How To Pluck A Chicken At Home (5 Easy Ways)

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The plucking process is a hassle for many of us. Being a backyard enthusiast, I do experiments on several tricks for plucking a chicken. Surprisingly, I found some easy ways for you.

If you always pluck your poultry from stores and someday you find the shop is closed, but you must pluck a chicken. What will you do at that time?

Luckily, I am here to tell you; you can easily pluck your chicken yourself. Can’t believe this? But yes, plucking a chicken is not a matter of fear anymore.

How To Pluck A Chicken Using Hands

It is the first method I choose to let you know how to pluck a chicken by hand because this is the most traditional and simpler chicken plucking method. 

Follow the instruction below I described step by step so that you can do hand plucking.

Step-1: Hang the chicken upside down on a cage top or any other suitable height so that it is convenient to work.

Step-2: Start pulling feathers from chicken wings. Then move forwards to the other parts. But remember to pull a few feathers gently but quickly. 

If you want to keep your chicken skin intact, you can’t be harsh to the feathers. Besides, as time goes after scalding, it will be hard to pull the feathers. 

So you should fast to do that.

Step-3: When you have completed plucking the entire chicken, then check further under the wings, between the chicken legs, and also the whole body whether there are any feathers left. 

Step-4: Pull out the remaining feathers or pin feathers that are hard to see. If you find the chicken cool off and the feathers didn’t come out, then again soak the chicken in hot water. 

Use hand gloves while plucking to keep yourself away from getting sore.

Step-5: After you pluck all feathers and pin feathers, there may still be some light hairy feathers left. Use a gas stove flame to scale off these feathers. And you have finally done your hand plucking.

How To Pluck A Chicken Using A Tabletop Plucker

If you’re not like to use your hands to pull the feather, there is even an easier way for you. Yes, you can pluck a chicken from 30 seconds to a minute using a Tabletop plucker.

But you need to spend some money to buy the machine.

Step-1: Scald the chicken first before you pluck the chicken through the tabletop plucker. For getting an accurate defeathering, you should concentrate on proper scalding. 

Step-2: Hold the chicken’s leg and roll it across the plucking fingers of your tabletop plucker. Keep your hands away from the plucking fingers; otherwise, you can get hurt.


  • Affordable 
  • Quick process
  • Easier method than hand plucking


  • It would be best if you had some practice for efficiently plucking the chicken.

Troubling with turkey butchering? Here is a complete guide on how to butcher a turkey at home. 

How To Pluck Your Chicken Using Tub-Style Plucker

If you’re a backyard enthusiast who wants to make chicken plucking more lavish, the Tub-style plucker will be for you. 

Follow the instructions below to pluck your chicken using a Tub-style plucker.

Step-1: Tub-style pluckers included a tub with rubber fingers in a circular barrel lined. Here is also an electric motor-driven plate. First, turn on the switch of the motor, and the plate spins.

Step-2: Drop the scalded chickens into the tub. You can drop one or more chickens at once. Spray on the chickens using a garden hose.

The motor makes spin using the disc which is in the bottom of the barrel. So it pushes the chickens against the rubber fingers and removes feathers in less than 30 seconds.

Step-3: Take the chicken out of the tab, and you’ll find it completely clean without feathers. But the chicken’s meat and skin are still intact.


  • Easy to use
  • It can pluck more than one chicken at a time. 
  • The quickest plucking process is wise to save your time


  • Expensive to buy

Waxing Is Another Great Way To Pluck Your Chicken

Waxing! Yes, it sounds awkward. But it’s a fascinating idea to pluck your chicken. As a part of my experiment, my husband and I tried it at our home. And guess what? We’re successfully done this. 

So we wanted to share our experience with you and here are the details for you.

Step-1: Take ¼ pound of hot paraffin wax for each chicken. You can purchase the wax from your local super shop or from online. Remember, waxing is ideal when you’ve more than one chicken to pluck.

Step-2: Grab a pan and fill it with paraffin wax. You should take more than ¼ pound of wax in the pan so that the chicken can be appropriately drunk.

