It hurts burning your fingers and hands while scalding poultry to pluck off feathers. With chicken pluckers, removing feathers and hairs from butchered turkeys and those of other poultry can be an easy task.
Whether you want to process a few birds or many, these devices will help remove feathers efficient and fast. Additionally, they will help save time and labour for you.
So, in this article, I am going to tell you more about chicken pluckers. I have also reviewed some of the best products based on experience.
What is a chicken plucker?
The reason they are referred to as defeather machines is because they are used to remove feathers and hairs leaving the carcass clean and ready for further processing.
Defeather machines are only used on dead birds. Plucking a live bird is inhumane and illegal. These devices will make sure you get a clean chicken carcass ready for the freezer or for further processing.
Most commercial farms or large food companies that process chicken or any other kind of poultry use these machines to remove body feathers and hairs.
The reason they prefer these devices is because they process many birds at a time. In addition to that, they are fast and require less manpower to operate.
For those of you who don’t like the smell of chicken dipped in hot water like I do, here is the remedy. Keep scrolling to know more about chicken pluckers.
How do chicken pluckers work?
Chicken feathers will come off with ease if the bird is first dunked in a bath of hot water. This will help loosen the feathers for easier removal.
Feather removal can either be done by hand, or by used of a poultry plucker or what some may refer to as a picker machine.
A poultry plucker has hundreds of small fingers lined inside it. Once the mortar is powered on, these fingers rotate around the bird removing all the feathers.
However, chicken pluckers require electric or solar energy to operate. They are available in different sizes depending on the number of birds you want to pluck.
What is the Importance of chicken pluckers?
Many birds are plucked at a time
When using poultry pluckers, many birds are processed within a short time. Some plucking machines have large drums with a capacity to process several birds at a time.
This will help make work easier and fast. Additionally, it will reduce the labour cost and make work management much easier.
Cuts down on processing time
Plucking poultry by use of machines is fast compared to using hands. On average, a poultry plucker will take about 5 seconds to pluck a bird while it will take anyone using hands about 8 to 10 minutes to remove feathers from a bird.
If you do a comparison between the two, using plucker machines is fast and effective. This will help reduce the production time and ensure they are no delays especially if the meat is urgently needed.
You achieve a cleaner carcass
With defeather machines; you are able to get a clean carcass as these devices have fingers that remove all the feathers and hairs from the bird’s body.
Some farmers who keep ducks for meat are faced with the challenge of removing tiny pin feathers completely. This becomes a problem because many customers want clean duck meat.
Best chicken pluckers overall reviews
It took me much time going through the internet for valuable information about the different types and models of poultry pluckers I have reviewed just to make sure you get the right product.
Some information was sourced from customer reviews and feed back about their experience with these tools. All this is to make sure that before you swipe your card and make any payment, you are satisfied.
There are many types of these products in the market and here are just some that I give a nod.
Super Handy Chicken Plucker
Material: Stainless steel
Capacity: 20 inch drum holding 2 to 4 birds at a time and plucking each in 15 to 30 seconds
Weight: 63.9 pounds
Super Handy plucker has a stainless steel body. This will always ensure that the device cannot rust or corrode no matter the weather.
The stainless steel gives it a longer lifespan and you will not have to go back to the store for another plucker any time soon.
This plucker has rubber wheels that makes it very mobile when required to move around. It also has a stand that gives it stability and ensures that it can stand firmly on its own without any extra support.
The device is easy to clean. Just spray water between fingers and feathers will come off. This will help save much time as removing feathers stuck between fingers is time consuming and tedious.
These types of chicken pluckers use 800W 280RPM Planetary Gear Transmission Reduction Motor. This amount of power ensures that the motor properly spins taking feathers off in less than 30 seconds per bird.
The poultry plucker has 92 fingers fitted in a 20 inch drum. These fingers are soft, gentle and will not bruise the bird or break the bones during the plucking process.
They have an over current protector GFCI connector. This current protector guarantees maximum safety to the user as it protects you from the possibility of an electrocution.
This device is capable of plucking 2 to 4 chicken at a time in 15 to 30 seconds. However, when using this device, put one chicken at a time so as to improve its efficiency.
Putting more than one bird at a time can easily bruise the skin or break the bones. This will lead to low quality carcass and a possible loss in profits.
These pluckers have a compact and an easy design that makes it easy to store. They are also not very large meaning they will not occupy much of your space.
Due to its ability to pluck more than one chicken at a time, it is ideal for food processors and large farms that kill many birds at a time.
The device has a warranty in case of any mechanical issue (warranty information is available on the manufactures website).
