (, November 21, 2001.

Wow Anita, you have really impressed me!!! My first one ended up being buryed because I thought I would never be able to eat chicken again. (almost 40 years later and I still would rather shovel the smelly stuff all day than butcher chickens, but at least I can eat them today)

-- diane (, November 21, 2001.

Great job Anita, it is satisfying isnt it. I would rather fence also! I had not butchered in 15 years or so and my child never had...when we butchered our first chicken on the farm. We had her plucked and about to dress when I uttered "oh No!" as I remembered we had videos overdue and now just enough drive time to get them there or owe 6.00! I told my daughter to go ahead and dress out the chicken (using Carla Emery's book laid out). When I arrived back home- there was a job well-done! I think she was 11 yrs. old Pretty cool.

-- Sandra Hess (, November 21, 2001.

congratulations, Anita. The first one is always the hardest and takes the longest; it'll get easier the more you do. Also, if you do not eat the skin, you might find it easy to skin the chicken. After plucking several, that's what I do.

-- mary (, November 21, 2001.

We have decided that skinning is way better than plucking! (After several very dismal attempts at plucking!) It's so easy to skin them. After the beheading, my hubby takes our air compressor and puts the end just under the skin on the chicken's neck, holds it tight and the chicken puffs up like a balloon! First time he did it, he laughed so hard - it is really funny to see. Anyway, it makes skinning them a breeze, and sure cuts WAY down on the cleaning time.

However you choose to do it, enjoy those birds!

-- Cheryl in KS (, November 21, 2001.


Oh can I come and watch???? air compressor!!!! oh too funny...wait till my husband gets home and I show him this!!!! ROFL!!!!


I have read here I think that using rubber gloves helps remove the wet feathers.

I don't do the water bath takes too much time to set up and take down, I start plucking while the carcus is still warm. Pluck the largest feathers first and the first place that cools down the fastest..the wings, then move to the tail feathers. These have to be done quickly. One feather at a time on the big ones or you will tear the skin. Then the rest is easy, start with the legs and move down.

-- westbrook (, November 21, 2001.

Congratualtions Anita! Sure takes me back to our first one. There we were with this wet chicken and John Vivian's book "The Practical Homesteader" proped up open to the chicken butchering page. The picking seemed to take forever and then came the dressing. I had my hand in there taking out the guts and crying "why can't we just BUY chickens like everyone else in the world" with hubby reminding me most of the people in the world DON'T buy chickens. Of course I also gagged at the first chicken coop cleaning time, and..holy shomley...the first time I was milking the cow and it pooped!

Well, years later here I am snickering at those thoughts. Funny how your nose changes and how appreciative you become of what you can do yourself!

Best wishes, Anita! Sounds like you are doing great!

-- Karen (, November 21, 2001.

I'm with Cheryl! Our plucking, chickens and ducks were laughable, we tore skin, swore and then the skin was so tough it was unedible anyway! We skin. But Anita, thats great, your first attempt and success! Perhaps it was because my husband wasn't helping you :) Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, November 21, 2001.

That was my mothers favorite punishment. When every I got into trouble I knew I was going to pluck chickens. Filling the freezer guaranteed good behavior for months. Probably why I've never had the urge to raise my own live stock since.

-- Ed (, November 21, 2001.

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