You can pinch a duck by various methods - traditional and alternative, manual and mechanized. Poultry farmers choose the plucking method taking into account the number of slaughtered poultry, the availability of improvised means and resources, and also based on their personal preferences.
When to pluck a duck?
Many ducklings lovers do not know that three hours should elapse between the slaughter of the duck and the plucking process. If, having scored a duck, immediately grab the plucking feathers, you can inadvertently damage the skin. Three hours later, duck fat hardens, which prevents skin damage when removing fluff and feathers from it.
The feathers are pulled out in the direction of growth, otherwise the bird will be plucked sloppy, its carcass will lose its presentation.
How easy it will be to pluck a duck depends on its age. The best slaughter time is the 60-70th day. By this time, the bird has fledged, but no feathers are visible yet. To make it convenient to remove them, it is recommended to wait for them to grow to 10-15 cm. But you should not wait more than 10 days, if you miss the time, it will be more difficult to pinch the feathers - there will be stumps on the skin that worsen the appearance of the carcass, and the meat will no longer be tastes so good.
If it was not possible to hammer the duck in the optimal time, it is better to wait and hammer the bird after juvenile molting, when the young feathers grow to a length convenient for plucking.
Preparation for plucking consists in the correct slaughter of the duck:
- 12-16 hours before slaughter, the bird is not given food - they only drink water.
- On the last night, the duck is kept isolated from the herd, with the lights turned on.
- Kill the bird with a blow to the skull.
- Hanging the bird by the legs, cut the throat. After 10 minutes - when the blood drains, the carcass is ready for plucking.
The subtleties of quick plucking
Useful plucking rules:
- Do not hammer the duck during molting. Pull the live duck by the feathers, if they are easily removed - the bird can be slaughtered. During molting, the rods are very difficult to remove.
- After slaughter, the carcass is placed in a cool place - cellar, garage, refrigerator. The optimum temperature is +5 ° C. Fat will harden in 2-3 hours, and meat, having dried, will be more aromatic - due to the evaporated excess fluid.
- Pinching is best done in the yard - there is too much garbage from the process. Prepare containers - for large feathers, for small ones and for down. Sorting down feathers during plucking saves time. It is most convenient to pluck feathers while sitting on a chair and placing feather boxes between legs.
- Feathers are pulled in a certain order, first from the tail and wings, followed by the sternum and back. If the slaughter is traumatic, without bloodletting, start from the back, then pluck the stomach, shoulders, wings, tail.
- Large feathers are pulled in the direction of growth, and small feathers can be dragged in any direction - as handy.
- The movements must be sure, if you smoothly pull the feathers, you can tear the skin. Pull the pen in small bunches.
Duck plucking methods
All methods of plucking are divided into two groups - dry and hot. Someone has been using one method for years, others, having tried all the options, choose the most suitable option. Some cope with plucking faster, others fiddle for a long time. But speed is not the main point in plucking poultry, technical nuances are important - their violation can lead to a deterioration in the taste of meat, and reduce its shelf life.
Features of plucking in a hot and dry way:
|Dry methods||Hot ways|
|Easier than hot methods||A few stumps, the carcass is well cleared of feathers|
|Minimum tool kit||Feathers are easier to remove from the skin.|
|The carcass can be stored in the refrigerator||Pinching is faster than with dry methods|
|The presentation is preserved, the skin has a natural tint|
|Fluff and feathers are dry, you can use them as you wish|
|Can be carried out in the field|
|Fluff scatters in all directions||There is a risk of getting burned|
|Takes a lot of time||Carcasses are used for quick cooking, do not store for a long time|
|The carcass blushes|
|Fluff and feathers often go bad|
This is the easiest way to pluck - here you will not need either pots, bags, or other equipment. Only running water is needed. When dry plucking, it is important not to spoil the duck skin. If the peel breaks, then plucking the duck will be difficult, and sometimes impossible.
Dry duck plucking order:
- Put the duck on some litter - newspaper, cloth, tarpaulin.
- Start with the biggest feathers. First process the wings and tail, then the back. Pull in the direction of growth - so as not to tear the skin. Finish work by plucking the chest and neck - here you have to pull out the smallest feather.
- Remove the remaining fluff in one of the ways:
- strip with a blunt knife;
- hold the carcass over the fire.
- Wash the carcass.
Scalding allows you to quickly and effortlessly pluck feathers from the carcass. Procedure:
- Take a large pot. It should completely fit the duck.
- Heat the water. Turn off the fire when the water temperature reaches + 80 ° C.
- Duck dipped in hot water, and keep it in a pan for no more than a minute.
