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How To Build A Home Made Chicken Plucker

Updated on April 13, 2012

So you want to build a chicken plucker?

I decided to build a chicken plucker after butchering 10 broiler chickens one year, It took me all day long , and the hardest part...you guessed it plucking the darn things! So I started checking the internet and found a guy that had built a drum style chicken plucker from stuff around his house. I decided that this was the way to go for me, I found this guys web site and ordered the plans and a starter kit of the most hard to find components of the plucker. And this is the story of my chicken plucker build out, i hope you enjoy it.

Gathering Materials

Pieces And Parts

First off a preliminary list of materials :

- The tub: Made from a 55 gallon food grade poly drum

-The Plucking Fingers: This is a specialty item, I don't know what you would make these from, ordering seems like the only way!

-Feather Plate: made from aluminum or thick plastic, you will need to drill holes for the plucker fingers in this plate.

-Drive Shaft: Connects to the feather plate and is driven by the electric motor

-Electric Motor: Use a motor that is fully enclosed and capacitor start, there will be water near them, think safety!

-2 Pillow Block Bearings: Allows the shaft to spin

- Pulleys and Belts: More of the drive system

-A GFCI Extension Cord: water and electricity don't mix!

After a thorough reading of the plans, I set out to gather the materials I needed to put this Plucker together. The starter kit included an aluminum plate, the shaft, the 125 rubber plucking fingers...these guys do the lion share of the work, and a large pulley wheel. I gathered several 8 foot 2x4's and a couple 8 foot 2x6's, all untreated wood. I had a large food grade 55 gallon plastic drum that I was going to use for a rain barrel but I thought that this project would be more useful at the time. We gad to order a farm grade electric motor, the one I was going to use burned up during testing, it was old I guess! And assorted screws washers and miscellaneous hardware!

When all these parts were gathered up I re-read the how to manual again, I felt confident that I was ready for any speed bumps!

Wanna Raise Chickens For Food or Eggs?

Building The Frame

Completed Frame
Completed Frame

The frame holds the whole works together, it's a simple affair made of wood but it is probably the most important part, short of the actual plucker fingers.

The frame is basically 4 main 2x4 posts held together with 8 2x4 cross members, I bolted mine together to make it extra strong.

The across the bottom the two 2x6's are what holds the shaft vertical to connect to the large pulley wheel and then to the motor!

The Frame

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The two pieces of the frame before being connected.Third side connected
The two pieces of the frame before being connected.
The two pieces of the frame before being connected.
Third side connected
Third side connected

The Completed Chicken Plucker - Totally Assembled

Top View Of The Chicken Plucker
Top View Of The Chicken Plucker

After all that here is the completed model, ready to pluck 20 or 30 broiler chickens in a day.

You can see the detail of the plucker fingers, and the motor mounts at the bottom. Also note the idler pulley that keeps the belt tensions and in the groove, it's an important part.

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