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#1 2017-10-03 13:38:52

Robbie
I Love A.C.E.
From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1611

Pin feathers

We ate one of our cockerels yesterday. He was a mass of pin feathers which made plucking tricky. Does anyone know how many weeks old is optimum for full feather growth? I know that chicks replace their feathers often until the adult feathers are in. Does anyone know how many weeks old these optimum times for plucking might be ?

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#2 2017-10-03 14:13:05

countrychicken
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From: mayfair, sk
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 1000

Re: Pin feathers

around here we do chickens early in season or late

seems like fall is pinfeather season

ducks and geese we do when snow on the ground, joys of poly and unfinished basement

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#3 2017-10-03 16:58:12

shaneb99
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From: Strathmore
Registered: 2012-08-28
Posts: 1850

Re: Pin feathers

Did you scald him well enough? We find that with roosters the temp should be a bit high, like 148-149 instead of the 145 we do Broilers at. The second thing after plucking let it cool down well before trying to get the pin feathers. It seems like once they relax the pin feathers just scrape out easily.  Use the 40x40 rule, cool the body at 40f for 40 minutes per pound. So a 3 lb rooster should spend 2 hours in ice water. Re timing, you should do them before they molt.


Feather Feet - Light, Dark, Buff, Blue & Silver Laced Brahmas. And a whole bunch of other stuff plus 2 Akbash Maremma guardians who keep watch and a very patient wife who tries to keep me grounded.

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#4 2017-10-03 20:35:28

confused
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From: Vermilion, AB
Registered: 2011-09-20
Posts: 865

Re: Pin feathers

I was always taught to scald them, then dip them in a pail of cold water. I guess this does the same thing as cooling but certainly lets you finish sooner. Then if you run your hand along the line the feathers grow in, the pin feathers come away with the heavier feathers. Just another idea.

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#5 2017-10-04 12:51:32

killerbunny
I Love A.C.E.
From: Brockville, Ontario
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 3004

Re: Pin feathers

I'm learning  a lot here! =)


Mixed collection of chickens, trio of Blue Columbian Wyandottes,BSW turkeys.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.

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#6 2017-10-04 13:55:35

Robbie
I Love A.C.E.
From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1611

Re: Pin feathers

I ususally dry pluck but maybe next time if there are a lot of pin feathers I will try scalding. I have tried to avoid that, it's just so messy and stinky!

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#7 2017-10-05 15:53:11

countrychicken
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From: mayfair, sk
Registered: 2014-01-21
Posts: 1000

Re: Pin feathers

I ususally dry pluck but maybe next time if there are a lot of pin feathers I will try scalding. I have tried to avoid that, it's just so messy and stinky!

but I find that they pluck 10X faster scalded, I never tried the cold water thing, usually hang after scalded and w/both hands remove as much feathers as poss in shortest period to let it cool

tried dry plucking once and was so crawling w/lice had to run to the showers, don't have that w/scalding and don't like bug stuff as reading the label prob goes into the meat

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#8 2017-10-05 19:10:41

confused
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From: Vermilion, AB
Registered: 2011-09-20
Posts: 865

Re: Pin feathers

By dipping them in cold water, it sort of sets the skin, especially on the young chickens, so the skin doesn't rip so easily. My mother-in-law was an  older German descent lady. She honestly could pick chickens faster than anybody I've ever met. before or since. I know what you mean about the smelly part but I've always managed to pick them outside or in a garage or shop.

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#9 2017-10-05 19:46:47

GalaBoys
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From: Alberta
Registered: 2014-01-14
Posts: 2242
Website

Re: Pin feathers

countrychicken wrote:

but I find that they pluck 10X faster scalded, I never tried the cold water thing, usually hang after scalded and w/both hands remove as much feathers as poss in shortest period to let it cool

tried dry plucking once and was so crawling w/lice had to run to the showers, don't have that w/scalding and don't like bug stuff as reading the label prob goes into the meat

There is no withdrawal on Dusting Powder for eggs, and only 7 days for meat, so you're fine.

Last edited by GalaBoys (2017-10-05 19:48:14)


Gala Partridge Chanteclers   www.partridgechanteclers.com
Maker of chicken saddles, fan of evidence-based poultry keeping.
Vermilion Fair APA Poultry Show: July 28, 2018 - visit www.vermilionag.ca to enter
2018 St. Paul Critter Market - May 19, 2018 - www.lakelandchickengroup.com

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#10 2017-10-05 22:21:14

Robbie
I Love A.C.E.
From: Blackstock, Ontario
Registered: 2012-08-29
Posts: 1611

Re: Pin feathers

Arrghhhhh well having a fussy husband solves the plucking problem. I made a huge paprikash out of the cockerel, my husband ate the breast but won't eat any of the other meat.  I can't possibly finish off that huge vat, so I have picked out the bones, and the rest of the meat and vegetables will be going to the dogs. It will be a nice topping on their raw food.   It's just not worth it. I can buy pre plucked and gutted  chickens  cheaper than I can grow them myself, and there's just no point doing all that work just to say I'm self sufficient.
SOMEONE just hasn't ever been hungry enough. and perhaps that certain person deserves chicken mcnuggets.   Grrrrrr   :tantrum:
No matter, I loathe cooking anyway.

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