Chicken Plucker: Featherman Pro Gets The Job Done

| 10/18/2010 11:20:00 AM

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GRIT Editor Hank Will at the wheel of his 1964 IH pickup.I've used a number of chicken plucker machines in my life, but none has been as efficient as the Featherman Pro chicken plucker. With the help of a chicken plucker, the toughest part of processing your own broilers (other than perhaps killing the birds) is a breeze. Last weekend, with the help of a few friends and a few pieces of equipment from Featherman, including the Featherman Pro chicken plucker, we managed to process more than 40 broilers from kill to chill in less than two and a half hours. If you are turned off by the thought of raising your own meat birds because you so dislike the prospect of hand plucking your birds, it's definitely time to rethink.

The first step in the process involved placing the birds in to the Featherman cones and stand for a quick and humane kill and bleed out. Once the birds are fully bled, they are ready for the scalder and chicken plucker.

 Featherman scalder makes it easy to get a clean pluck. 

The Featherman Scalder, with its 70,000 BTU propane-fired burner, makes it easy to scald four big broilers at the same time. The 40 gallons of water has sufficient thermal mass that the temperature varies only slightly from scald cycle to scald cycle. If in doubt about the length of scald, pluck a few thigh feathers by hand after 15 seconds of swirling in the scalder. Once the birds are scalded, it's off to the chicken plucker.

Featherman Pro chicken plucker in action. 

The Featherman Pro chicken plucker consists of a fixed drum lined with feather-grabbing fingers and a rotating platen. The platen is also lined with plucking fingers and causes the birds to be tumbled and plucked. Thanks to the hose fittings and sprayers, the feathers are rinsed out of the chicken plucker as fast as they are plucked and deposited in a neat pile on the ground.

Hank Will_2
10/27/2010 11:02:56 AM

Hey Robyn -- I am completely blown away by the plucker. And the pricetag on this thing is no joke, but it is built to work long and often so it makes a lot of sense to create a co-op around it. We have several people who rely on this stuff to process their birds or birds for their friends and the like. It would handily pluck more than 900 birds in one week and at $1 per bird ... :)

Robyn Dolan
10/21/2010 2:32:43 PM

LOL!! Too cool. Technology and cash, can't beat it. I'm almost tempted to go back to plucking rather than skinning chickens. Can I bring my chickens over? (kidding!)

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