There are two kinds of chicken people in this world.
Those who pluck their own, and those who build themselves a chicken plucker because ain’t no way in hell they’re gonna pluck another chicken ever again.
I’m of the latter. (can you tell??)
It all started back in 2012 when I decided we were going to try to raise our own meat chickens. We had raised milking goats & laying chickens for a few years, so this meat chicken thing would be a breeze, right? Being new to the venture, we settled on raising only 10, feeling confident in our ability to handle the care & processing required to get the job done.
Raising them was fairly easy.
Setting up the butchering area was a piece of cake.
Butchering them was tolerable.
But plucking? PLUCKING? It was downright horrible. Feather after feather after feather — too many to count, and more than you’d think a chicken has. More feathers than you’d think anything in the world could possibly have.
One hour later we had exactly ONE chicken fully butchered and in the fridge. It was at that point that we all solemnly swore we would never pluck another chicken again.
The rest of the day was a blur, but we somehow were able to finish the entire job. But, never again, my friends. Never again.
Plucking vs. Skinning
Although skinning a chicken is MUCH, MUCH easier than plucking one, I’m not a fan of it because the skin not only is delicious, it also provides a good source of collagen. Also, after spending so much time raising a chicken, it definitely feels wasteful to throw all the skin away.
Type of Chicken Pluckers
If you’re not willing to make a chicken plucker yourself, you can definitely purchase a plucker online. The drawback is that they’re a tad expensive. One idea is to share the cost between fellow homesteaders or purchase one and rent it out so the machine can eventually pay for itself.
There are a lot of homemade plucker plans out there; some are incredibly complicated and others are as simple as mounting chicken fingers on a drill.
Our DIY Chicken Plucker (from a washing machine)
We decided to go with a chicken plucker made from a washing machine. It works great, but it definitely was a learning curve considering there aren’t many tutorials out there for this type of chicken plucker. In the video, you’ll see the setbacks we faced when we tried to convert this old washing machine into an efficient chicken plucker.
Whether you DIY a chicken plucker from a washing machine or you build one from scratch, trust me, it’s worth it!