Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Our Whizbang Chicken Plucker!

We are building our chicken plucker. We need to process chickens this weekend. Feed prices are through the roof. Why we didn't build this thing a month ago I'll never know. Well, maybe because we were pressure washing, scraping, painting, digging, planting, feeding, watering, building and on and on. We have most of the parts, all Kevin needs to do is figure it all out. He's checking out the " Anyone Can Build A Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker " book. Well, almost all of the parts.

He is, at this very moment, at the farm store, which is a half an hour away, getting the bearings that he forgot to get when he went there an hour and a half ago. The reason that he forgot to get the only thing he went there for, was because he saw this really cool sign on clearance and he got it to surprise me! He was so worried that I wouldn't like it but I love it. I have to decide where to put it.

He left the store after he decided to get this for me and was so excited to give it to me that he forgot what he went there gotta love it, at least I'm not the only one with a brain like a sieve.

Here's the beginning. Kevin took an old 55 gallon drum, scrubbed it to death and cut it to the exact size. He then drilled all the corresponding holes, after measuring circumference, dividing by something and adding something and subtracting something. All of which I'm not very good at. I love a man that can divide and figure circumference and all that stuff.

Then he had to put all the plucker fingers into the plucker finger holes.

You think it would be easy, it was not! See all the straining? First he tried using pliers then he just went after it with his hands.

I'm glad I got to be in the house doing women's stuff.

Next was the tub part, I think that was a little easier.

Then building the frame, more measuring, figuring and ciphering, I was in the house.

Look how easy he makes it look, frames all done. Then, he comes in the front door and tells me that he has a job for me...uh oh, and I'm all out of women's stuff to do.

Of course, I have to man the paint brush, no way to get out of that.

Nicely done, I thought to myself as I finished up but then later he comes in and tell me that when he was putting on the second coat he found two spots that I missed, not just spots but whole leg areas. Oops, my bad. I guess that will teach him, never ask a woman to do men's work. I say it was dark or maybe it was the sun in my eyes, actually, come to think of it, it was raining so I will go with the dark excuse.

We stopped at a second hand restaurant equipment store and found these bargains. On the bottom is an old stainless steel topped table from bakery, and on top of it is a stainless steel sink. You can't see the top of the table but it is stainless, bad picture but I didn't feel like moving the sink off of the table so you can just use your imagination. He is going to mount the sink somehow, more calculating and figuring, so I will take more pictures then.

This is my favorite, an old scale. It needs cleaned up a little but it will work fine, as long as we don't have any turkeys that weigh between 17 and 21 pounds.

Sorry guys, your days are numbered.

Not these guys though! Speaking of turkeys, look how cute the babies are! Mama had two under her wings.

One took off when it saw me.

Then Mama did too. She thinks I am a crazy person, always stalking them with my camera. I followed her around the shed and she slowly walked the babies over by Daddy.

You definitely don't want to mess with him.

The next post should be all about processing chickens, yuck! Hopefully my hands won't be too yucky to take pictures, and I am going to, all the gory details. But not of the killing. I want to put up a curtain so I won't have to watch, I'm feeling a little panicky just thinking about it. And I'm serious about the curtain, He will never go for it though.

How am I going to tell him, he will think I am such a wimp but I don't think I can watch. I have avoided taking care of the meat birds as much as possible. This morning I did feed them though, all the time thinking "this may be your last meal". (sob, sniffle) I couldn't look them in the eye.

(As a side note, one time I was stuck on the freeway in bumper to bumper traffic and I was right next to a semi full of chickens, it had those panels with the holes in them that you can see through. It was terrible, the poor chickens kept looking at me. I felt so bad for them cause I knew they were going to their death. I tried so hard to keep away from that truck but the traffic would slow and then speed up and I would be right beside it again. Horrors, it went on for about an hour!)

Oh my. I hope he doesn't read this, he will think I should stop being a farmer. He keeps teasing me that we need to cull some of our layers that aren't producing. Every day I practically run in the house and say "LOOK AT ALL THESE EGGS!" We hatched all kinds of eggs this spring and summer so all day I walk around looking at the chicks and muttering to them "you better hope you're a hen", worried for them. I have a really sweet one that is so friendly but I think it's a rooster but Kevin says we can keep him or maybe her, the jury is still out on that one. Until it crows, we won't know absolutely for sure.

I am so tired of typing, my neck is killing me so that's it for now, need to go out and take more "plucker in the making pictures" anyway. (Plus, the pizza just got here! Yeah!)


UPDATE: It works!


EllaJac said...

Oh, I am *so* jealous! Why oh why aren't you my neighbor? A plucker would make our harvest work SO much easier. I've envisioned rednecked dryers, or old washers full of rubber fingers, only because Hubby works LONG hours when we're all geared up for such projects.

Good job!!

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East West Farm said...

That's awesome. So does the book tell you where to go to get all the parts for the plucker? It does look like it's mostly stuff you'd find at HD. Anyways, glad I found your blog, I look forward to reading more of your posts.