Time is money….

Well not exactly.  But close.  Sometimes really close.

We processed the roosters from this years replacement flock over the weekend.  Only four.  We intentionally did not want to deal with chicks this last spring, and with the hens in a smaller coop, we didn’t want to end up with loads of layers again either.  As is the case there were a few that we had a green light to process.  Some of the “surplus” birds this year were from family in the area, and some were from the “pre-school chicks”.  The Pre-School hens are happily egging it out in the coop.  And the Pre-school roosters went to good homes.  After all, we had promised a bunch of cute kids that the little fluffy chicks would not end up in the freezer.  And we did keep a couple of the new boys.  It’s funny to watch the two of them try to integrate into the flock.  Like two high school freshmen at the Jr. prom.  Nervously edging up to the group, only to run screaming away if one of the hens looks at them…

But back to the time thing.  So as usuial it took about 8 min to pluck each bird….  I had seen some videos on YouTube of a “WhizBang” chicken plucker, 30 seconds?  I like that idea!  Even if it did cost $100 or so in parts and an old free craigslist washer.   What got me thinking was that some of the folks said they spent 12 to 25 hours building it…  I could hand pluck a chicken in 8 min, in 25 hours that’s ~180 chickens…  I don’t know that we will ever grow birds for anyone but us.  Even if we did use 25 to 35 birds a year, that’s 5 years worth of birds.  Kind of a “pay now or pay later” idea with the time.  Plus I would have to find a place to store the thing….

And it’s not like a honey extractor…  Nothing can do what a honey extractor can do.  You can’t “hand extract” the honey.  You can hand pluck a chicken.  Now if I think I could DIY together in 3-5 hours?  Then we would be in business….

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5 thoughts on “Time is money….

  1. communitycook

    I am familiar with this exact dilemma. Happily, this year when it came time to process our 30 odd roosters a neighboor we don’t know too well that raises a few hundred birds every year gave us a call and offered his help and plucker. Just like that. Just because he was feeling neighborly. It was pretty awesome 🙂

    Reply
    1. Adam Stevens

      That’s great! I think you have hit on the benefit of living in a community! I found a neighbor who is willing to let us borrow his kuboda for some bucket work this winter! I know a blogger from Oregon who has a similar story about a neighbor helping her out when they were getting started….

      Reply
  2. Chris Martin

    I’m interested in putting together a plucker as well…. perhaps it will be a community source thing. I’ve got a couple of surplus roosters to process this weekend. Expensive chicken when you figure out the inputs and time but tasty nonetheless.

    Reply
    1. Adam Stevens

      Yes they are expensive! “nullis gratuitium prandium” there is no free lunch. I know some of the farm stores, and I think the extension office in Mt. Vernon has equipment to rent out (scald tank, plucker, killing cones) but I think it would be great if you put one together yourself! Let me know how it turns out!

      Reply
  3. bruce king

    I have a tub plucker. I need some new rubber fingers on it. If you’ll pay for the rubber fingers ($20?) I’ll lend it to you.

    It plucks 1-4 chickens at a time in 10 to 15 seconds.

    Bruce

    Reply

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