Country Lore: Whizbang Chicken Plucker

You can build your own mechanical chicken plucker!
By Aram Frangulyan
April/May 2005
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My affair with the Whizbang plucker started a year ago, when I was browsing an Internet poultry discussion group where someone mentioned a plan for a mechanical chicken plucker. I saw a video of an old rooster being plucked and was sold on the Whizbang. I ordered the book Anyone Can Build a Tub-style Mechanical Chicken Plucker by Herrick Kimball, and soon my new plucker was ready for a spin.

The Whizbang plucker is basically a tub with rubber fingers. When the base starts rotating, the fingers tumble the birds around and quickly pick the feathers from the bird. A well-scalded bird can be plucked in 20 to 30 seconds. For even more efficiency, it can pluck four birds at a time. With the help of the Whizbang, the not-so-glorious job of plucking broilers can become a minor, painless step in poultry processing

Since I have only kept poultry for four years, I am not as skilled at plucking by hand as some of the old-timers. But for the $300 that it cost me to build the machine, I can now keep up with the best of them. I even have time to help with cleaning the birds after they have been defeathered

After plucking almost 100 chickens, turkeys and ducks in the Whizbang, I consider that this machine has paid for itself. It saves me time, labor and aggravation, and in return, it provides me with a well-plucked bird, in a fraction of the time

I am very satisfied with my machine, and, should you choose to build one, I am convinced you will be, too.

Aram Frangulyan
Kent, Washington

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