How to build a mechanical chicken plucker with free plans

Written by chris baylor
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How to build a mechanical chicken plucker with free plans
A mechanical chicken plucker helps remove the feathers quickly and cleanly when butchering the bird. (Getty Thinkstock)

One of the most dreaded tasks of butchering any bird, including chickens, is removing the feathers. If done by hand, this process can take a very long time. A mechanical chicken plucker is a great way to reduce the amount of time and effort necessary to pluck the feathers out of a chicken for butchering. If you have a drill and some bungee cords, you can build a mechanical chicken plucker with these free plans.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 10 cm (4-inch) diameter PVC pipe end cap
  • Electric drill with drill bits
  • Pencil
  • Utility knife
  • Tape measure
  • Eight 30 cm (12-inch) long bungee cords
  • 15 cm (6-inch) long, 1.9 cm (3/8-inch) diameter bolt with 2 flat washers and 1 nut

Show MoreHide


  1. 1

    Install a 1.9 cm (3/8-inch) diameter drill bit into the chuck of your electric drill, and drill a hole directly in the centre of a 10 cm (4-inch) PVC end cap.

  2. 2

    Make eight evenly spaced pencil marks around the perimeter of the cap.

  3. 3

    Drill a hole aligned with one of the marks about a 2.5 cm (1 inch) in from the edge of the end cap, and another hole 5 cm (2 inches) in from the end of the cap (on the mark). Repeat by drilling the same two holes on each of the other seven marks.

  4. 4

    Cut a 10 cm (4-inch) length from each end of the bungee cords. Discard the hooks and the middle sections of cord that are left over. You should have 16 10 cm (4-inch) end pieces from the bungee cords.

  5. 5

    Insert one of the 10 cm (4-inch) bungee cord sections through one of the 16 perimeter holes in the PVC cap. Slip the cut end through the hole (from the inside of the cap), and pull the cord through the hole until the fat end of the bungee cord is stuck in the hole. Repeat with the other 15 cords until all 16 perimeter holes in the cap are filled.

  6. 6

    Slip a flat washer onto the bolt. Slide the end of the bolt into the hole in the end of the PVC cap (from the outside toward the inside of the cap). Place the other washer and then the nut onto the bolt, and rotate the nut clockwise until it is tight against the inside of the cap. The bolt should not spin in the hole, as this bolt will serve as an axle for the chicken plucker.

  7. 7

    Remove the drill bit from the drill, and insert the threaded tip of the bolt into the drill. Tighten the drill's chuck around the bolt.

Tips and warnings

  • To use your chicken plucker, mount the drill onto a picnic table or other flat surface, and depress the drill's trigger to spin the fingers of the plucker. You may wish to use some tape or a clamp to hold the trigger in the on position. Hold a scalded chicken against the spinning fingers of the plucker to pull out the feathers.

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