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  1. #1
    Platinum Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Default Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    Thinking about getting some meat chickens next year. Was looking at homemade chicken pluckers on U tube. They don't look that complicated. My concern is the bottom plate, was wondering what I could use for that. I went to the whiz bang site and they sell a kit, but the thing is like 425.00 bucks. If I was going to spend that type of money I would purchase one off e-bay already made for about 800.00 bucks.

    I can buy the "fingers" on e-bay, and already have an old 1 hp electric motor laying around. Drums are realtively cheap about 20 bucks. Should I go with plastic as most are on U-tube or metal.

    Looking for input. This will be a winter project and in no hurry to rush it. If I can't build it for under 200.00 bucks most likely will not do it.
    Last edited by brokenknee; 09-06-2015 at 07:21 AM.
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Deere Dude's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    Waynes whizbang chicken plucker. Check it out on utube. He is my brother and if he can build one anyone can.
    JD 3720 with R4s and bulldozer capabilities.
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deere Dude View Post
    Waynes whizbang chicken plucker. Check it out on utube. He is my brother and if he can build one anyone can.
    [video]



    Is this the one? I have seen a lot of videos on U-tube but none really explain how it is built. The bottom plate that spins is what I was wondering what people are using.
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

  4. #4
    Platinum Member PHPaul's Avatar
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    Kubota B2650 with cab, Pasquali 986 AWD, Farmall F14

    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    I did, and it's a daggum miracle! Nekkid birds in under 30 seconds!

    I bought Herrick Kimball's book from his site, also available on Amazon. I bought the plucking fingers from him as well. I was able to source other components either from my stash or cheaper sources. I had a local metal fab place cut my disk for the feather plate, then I drilled and reamed all the holes myself. I built mine for around $500 all told including a new motor. He wants $399 for the kit. By the time you add a suitable motor and the lumber and fasteners, you'll be well over $600.

    My build is here.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    Quote Originally Posted by PHPaul View Post
    I did, and it's a daggum miracle! Nekkid birds in under 30 seconds!

    I bought Herrick Kimball's book from his site, also available on Amazon. I bought the plucking fingers from him as well. I was able to source other components either from my stash or cheaper sources. I had a local metal fab place cut my disk for the feather plate, then I drilled and reamed all the holes myself. I built mine for around $500 all told including a new motor. He wants $399 for the kit. By the time you add a suitable motor and the lumber and fasteners, you'll be well over $600.

    My build is here.
    Looks good, did you leave the bottom totally open? I have seen some were they just cut a slot to allow for water and feathers to come out. I do have an old one hp motor lying around. I think the next biggest expense will be the "fingers" and the bottom plate.

    Would you do anything differently now that you have used it for awhile?

    Some on U-tube appear to work better than others, maybe it was editing by the author. Some you see the chicken get stuck a number of times prior to it being plucked. I wonder if that if finger placement, the motor is not big enough or motor speed?

    I may have to purchase Herrick Kimball's book. I need to look around and see how much I already have on hand and how much I will have to purchase.

    A guy at work bought a used chicken plucker, I didn't think to ask him if it was homemade or factory manufactured. I know he said he paid around $600 for it used.
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

  6. #6
    Platinum Member PHPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    I did leave the bottom totally open as that was the way it was done in the book.

    I do have a minor issue that I think is a result of the open bottom: The belt occasionally slips. I'm guessing that's due to the feathers/water that run out the bottom and get on the belt. We're gonna do the last of this year's chickens next week and I'm going to increase the tension on the belt idler, but I think the long term fix is a shield to keep the water and feathers off the belt and main pulley. A project for this winter.

    I like the way the one in the video is set up with the drain slot, wish I'd have thought of that.

    The other problem I've had is that a bird will occasionally jam temporarily between the feather plate and the barrel and stall the motor. It's always recovered on it's own and I suspect that's another symptom of a slipping belt.

    Other than that, I'm really tickled with it. I'm 65 and SWMBO is 72 and we'd about given up raising our own birds because plucking was so tedious and hard on our arthritic old hands. This gizmo will keep us going for a few more years.

    **************************************

    I don't need the book now that I've built my machine, I'd be happy to send it to you for postage. I'd just ask that you do the same and pay it forward when you're done with it.

  7. #7
    Gold Member CDennyRun's Avatar
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    That Waynes plucker lookes great! I would highly recommend not heating the water in a galvanized can though.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    never dealt with chickens in my life. curious to see what was going on in this thread watch video above then saw this video as an option after it ended....


    some things come to mind.....

    30 gallon to 55 gallon drums. do not cut the entire top off. instead leave say 1/2" to 1" rim. other words cut the center out. not the entire top off. this helps keep the drums round. and keep them from bending / warping.

    it looks like the "fingers" are like any other generic cheap plastic stand off / attachment point. can be found in my cars and how things are held together. i noticed the fingers on the sides many of them "moved" or gave some. allowing a stuck bird to move about. and wiggle through the fingers without getting stuck. when comparing thickness of the bottom metal plate. the metal plate seemed to be thicker than the plastic drum sides. due to the fingers hardly bent / moved at all.

    i am going to assume the bottom plate will need to be metal. due to pure weight of the bird droping into it. and forces placed on it to keep it spinning. have cut centers out of tops and bottom out of a few plastic drums before. and the plastic tops just become "flimzy paper" almost.

    not sure if i would want wood as a bottom plate. and DIY yourself some fingers out of dole rods. via say stacking 2x4's on there sides 2 layers thick. so each layer is 90 degrees to the other layer. so you could put in some screws and hold everything together in a wheel fashion. (such as outside lawn chairs).... point getting at would be cleaning the machine afterwords. wood would just sook in all the blood and guts and water turning the wood for the bottom plate into an ugly mess. outside no biggy, but bottom plate.... sounds like family off to the hospital. due to wood did not get cleaned good enough from last use.

    metal most likely only thing you can get that is strong enough, easy enough to clean, and get in approx same thickness as the plastic drum sides. so all the same type of fingers can be used.
    Ryan

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?

    I used a plate of steel about 1/8" thick, and drilled holes in it for the fingers, I used my torch to cut the circle, I think I used a weld in hub for the hub and I used a 10 to 1 right angle gear box and a C faced motor, and built a steel frame, at this moment I can not locate the pictures,

    my daughter did this story on doing chickens and the pictures of it are in the page, How to Butcher a Chicken, Part 1: Preparing Your Work Space; Killing, Scalding and Plucking Chickens (if I was redoing it I would make my base plate just a tad larger once in a while a leg will get wedged between the side and the base plate)

  10. #10
    Platinum Member brokenknee's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BHD View Post
    I used a plate of steel about 1/8" thick, and drilled holes in it for the fingers, I used my torch to cut the circle, I think I used a weld in hub for the hub and I used a 10 to 1 right angle gear box and a C faced motor, and built a steel frame, at this moment I can not locate the pictures,

    my daughter did this story on doing chickens and the pictures of it are in the page, How to Butcher a Chicken, Part 1: Preparing Your Work Space; Killing, Scalding and Plucking Chickens (if I was redoing it I would make my base plate just a tad larger once in a while a leg will get wedged between the side and the base plate)
    Good article your daughter wrote. Is this the plucking machine you made?

    Anyone build a whiz bang chicken plucker?-forumrunner_20150905_204509-png
    "Clarity to Agreement" Dennis Prager

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