- Processing begins with the wings, moving in the direction of the tail. The feathers are pulled in any direction, not considering the direction. But keep in mind - with the method under consideration, feathers are removed more easily if you pull them against growth.
- Finishing plucking treatment of the chest, dorsal and neck.
- Scorch a duck carcass over a fire.
- Rinse the carcass with water - to flush soot from the skin.
The procedure for plucking ducks in this way is described by the breeder in his video below:
With a bag and iron
This method is very popular among privateers involved in poultry breeding. Operating procedure:
- Prepare a bag, basin and iron. A bag is best taken with a fabric bag.
- Dip the bag into boiling water and boil it there for 10-15 minutes.
- Gently, so as not to burn yourself, remove the bag from boiling water, squeeze it so that water does not drip from the fabric.
- Put the slaughtered duck in the bag. Having tied the bag, immerse it in a basin of hot water. Water temperature is about +80 ° С.
- While the duck is in the water, heat the iron to maximum.
- Take the bag out of the water and iron the duck with an iron - through the fabric, so that bends do not form. If everything is done correctly, there will be no problems with plucking.
- After ironing the duck, remove it from the bag and proceed to plucking.
The method of plucking with an iron can be seen in the video presented:
If there is no iron in the place where the plucking is carried out, or if it breaks, it does not matter - the method is also applicable without prior ironing. Just keep the duck in hot water not for 5-7 minutes, but for a little longer.
Singeing is an auxiliary treatment for plucking. Singeing procedure:
- Hold the plucked duck by the wings or paws, stretch so that all folds are straightened.
- Bring the carcass to the burner without getting close to the fire. Turn the carcass in all directions, not allowing the fluff to melt for a long time. If the distance to the fire is chosen correctly, the stumps from the feathers will fall out of the skin, and not burn in it.
- Rinse the scorched duck with running water.
You can’t keep the duck above the fire for more than two minutes, otherwise the subcutaneous fat begins to melt, and the skin burns.
This method is often used by hunters, but it is convenient in the household. Plucking order:
- Remove the duck’s wings. Leave the paws to hold the carcass.
- Pull the feathers out of the tail and wings. And also remove all the largest feathers on the back and stomach.
- Prepare two containers - one cold water, the other hot.
- Remove boiling water from the stove and put wax in it - it should melt, and a thin film will appear on the surface.
- Immerse the duck in the container. Keep it for no more than three seconds, during which time the wax will completely envelop the bird. If you overexpose it, the insides may burst, and the meat will be damaged.
- Transfer the duck to cold water for 3-4 minutes to make the wax harden.
- After pulling the duck out of the water, push it so that the layer of wax is cracked. Now remove the wax - you will get a carcass with a pleasant presentation, smooth and beautiful.
With the nozzle
When many ducks slaughter at the same time, it takes a lot of time and effort to pluck them. Farmers are looking for ways to speed up, simplify and mechanize the process of plucking feathers. Today, many poultry farmers use devices to quickly remove feathers from slaughtered birds.
To use this method, you must have:
- drill, puncher or grinder;
- a special nozzle on the appropriate tool.
This nozzle looks like a ruff - multidirectional corrugated elements from rubber stick out from the base. Turning on the power tool, the duck is brought to the pen-cleaner - it rotates at high speed, and the “fingers” imitate the movements of human hands plucking a bird. The tool must be securely fastened.
Video review of duck plucking with the nozzle:
Pinching in the field
This method is used in the hunt. If in the field you need to cook the game, you will need to pinch it. Depending on what happens with the carcass, choose a processing method:
- With plucking pen. Choose to transport game home or storage. Usually they choose the dry method, as the fluff and feather of a wild bird is very much appreciated.
- Removing skin and feathers. For immediate cooking in the field.
Field plucking rules:
- The duck is dirty, it must be washed thoroughly, cleaned of feces and earth - especially in the tail area.
- Look for parasites, fungal lesions, growths on the bird. If there is, it is better not to eat such poultry meat.
- If the street is +5 ° C or lower, game can be stored without a refrigerator for 5 days, and in any form.
- Remove bullet or shot immediately after washing the duck.
Down and feather are valued as raw materials. The order of preparation of fluff:
- Rinse the lint in warm water, adding a little washing powder.
- Rinse the fluff in cold running water.
- Wring out the water.
- Put down in a fabric bag and hang to dry. It is advisable to hang the bag in the sun.
- Stir fluff periodically so that it does not decay and does not clump.
To rinse the feathers, immerse them in soapy water for 30 minutes.
Manual plucking of a duck is a laborious and painstaking process that requires a certain skill. The condition of its skin, the taste of meat, and even the shelf life depends on how well the bird is plucked.