How To Defeather A Chicken

how to defeather a chicken

How To Defeather A Chicken

Home processing and plucking a chicken gives you complete control over the meat and butchering conditions, but it can be messy, unpleasant, and difficult. If the chicken is brought to the proper temperature before any feathers are removed, chicken plucking becomes a simpler process. Beginners should choose younger chickens because they are typically simpler to pluck. Mechanical pluckers can make the process simpler for large batches, but some hand plucking is typically necessary.

In some countries, defeathering is done with the aid of electrically or hydraulically powered automatic machines that have rubber fingers mounted on counter-rotating disks that are driven by gears or belts. The rubber fingers’ elasticity and hardness are affected by the amount of lubricant used to lubricate them.  This equipment is placed close to the scalding process to help keep the carcasses of slaughtered birds warm when the feathers are removed. More rubber fingers should be added to the machine to remove feathers from these areas, such as the bottom, where more force is required in the femoral area than the pectoral area, etc., because the distribution and strength of feathers on a bird’s body varies. 

It uses the typical cyclomatic design of defeathering or feather plucking machines, which is comparable to large centrifuges.  After being properly stunned and bled, the poultry birds are mechanically dropped into the machinery. The shackle and feathers are removed using flexible, ribbed rubber fingers or knobs up until the chickens reach the picker’s edge.  After returning the carcasses to the center of the beating apparatus, the procedure is repeated. 

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All feathers from the machine-dropped carcasses are removed before the carcasses are removed and re-shackled for processing. The design of the equipment makes it possible to move chicken carcasses quickly and easily along the production line while minimizing the possibility of joint separation and broken bones.  Additionally, this equipment requires less space to operate in the processing plant than other methods do. It is difficult to get the feathers off of waterfowl, turkeys, and spent birds.

The plucking machine has a series of rows of rotating groups of flexible, ribbed rubber fingers directed at different region of birds. These rubber fingers rub against the carcass and pull out feathers in scalded birds while rotating. The relationship between the rubber fingers and the birds within the machine is crucial. A distant placement of the birds and rubber fingers may not effectively remove the feathers, while a very close placement of the birds and rubber fingers may tear skin in the thigh and breast region. The immature feathers known as pin feathers or blood feathers, which resemble feather shafts, are challenging to remove mechanically and must instead be removed by hand. Colored poultry birds’ feathers may leave pigment spots on the skin after being pinned, but commercial poultry birds have white feathers, which don’t leave any marks. Colored poultry birds’ feathers may leave spots of pigmentation on the skin during the pinning process, but commercial poultry birds have white feathers and don’t do this. After feather picking, the carcass is removed from the plucking machine and the head is pulled from the neck if it is intact.

In the United States, the birds are burned with a gas flame to defeather the chicken.

Conclusion – How To Defeather A Chicken

Keep in mind that not all chickens need to be manually plucked.  Manually plucking a chicken on a case-by-case basis works well, but mass plucking for storage can be exhausting.Table-top or tub-style chicken pluckers catch the feathers and remove them from the softened, scalded skin with stiff rubber fingers.  Both methods may leave behind a number of small or broken feathers, as well as fine pinfeathers, which must be removed by hand.


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