I remember the first time I raised meat chickens. My kids and I were so excited when we headed down to Tractor Supply and picked up the cute little chicks. The idea of rasing our own meat was very exciting. Knowing where our food was coming from was something we really believed in. Over the next 6 weeks or so, the job of raising the chicks was pretty easy. My kids and I fed them daily, gave them fresh water, and made sure their heat lamp was always at the perfect height so the temperature in their box was perfect.
PLUCKING CHICKENS ISN’T FUN
The chicks grew fast. Man, did they grow fast! I couldn’t believe how fast they went from cute little chicks into large chickens that were ready for the frying pan. Once the birds reached six weeks of age, we decided we would butcher them. I didn’t want super large birds so we didn’t wait until eight weeks old like many people do. Butchering the birds was the easy part. Cleaning the birds and getting them ready for the freezer...not so much!
I have heard every trick in the book over the years about plucking birds, but regardless of every trick I tried, plucking the birds by hand and cleaning them was a pain. We cleaned about 25 birds by hand. After the job was done, I told myself I would never raise chickens again. But the next spring, I got the bug again. We bought 25 more birds and started over.
THE CHICKEN PLUCKING KIT SAVES TIME
This time, I made a wise decision and got a chicken plucker kit. There are several plucking machines on the market. Some are large; some are small. The chicken plucker kit or chicken plucker drill kit as some refer to it, is a small device that quickly connects to a cordless drill. It slides into place like a drill bit and you are off to the races. It comes with small rubber-like fingers that when spun at a high speed, quickly pluck the bird.
GIVE THE BIRDS A DIP
The key to success with a chicken plucker like the lucky Plucker is dipping the chicken in hot water before plucking it. When plucking ducks with the plucker, some have found it is best to do it without dipping the bird in hot water. With a chicken, it is a must. When we plucked our birds the second time around, the chicken plucking kit saved us a ton of time. A friend of mine would dip them in the water, hand me the bird and I would quickly pluck it. I could have a bird plucked in just a few minutes. Best of all, the Lucky Plucker isn’t expensive.
If you are plucking chickens for the first time or the 100th time, get the chicken plucker kit. The same plucker works great on ducks as well.