How to Pluck a Chicken in 14 Seconds

There’s nothing like the taste of free-range poultry. It’s as good as steak.

I always thought the chicken they sell in the grocery store tasted like s#$%… then later found out that’s because it’s full of s#$%.

Thanks to Joel Salatin, I found out that the water-chilling tanks the big guys use for cooling the carcasses of slaughtered birds are filled with manure soup. Factory chicken processing guts the birds in a way that often tears open their intestinal tracts, spilling poop everywhere. Then the birds soak in a tank of crap water for a while, saturating the meat. Explains the flavor nicely, doesn’t it? Incidentally, this practice has continued because the weight of the birds is slightly raised by the method, meaning they’ll fetch a slightly higher per-pound price on the market.

McNuggets, anyone?

Lisa Lynn just did a great post on slaughtering your own birds. Though it takes a bit of intestinal fortitude, you get used to it. Just repeat to yourself: factory chicken is full of s#$%. That did it for me. (A quick note: a cane machete does an awesome decapitating birds. And raccoons.)

I’ve found the most time-consuming part of butchering my birds is the plucking. The whole family helps, but it still takes a decent amount of time to do correctly. We probably put about 30 birds into the freezer every year, but we’ve been working on expanding that number. At some point, we’re going to make the big jump – and build one of these:

That there is a genuine Whizbang Chicken Plucker. (By the way… is it just me, or did you also burst out laughing when you saw that chicken corpse bouncing around?)

In case you’ve never heard of it, the Whizbang Chicken Plucker simply a brilliant end-run around the expensive factory-made plucker models. It takes some minor handyman skills to build – and some money – but the time savings is incredible. Its inventor, the brilliant Herrick Kimball of Planet Whizbang, should get some kind of national medal for inventing this thing and sharing the plans. I built his wheelhoe… which saves me a lot of time on my big garden plots… and one of these days… I’m gonna quit doing this:


Some day!

About David The Good

David The Good is a naturalist, author and hard-core gardener who has grown his own food since 1984. At age five, he sprouted a bean in a Dixie cup of soil and caught the gardening bug. Soon after, his dad built an 8’ by 8’ plot for him and David hasn’t stopped growing since. David is the author of four books, writes a regular column for The Ag Mag in North Central Florida, is a Mother Earth News blogger and has also written for outlets including Backwoods Home, Survival Blog and Self-Reliance Magazine. You can find his books on Amazon here. David is a Christian, an artist, a husband, a father of seven, a cigar-smoker and an unrepentant economics junkie who now lives somewhere near the equator on a productive cocoa farm. Visit his daily gardening and survival blog here: The Survival Gardener And for lots more gardening info, click here and subscribe to his often hilarious YouTube channel.

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5 Responses to “How to Pluck a Chicken in 14 Seconds”

  1. Lisa Lynn Says:

    Holy bouncing chickens Batman! :) Cool contraption! We did 28 chickens and 5 ducks this spring and this would have helped a lot. I do find that scalding at the right temp for the right amount of time helps make the plucking go faster, but still.

    Yeah, poop soup was one of our reasons for wanting to do it ourselves. That and the formaldehyde added to the chilling tank to kill the germs…blech.

    I’m already thinking ahead to another batch of birds for the fall. Love having my own meat in the freezer or canned up on a shelf. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Kathie Crouse Says:

    Glad you like the Plucker. Its awesome. With an “assembly” line we did 70 chicken in 3 hours one day. It was awesome. it take longer to scald the chickens than to pluck them. My husband put it all together and built it. He does an amazing job. We love love love it.


  3. ken berscht Says:

    How do I get one of these?


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