Come Take A Ride On The Whirlybird (Chicken Plucker)!
Last year we did 60 some chickens and we had to hand pluck or skin all of them. There was Sandy, Sandy’s Uncle Cliff and myself. it was a full days worth of work and very tiring.
The next day we had to bring them up to the house and finish processing and then vacuum pack each one of the birds. That was also very time consuming. The vacuum system was always getting bogged down with moisture and you had to stop and clean out the liquid reserve to be able to continue the process. We have had a major break through this year with the whole process and we know there are some of you out there that would like to know how we do it.
Take a look at the video and then I will give you some resources and tips to our success this year.
So this year we have 70 chickens but 50 were shipped first and the 20, 2 weeks latter. So we did the 50 birds on Monday. We will do the other 20 on Labor Day weekend!
Sandy found a little fold out counter top. TSC for $30 discount usually $69. Also saw them at Big lots for the same $69. It has a little sink with a faucet on it, with a garden hose connection (need to change it over to a spray nozzle) and prep area. We set that next to the double basin cement sink we got last year and put the gazebo over that to keep that area cool for processing.
The two biggest improvements this year was the Chicken Plucker and the Shrink Wrap Bags. Sandy saw the plucker researching online. This guy invented it and sells the plans plus the whole machine http://whizbangplucker.blogspot.com/. I just did a little further research and kinda winged it. But did use his basic design.
Bought a food grade, 50 gallon barrel off of Craigslist and went to work. I had an old 1/3 horsepower blower motor that I originally put on, and it worked, but we switched after first break to a 3/4 hp motor and the results were apparent. Feathers were a flying out of the top of the barrel (not enough to bruise the chicken) but it only took about 10-12 seconds to pluck a bird. Wowza!!! Now it can do 2-3 chickens at a time or a 15 pond turkey (next year)!
The other thing is on the Whizbang site they sell the shrink wrap bags too. Instead of spending another 4 hours packaging and vacuum sealing bags. You just put your chicken in the bag, zip tie it, set in the clean, hot water bath you have heating on your turkey fryer stand and whalla, you are done.
Chicken Plucker and storage bags were the best changes we made this year and well worth the initial investment of $450 and the time to put together. We will be using it for years to come.
Not to mention we can rent the machine out for $50 a weekend to other people and it will be paid for in no time at all. If your our silly friends, and you know who you are, you can borrow it for a chicken dinner later that year!