VNO MONTHLY BLOG POST…NOVEMBER
For the 2016 season with Venture North Outfitting, I took on the responsibility of plucking and processing the geese and ducks that were harvested by clients. Normally, I do all my own birds by hand, a job that I enjoy and take pride in. However, that is small peanuts compared to the sheer number of birds we had as outfitters this year –we had clients hitting their daily limits for each species constantly this season…that’s a lot of birds! I did the math prior to the season based on the bookings…HUNDREDS OF DUCKS AND GEESE. I decided I needed some help to speed up the process and also maintain a level of quality that our clients rightly deserve. We were told about The FowlerPlucker by a fellow waterfowler.
This ingenious machine is “[p]owered by an Emerson US 1/3 horsepower electric motor with 1725 rpm, 6.4 amp, 115 volt, SF 135, 10′ inline switch cord, auto thermal protection. The enclosed motor is oilless and should last a lifetime or more for home use.” It comes with the necessary parts to mount the machine so it doesn’t vibrate like crazy.
We just simply mounted it to the end of my stainless processing table, put a garbage can underneath, rolled the shop vacuum over; and I was good to go! The machine takes up very little space. I do recommend at the very minimum a 15 gallon shop vacuum to keep up with the feathers.
To be honest, I was skeptical at first but very intrigued. I couldn’t believe that this machine could do that good of a job in such a short time period; but it really did all that was promised!! But its all in the fingers which are made of; “food grade rubber and will not harm the bird skin at any pressure.” I was able to pluck an entire duck in 2-3 minutes using the black fingers. I was able to pluck a whole goose in under 7 minutes with the blue fingers. Sometimes the mature birds or wet birds took a little longer. The fingers were able to literally clean the bird of all those annoying little pin-feathers that normally I would spend 20 more minutes per bird pulling out with tweezers. It was very easy and fast to switch between the heads and to replace the fingers; they even send you the tool to do it with!
Considering how busy the season can be I was concerned about all the clean-up that I might have to do in terms of feathers but there is no mess to contend with. The shroud is designed in a way that there is a “perfect flow of feathers into the shop vacuum,” they don’t end up all over your garage floor or processing table. All I had to do was simply check to make sure that there weren’t any feathers clogging the opening, which was never an issue.
Our FowlPlucker is still in incredible shape, we had no hiccups with it at all over the course of the season; and I ran that machine for HOURS each day for WEEKS! The only thing that required any sort of attention was emptying the down from the shop vacuum and replacing fingers from wear. We got lots of compliments from clients about the condition of the birds. The FowlPlucker was such a great investment for our business; I can never go back to hand-plucking again. I highly recommend this for ANY waterfowler whether they run an outfitting business or not!
For more information, please check out the website: http://thefowlplucker.com/
OR call them directly; Ed and Bill offer excellent customer service.