Step-3: Find a large diameter pan and put the pan with wax into the large pan. 

Step-4: Pour one to two-inch of water into the larger diameter pan. Don’t add over water so that the water doesn’t get inside your waxing pan.

Step-5: Use a moderate heat burner and put the diameter pan over it. It will warm the pan so that the wax melts or softens. Don’t burn yourself while doing this; try to stay alert.

Step-6: Now you’ll need a third pan where you will fill cold water to give a cold bath to the chicken. Alternatively, you can use your sink also.

Step-7: Take the chicken you want to pluck, hold it by your legs and dip it wholly into the hot wax. Make sure while dipping, the chicken’s feathers are entirely covered by wax.

Step-8: Now take out the chicken from the hot wax and dunk it into the pan of cold water. This process will let the wax hard again.

Step-9: Peel the hardened wax in the opposite direction of feathers. It will help to remove the feathers easily, and even the pin feathers will be removed.


  • No need to scald.
  • The wax can be reused so it can save from being wasted.
  • Removes easily the light hairy feathers, which are hard to pull off.


  • The process is a little bit complex. 

Pluck Your Chicken By Dry Plucking

If you’re on a picnic and could not manage any large tub of hot water for scalding the chicken, what would you do?

So for handling this kind of situation below, we instructed you how to dry pluck a chicken. Let’s follow the steps. 

Step-1: Take freshly butchered chicken for dry plucking. Otherwise, the more you are late, the harder it’ll be to pluck. So start plucking immediately after you slaughter the chicken.

Step-2: Wear a pair of rubber hand gloves or rubber fingers so that your hand doesn’t slip and get hurt. Besides, it will help you to grip the feathers well.

Step-3: Now hold the leg of the chicken or hang it upside down. Start pulling out the feathers from the wings to inward. Ensure you’re not pulling a lot of feathers at once. It can damage the chicken skin.

Step-4: Use tweezers to firmly grip the feathers and remove the remaining pin feathers that aren’t drawn by hand.


  • Low-cost method
  • No need for many tools 
  • You don’t need hot water. 


  • Take a much longer processing time than any other method.

Faster And Hassle-Free Way For Processing Your Chicken

If you’re finding hassle in plucking a chicken, there is good news for you. I brought an alternative that is easier, simple rather than plucking. It’s called skinning. 

Let’s check out the process below.

Step-1: Lay down the chickens back on a cutting board. The head should be in your body direction. 

Step-2: Make a small vertical cut at the throat where you used the knife to kill the chicken. 

Start cutting the chicken skin from the neck you cut. Take a sharp and long knife to separate the skin. Continue pulling it and split down the belly. 

The breast and belly area’s skin is usually loose, so you don’t even need to use the knife. You can tear it. Make sure to use precise and shortcutting motion so that your chicken body can remain intact.

Step-3: Keep tearing the skin until you get to the vent. Here nothing is special to do right now. So move back again to the throat area.

Step-4: Loose the skin of the throat with the knife. So you can easily separate the skin. Hold the throat and pull the skin around the throat. Don’t take off your head for now.

Step-5: Now skin the chicken’s legs area. Grab the loose skin of the chest and pull it towards the legs. If you can’t tear the skin anymore, give a small cut with a knife. It’ll help you have space for tearing. And do this till the end of the chicken’s feet.

Step-6: After you finish skinning the chicken’s leg, now it’s time to move to the wings. Wings are the most challenging part of the body for skinning. 

Turn the chicken on its belly and grab the skin you loosen around the neck. Pull it down in the wing line at the back.

Here you’ll find it difficult to tear by hand. So use a knife and make minor cuts. Work with some patience and pull the chicken skin around the joints. 

The third part of the wings has long feathers and bone without meat. If you don’t want to waste your time skinning it, just cut them off.

Step-7: The skins are freed now from the chest, wings, belly, and legs. You have to only now skin the chickens back. 

Gather skins from all sides in your hand and pull them down the chickens around. And remove them in the way of the tail.

