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I'm not a pheasant plucker....
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gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18378

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:26 pm    Post subject: I'm not a pheasant plucker....  Reply with quote    

Please post your best hints and tips on neat, effective plucking and gutting of game birds here.

For some reason, I had considerable trouble doing both re my Xmas pheasant. It was a sorry sight by the time I'd finished with it, though better once reassembled into a trussed poultry pose

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I've got 3 birds hanging in the wash house jut now: thinking about plucking on Wednesday, so get your comments on here asap!

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I'm such a messy bugger I couldn't contemplate it, i don't think my kitchen or garden could stand the onslaught, i'd be finding feathers everywhere for weeks! I think i'm much safer paying the extra quid or so to get our local chappie to do it when he's got some birds, and not have to do the clearing up!

Good luck you guys

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

After once helping pluck and draw 12 brace of extremely well hung pheasant for a banquet, I no longer believe in plucking, I skin pheasant and use some bacon to compensate if roasting then whole. In my opinion, life is too short for plucking...

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nettie wrote:
I'm such a messy bugger I couldn't contemplate it, i don't think my kitchen or garden could stand the onslaught, i'd be finding feathers everywhere for weeks!


Before we bought a house with a large lean-to where I can be as messy as I like, I found sitting in the bath to pluck, followed by use of wet-and-dry vac, was the tidiest way to do it!

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44229
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

judith wrote:
I found sitting in the bath to pluck, followed by use of wet-and-dry vac, was the tidiest way to do it!


Clothes on or off?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

In those days, clothes were optional but Marigolds were essential.

I now have a plucking machine!

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sally: so, do you just pull the whole skin off, feathers & all? My birds are going into Kentish pheasane pudding, so I don't need them to stay whole.

gil
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 18378

PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Oh, the kitchen was immaculate afterwards : all the feathers went straight into a cardboard box, and the innards likewise.

It was the state of the bird that was the problem !

a) skin totally ripped
b) bits of down adhering to bare flesh
c) losing patience and just cutting off the biggest wing feathers instead of plucking
d) difficulty extracting windpipe and crop
e) cut round vent and tried to remove skin/pull innards out, nothing happened - till I got more reckless with it
f) etc.

The poor bird ended up like a muff at one point - I had one hand in from each end, and my fingers met in the middle.

Oh and it had hung for slightly more than 10 days, so was a bit green in places....

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mochyn wrote:
Sally: so, do you just pull the whole skin off, feathers & all? My birds are going into Kentish pheasane pudding, so I don't need them to stay whole.


Yep, just unzip them from the vent to the neck, keep a finger ahead of the knife point so you only cut skin not muscle, then peel it off. If you get stuck, joint out the legs and peel them seperately. If I'm doing this with roadkill I dont gut either, just unzip, take out the breasts, take off the legs and ditch the rest, but a shot pheasant might warrant more attention as more will be edible

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Not sure whether to or

Your problem is that the birds are cold - they are always harder and messier to pluck like that.

nettie



Joined: 02 Dec 2004
Posts: 5886
Location: Suffolk
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Do you really think it's worth the hassle of doing it yourself? I hope you don't think I'm being rude, but it seems an awful palaver unless you're doing a shedload of them in one go?

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

gil wrote:

d) difficulty extracting windpipe and crop
e) cut round vent and tried to remove skin/pull innards out, nothing happened - till I got more reckless with it


What was the problem - lack of space to manoeuvre?

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nettie wrote:
Do you really think it's worth the hassle of doing it yourself? I hope you don't think I'm being rude, but it seems an awful palaver unless you're doing a shedload of them in one go?


Nah, if you peel them it takes about 5 minutes flat to do

judith



Joined: 16 Dec 2004
Posts: 22789
Location: Montgomeryshire
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 06 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

nettie wrote:
Do you really think it's worth the hassle of doing it yourself? I hope you don't think I'm being rude, but it seems an awful palaver unless you're doing a shedload of them in one go?


It depends on the price. I can get them for next to nothing, so 10 minutes spent skinning and gutting seems worthwhile.

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