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Chicken Plucker


This is our implementation of a common style of homemade automated chicken plucker. This design uses a pawn-shop drill mounted on a scavenged sawhorse to drive a set of radially-mounted rubber picker fingers (made from scavenged rubber bungee cordage) that will pluck a properly-scalded chicken (immersed in 170 degree F water for 30 seconds) in under 2 minutes. A homemade variable-speed control allows the use of the device at lower speeds that will not damage the chicken's skin. More detailed construction information can be found by clicking on the individual pictures below.


Prototype radial chicken plucker: a pawn-shop hammer drill mounted on a free sawhorse with two bungee cords and 550 cord for the trigger. Plucker head is a 4 inch ID PVC endcap fitted with plucker fingers cut from rubber bungee cordage and mounted axially on a long piece of 3/8 inch threaded stock. Trial run was on four young roosters, immersed in 170 degree F water for 30 seconds then plucked using the bottom half of the down-turning side of the plucker; aftermath seen here.
chix_plucker_a.jpg: 163 kb
Prototype radial chicken plucker: a pawn-shop hammer drill mounted on a free sawhorse with two bungee cords and 550 cord for the trigger. Plucker head is a 4 inch ID PVC endcap fitted with plucker fingers cut from rubber bungee cordage and mounted axially on a long piece of 3/8 inch threaded stock. Trial run was on four young roosters, immersed in 170 degree F water for 30 seconds then plucked using the bottom half of the down-turning side of the plucker; aftermath seen here.
chix_plucker_b.jpg: 153 kb
Prototype radial chicken plucker: front view. Front end mounting is enhanced by flattening out the curvature of the top of the cap around the mounting hole using a Dremel grinder wheel and using a soft rubber washer underneath the metal washer. The backing mount inside the endcap also used a thick soft rubber washer next to the PVC, followed by a large lock washer sandwiched between two regular washers and an extra-long nut.
chix_plucker_c.jpg: 187 kb
Modified radial chicken plucker: the drill speed was too high on the prototype, so speed control was added by improvising a variable voltage power supply.  The male end of a grounded extension cord was run across a grounded outlet with one of the hot lines run through a dimmer switch on its way to the outlet, allowing the dimmer switch to contol the speed of the drill.
chix_plucker_d.jpg: 203 kb
Modified radial chicken plucker, detail view: the drill speed was too high on the prototype, so speed control was added by improvising a variable voltage power supply.  The male end of a grounded extension cord was run across a grounded outlet with one of the hot lines run through a dimmer switch on its way to the outlet, allowing the dimmer switch to contol the speed of the drill.
chix_plucker_e.jpg: 120 kb


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Last updated 3 September 2018.
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