Step-8: Reaching the tail, snatch the skin upwards to remove off altogether. And cut the tail with the tail feathers while you process the chicken. Finally, your chicken skinning is done.


  • No tension of plucking.
  • No remaining pin feathers.
  • A quick process with just a knife and your hand.


  • As it completely removes the whole skin, you can’t get the exact taste.

Mistakes You Should Avoid When Plucking Your Chicken

  • Don’t pull the feathers from the same direction as the bones. 
  • Try to de-feather them from the opposite direction of chicken bones to not tear the skin and meat.
  • Don’t try to pluck a frozen or older chicken from your tabletop or a tub-style machine because these feathers are stiff and hard to de-feathering. 
  • So ultimately, if you try this, it can damage your device. It will be wise if you prefer to give hand plucks in that case.
  • Don’t let the chicken’s body cool when you’re up to give it a dry pluck. So try to complete plucking while the body is warm.

What Do You Need To Do Before Plucking The Chicken

Before plucking your chicken, you need to do scalding to make the chicken prepare for plucking.

When I first started my chicken processing, I didn’t know about scalding. I used the dry plucking method, which takes away a lot of my time. 

But once visiting my friend’s place, she amazed me with her quick plucking method. Yes, of course, it was scalding. She scalds the chicken, and it takes only two minutes to pluck in hand, where I need more than one hour for plucking.

Since then, I have started scalding, and till now, it’s my favorite method. Whenever I prepare to pluck a chicken, I can’t even think of it without scalding. 

So my recommendation is for you to scald the chickens before plucking. 

How To Scald Chicken Before Start Plucking

Do you know about scalding? Scalding is the key to making your plucking successful. Plucking is a challenging task for beginners, and scalding makes it more accessible. 

Take a look at the tools for scalding first then we’ll jump on the process. 

  • Dish soap
  • Ice water bucket
  • A heating source
  • Tools You Required for Scalding
  • A 5-gallon bucket or metal container
  • A stick or long-handled wooden spoon

Step-1: Warm up the water

Step-2: Once the water is warm, add one spoon of dish soap. Soap water allows permeating the chicken’s feathers. Besides, it prevents the chicken from overcooking and takes less scalding time. 

Step-3: Put on a pair of hand gloves and dunk the chicken in the hot water bucket. Using a stick, turn over the chicken and press it under the water. 

Swish and shake the chicken for 30- 45 seconds. Swishing the chicken makes sure the warm water penetrates the feather and gets inside the chicken’s skin.

Remember to keep your hands out; otherwise, the hot water will burn your hand.

Step-4: After 30-45 seconds, take out the chicken from the bucket. Pull some feather off its legs to check whether the feathers are loose or not. 

If you can remove the feathers easily, then you’re done scalding. But if it can’t be taken off, you may need to dunk it once again for a warm bath.

Step-5: Now you can give your chicken an ice bath for 15 seconds. But this step is optional. Ice baths prevent bacteria from going inside the skin and avoid overcooking. 

And then you can start plucking.

How Do You Remove Chicken Pin Feathers

Pin feathers are the newly grown feathers. They are covered in the protein sheath. These kinds of feathers are thicker and much harder to pull. 

So how would you overcome de-feathering if your chicken had a lot of pin feathers?

Let me show you the simple trick to remove chicken pin feathers.

  • If you scald your chicken before plucking, give it another hot water bath for 10-20 seconds. Between this time, the pin feathers will be loosened. 
  • Hold the chicken and use your other hand to pull off the feathers. Try to pull the pin feathers in the opposite direction of the cuticle. 
  • It will make your work easier and faster. But what would you do if you didn’t scald the chicken and make a dry pluck?
  • Use 180 degrees tempers hot water and pour them on the chicken pin feathers. 

You’ll get the same result of dipping the chicken in hot water. Then remove the feathers immediately following the process I mentioned above.

What Is The Easiest Way To Pluck A Chicken

I prefer scalding and hand plucking as the easiest way to pluck a chicken. Because it doesn’t require many tools and saves my pocket bucks. 

