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How to pluck & dress a chicken - Picture guide 
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Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:07 am
Posts: 18
Location: Canberra
Post Re: How to pluck & dress a chicken - Picture guide
I'm reading Joel Salatin's 'Pastured Poultry Profits' where he goes through, in terrific detail, his processing method. He's a strong advocate for dunking, and at a quite specific temperature. Says is actually improves the bid if you get it right, as the feathers come away more easily, leaving the skin tight and intact.

I was taught to remove the legs at the knuckle with a filetting knife. Sort of bend the knee sidwways, then run the knife up the outside of the bend. The skin will open up ad then you crack the knuckle open. Leaves a nice neat end.

Joel also recommends pulling off the head, rather than using a cleaver. That way the head comes away at a vertebral break and there are no bone shards in the bird then. His book is terrific BTW, lots of good info on feed, breeds and pasture management.

Great photos too. I've looked for this sort of detail previously and not found it.


Garden Engineer, Poultry Wrangler and Energy Nerd.
@evcricket on the Twitters

Sat Jul 16, 2011 7:35 am
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 4:11 pm
Posts: 111
Location: Temora
Post Re: How to pluck & dress a chicken - Picture guide
Hi there
I havent had to do this for a long time but have a batch of roosters and hubbies not keen but practicallity prevails.
I am not prepared to give them away for someone else to dress.
When we use to dress chooks we alway's chopped the head off (with a good clean strike of course) to allow the bird to blead out properly.
Scolding very quickly does make for quicker plucking there is no question about that....
Not looking at wanting to go down this road but!!!!
The two boys concerned are not nice birds so I guess that makes it a little easier.
I am a softie but these birds have been raised and incubated by me and I feel bad....

Everyone needs to learn something new everyday in life.
"Remember the day one says "I already know it all is the day you will learn nothing at all"

Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:00 am
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Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:12 pm
Posts: 195
Location: BONVILLE
Post Re: How to pluck & dress a chicken - Picture guide
Having never processed a chook before I was under the impression that they needed to be bled out, yet you seem to have only broken the neck. Does this make any difference to the meat/flavour of the chicken?

Still not sure if I'd ever be up to the task. I'd have to have someone come do it for me a couple of times I think, before I'd give it a go. :D

Either way, thanks for the images. It's good to see some of the process.


Currently in possession of 1 husband, 2 kids, 2 cats, lost track of the chickens, now there's just alot .

Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:03 am
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