- They have a stainless steel body that cannot rust.
- These pluckers can pluck more than one chicken at a time.
- They have wheels making it easy for you to move them around.
- These pluckers have chutes below them that make it easy to empty waste water and feathers in a bucket.
- Super Handy pluckers cannot be used to pluck large poultry like turkeys, ducks and geese.
- They have few plucking fingers and a short power cord.
- This device lacks a water spray line.
- They have a thin wall that is likely to dent with ease.
VEVOR 1500W chicken pluckers
Power capacity: 1500W
Material: Stainless Steel
It is made of stainless steel material that ensures the product does not rust giving it a long life. Additionally, stainless steel is very easy to clean.
These pluckers for chicken have a medium sized feather discharge system. It empties the unwanted contents in a 5 gallon bucket making them environmental friendly.
The interior is made of quality beef tendon glue stick that cannot bruise the carcass. It will also ensure a fast hair and feather removal getting a clean bird.
This device has a switch made of a water proof material that ensures the safety of the user. It also prevents cases of electrocution from occurring.
The stainless steel material with this device cannot corrode from any water minerals or rust. This makes the product durable serving you for a longer period of time.
These chicken pluckers are very stable with four angles. They are easy to move around because they are attached with two handles. In addition to that, these devices are easy to carry because they weigh less than 6kgs.
They have a funnel discharge system. This will eliminate feathers with ease as the birds are plucked.
These chicken pluckers have an excellent shock absorption quality that prevents strong vibrations under high voltage.
It can pluck 2 to 4 birds at a time. However, to achieve maximum results, do one at a time to avoid bruising the carcass and breaking the bones.
Put a bin under the chute to collect unwanted feathers and water. This will ensure that you work on a clean environment.
- Has a feather discharge system.
- The device has a stainless steel body that cannot corrode or rust.
- Due to their small size, it is easy to store these machines.
- These devices are only good with small birds like quails.
- They lack wheels making it difficult to move around.
- The fingers are short and the motor is weak.
Yardbird 21833 chicken pluckers ( Best Overall)
Weight: 83 pounds
Size: 26.7 by 30.6 by 36 inches
Color: Stainless Steel
This is one of the best pluckers for ducks, geese, turkey and chicken. Most people who process poultry prefer this device as they say it works magic for them.
It has a large motor that is very strong and spins at 300RPMs of speed. Such power makes it one of the top devices in the market.
It has a large drum with a diameter of 20inches. This makes it ideal big poultry like turkeys, geese and ducks.
These devices have 110 rubber fingers. They make sure the feathers come out well without tearing the skin or bruising the carcass.
Has an in built irrigation system that makes it easy to clean as you only need to connect a hose as you work on it.
This device has a chute that makes it easier to empty the feathers and waste water in a bucket giving you a clean environment to work on.
It has a stainless steel material that cannot rust or corrode. Additionally, this device it is made in a way that it is removable making interior cleaning easy and thorough.
Being removable also makes the repair and maintenance work of this device an easy task.
These devices have rubber wheels which make it easier to move them around. A Yardbird plucker has a stand attached. This stand gives it good stability during operation.
They have a water proof GFCI switch that guarantees safety of its user.
- This plucker is ideal for large poultry like the geese and turkeys.
- It has an in built water system that makes cleaning easy.
- The presence of a chute makes waste removal easy and efficient.
- It has a simple and efficient debris collection system.
- It is a bit expensive than other chicken pluckers.
- This device has a wide finger spacing making it hard to pluck small poultry.
Kitchener chicken plucker De- feather Remover
Color: Stainless Steel
This Kitchener brand is made using a high quality stainless steel material. This will not rust or corrode giving it a longer service span.
When it comes to size, this model is not that large and has a good compact design making it easier to store and transport.
This plucker has a drum of 20 inches in diameter and 92 gentle removable fingers of 3.6mm each making plucking easier and efficient.
They have two rubber wheels and a stand making it easier to move them along and giving stability at work.
This plucker is able to pluck 2 to 4 birds at a time in just 30 seconds each. When you scald your birds well, it works with top speeds.
They have a waterproof electrical housing and a GFCI switch to ensure high standard safety to protect the user from possible electrocution and shock.
- Due to its small size, it is easier to carry and store.
- The water proof switch ensures safety to its user.
- Not ideal for large poultry like geese and turkeys.
- These chicken pluckers lack an irrigation system.
- To clean this device is a bit hard. Feathers easily stick at the base of the fingers.