On top, if you have efficiency on hand plucking, it just takes a few moments for plucking—no hassle for running the plucking machine and their maintenance. 

On the contrary, hand plucking keeps the meat and skin of the chicken. So you can cook it well and enjoy the pure taste of a delicious chicken recipe. Give your hand plucking a try. 

What Is The Fastest Way To Pluck A Chicken

If you’re in a hurry and want to save your time, you can use Tub-style machines as the fastest way to pluck a chicken. 

Because it takes only around 15 to 30 seconds to pluck a scalded chicken. On top-notch, this machine can pluck more than one chicken at a time.

Dry Plucking Vs. Wet Plucking-Which Is The Best

You may wonder about dry plucking or wet plucking, which is the best option for easier, faster, and well plucking. 

So I will try to give you an overview of them and help you find your preferred choice.

Dry Plucking

Dry plucking means the traditional plucking of chickens by hand. But nowadays, people don’t want to give a dry pluck. 

Because it’s a matter of excessive labor, it takes a lot of time and needs the patience to remove the stubborn feathers. 

The pluckers machine is not made for dry plucking. You have Only your hands to do the dry pluck. So usually, people look for alternatives for dry plucking. 

But despite its obstacles, if you want to get the real taste of chicken, dry plucking is ideal. This process will let you do great cooking and crisp up more during cooking. 

That is because, by dry plucking, the chicken’s skin remains dry. 

Wet Plucking 

Wet plucking means scalding the chicken in hot water before plucking. This process is now highly usable in-home and in stores. 

Because it has no mess to do, it saves you much more time than a dry pluck, and you don’t even need to make any extra effort.

All you have to do is be alert about the hot water while completing the process. Because if you somehow get unconscious, there is a chance to burn yourself. 

What Can I Do With Chicken Feathers

Interestingly, feathers are not a waste at all. You can recycle it. And turn it valuable from the trash. 

So I listed some tips for you about what you can do with chicken feathers.

  • You can use it for your pillow stuffing instead of using wool. 
  • Make DIY fashion accessories with feathers such as feather masks, feather ornaments, or costumes.
  • It Can be used in home decoration as showpieces. 
  • Routinely can be used for the production of fishing flies. 
  • With the rendering process, feathers can be turned into feather meals that you can feed your animals.
  • You can also use the feathers for making your baby’s diaper.

You may ask me what I do with my chicken feathers. I used them as compost ingredients. I love gardening, and so I need compost to fertilize my trees. 

And what can be a more excellent fertilizer ingredient than chicken feathers? So immediately after plucking the chicken, I sweep them up and add them to my compost pile. 

What is dry plucking?

Dry plucking means plucking the poultry without scalding. For this process, there is no use of water. After killing the poultry, you’ve to pluck this by hand and without dipping it in hot water.

How long does it take to pluck a chicken by hand?

If you’re a newbie in hand plucking, it will take around 5 minutes. But after giving some time for practice, you’ll discover it takes 2-3 minutes for plucking each chicken. 

How long does it take to pluck a chicken?

For hand plucking, it will take around 2-5 minutes, depending on your efficiency. In Table-to, you may need only a minute.

Besides, the Tub-style machine can pluck chickens within 15-30 seconds. But if you want to dry pluck or wax, you can’t complete these before half an hour to one hour.

Can you pluck a chicken without scalding?

Yes, you can pluck a chicken without scalding. For this, you have to choose dry plucking or waxing your chicken. 


To sum up, I have tried to explain to you that you can pluck a chicken all by yourself. It’s better to learn things you don’t know and have not heard before. With these tricks, keep your options open for unwanted circumstances. When you have many methods in your mind, understanding the place and the situation, pick the appropriate one to apply. 

Don’t wait for pluckers; just get started with plucking with the tools available to you. However, Since you have read this article so attentively, you must be a backyard enthusiast like me. If you find our content about how to pluck a chicken is helpful, then share it also with your friends and family. 

It can also be beneficial for them. Otherwise, if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask that in our comment box. Best of luck with your successful chicken plucking, and share your experience with us soon!

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