Plucker Ukraine stainless steel finger plucker
This kind of plucker will do wonders with a drill attachment. Additionally, there is a packed manual inside to help the user learn how to operate.
Has two types of elastic finger pluckers; a ring shaped for the large feathers and a ball shaped for the fluffy ones.
They have a secure fastening to the drill. The body is a quality stainless steel material that cannot not rust or corrode.
- There is a packed manual to help the user operate.
- It has a body made of stainless steel material that does not rust or corrode.
- These chicken pluckers have two types of fingers that remove feathers off completely.
- They are easy to clean
- You need to have a drill attachment to use.
- Requires knowledge to use and operate a drill.
What makes a chicken plucker good?
A good poultry plucker is one that will start and complete the task as required. Here are some of the qualities that you should consider before you purchase one.
Quality of your chicken pluckers
Quality is one of the features you need to first look at since it will determine the life time of the device that you intend to purchase.
No one would wish to buy a plucker and then boom! the next few days it cannot work anymore simply because of its poor quality that led to breakdown.
Good chicken pluckers do not corrode or rust. These kinds of devices guarantee the buyer the worth of their money because they have a longer lifespan.
This is how fast your plucker can operate under normal conditions. A good plucker will do the job as expected well enough within the shortest time possible.
Consider a chicken plucker that is pocket friendly before settling on it. You have other things to do and you should not spend all your cash on one item.
This is so closely related to quality. Durable commodities will last longer, can withstand harsh conditions and I consider them hardy as they can resist minimal tensions.
Some chicken pluckers have an in built water system (some call it irrigation system) while others don’t. Devices with an inbuilt water system are the best.
You only need little man power to clean and remove the feathers stuck between the fingers. In other words, I regard them as not being labor intensive.
Portability of the chicken pluckers
How hard or easy is it to move your plucker from one point to the other? Some chicken pluckers have rubber wheels thus easy to trolley.
These are easy to move around especially if they are big. If a plucker is big, chances are it is heavy too. The light ones are easy to lift off.
Size of the chicken pluckers
Big pluckers will require big storage facilities and also a mode of transport that best suits their size. They will also need a big space to store them.
Small pluckers on the other hand will require smaller storage facilities and are easier to transport. These devices will be easier to carry when needed.
Number of fingers
The many the number of fingers the cleaner the carcass. Multiple fingers will pluck faster and use shorter time.
Choose a device that will remove the feathers fast. This will help you save much of your precious time.
Butchering chickens: How to go about it
The process of butchering chickens is not very different from that of turkeys and other poultry. Normally, broilers are the most common types of chicken you find for meat.
These birds are normally mature at the age of 7-8 weeks when they attain weights of 2-2.5kgs.Cornish Cross chicken is the most common breed reared for meat because it matures fast and has an excellent feed to meat conversion ratio.
However other breeds like the Golden Comet hens will be culled and butchered when they get exhausted and no longer laying as expected.
Butchering is a process and a procedure with several steps to follow.
Harvesting of the mature birds
Chickens that have attained the right age and weight are caught and put in crates. This stage requires trained handlers no prevent alarming the birds breaking their limbs or inflicting other body injuries.
They are then transported to the processing area where they are carefully off loaded. It is food to note that the crates and transport crates used should allow free movement of air to facilitate breathing and prevent suffocation.
This is normally carried out in several ways depending on the number of birds. Large food factories will first make them unconscious by passing an electric current in their heads.
However, in small scale processing the birds will be slit their throats open with a sharp knife to drain off the blood. This process should be very quick and as humane as possible to cause minimal or no pain at all.
Additionally, make sure the knife is very sharp to cut the throat just once. Use a retraining cone to hold the bird tight as you make the cut.
Pluck the feathers
Feathers will only come of with ease if you first dunk the dead bird in hot water. Hot water will make the feathers loose and make it easy for your chicken plucker to pluck the carcass clean.
You should also peel off the skin on the legs and feet if you consider them a delicacy. Use your hands to remove the remaining pin feathers in case there are any.
This process is meant to remove the innards and any remaining blood in the body of the bird. Use a sharp knife to make a clean cut below the cloaca from the breast bone upwards.
When making this cut, be careful not to rapture the intestines and contaminate the meat with the feces. Put your hand through this opening upwards and inwards and reach for the innermost organs and pull them out together.
Once you are done, clean the carcasses with plenty of running water to remove any blood. Chill the meat for a few hours in ice then remove and wrap with poultry shrink bags before freezing.
However, go a head and roast the meat or prepare it in your own way if you don’t want to freeze it. As for me I don’t like foods stored in the freezer thus, eating most of my foods fresh.