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#62223 - 08/30/04 01:14 PM Waxing ducks

Can anyone tell me how to wax ducks to remove pinfeathers?? What kind of wax works best? How and when do you dip them-before or after neck/head removal? when they are still warm or cooled off? The more you can coach me on the better because this is new to me. I have muscovies.

#62224 - 08/30/04 02:08 PM Re: Waxing ducks
Rob2 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 3068
Loc: Pennsylvania
I have never used wax but have read of it. It seems the wax 9is melted in the water, the duck is dipped then cooled, wax adheres to the feathers making them easier to pull? I think Stromberg or McMurray sell the wax.

#62225 - 09/09/04 09:55 PM Re: Waxing ducks
Richard Knauber Offline

Registered: 09/18/03
Posts: 17
Loc: Tennessee
Well, I'm not an expert but did wax pick 12 muscovies a few weeks ago. I slaughter by cutting the throat and hanging to bleed, removed the heads before scalding. I also pull the larger wing and tail feathers before scalding although sometimes they won't pull without tearing skin. If they pull too hard I just scald with them intact. I use a turkey fryer to scald in. Melted regular parafin wax, like you buy for canning jelly, in the scald water, it will float on top of the water. I couldn't find duck wax anywhere local and didn't have time to order some. I used the wax, added a squirt of dawn dish soap to the scald water and scalded like normal. When done with the scald lift the duck out slowly, letting the wax coat the bird and let it drain over the scald tank a few seconds. I then dropped the duck into a bucket of cold water to set the wax. Takes a while for the wax to cool all the way, maybe 5-10 minutes depending on temp of cool water, don't rush it. The first couple I did were still warm under the cold outside wax and it didn't take off the feathers as well. When the wax is hard start at the tail end and work towards the neck. The wax will peel off in big pieces taking the feathers and almost all the pins with it. Peel the wax against the way the feathers grow on the legs and wings.

I read an article about waxing and used that as reference. The article talked about remelting the used wax, straining out the feathers and reusing the wax, but it didn't work well for me. The feathers seemed to absorb the wax, couldn't really recover any remelted wax. It took about 1/2- 3/4 pound of wax per duck. Not cheap at $1 per pound but it is fast and removes almost all of the tiny pins and hairs! Hand picking takes me a long time, I hate pinfeathers and some ducks I have done took an hour going over them with tweezers and little needle nose pliers to get all the stray tiny feathers/pins. One of these days I'm going to build a plucker!

Over the last couple years I have done maybe 50 ducks and these were the first I waxed. I will definately continue to wax as it really speeds up the process time. Next time I am going to have 2 scald tanks, one just scald water with the Dawn and the 2nd with the wax. I think maybe if I scald in plain water then dip in the wax tank the wax won't soak into the feathers as much and can be strained for reuse. Wax sold for picking waterfowl may work better or be cheaper, I have no idea, never used it and haven't tried to find it lately!.

Hope this helps. You might try searching the Coop's main site or other poultry sites for links to processing waterfowl. I have read stuff on the web about waxing, but have no idea where it was!

Richard in TN

#62226 - 10/21/04 11:30 PM Re: Waxing ducks
Diana Jean Offline

Registered: 10/15/04
Posts: 115
Loc: California
Hello, this a question for Richard Knauber: So why do you add a squirt of dish detergent to your duck scald water? We have ducks and chickens, way too many males, and I am thinking that I am going to have to learn to butcher them soon. So I am wondering, why the Dawn? Thanks...

#62227 - 10/22/04 04:40 AM Re: Waxing ducks

another option to plucking is skinning. If you are gonna roast the duck, chicken, turkey and any fowl. I just make a foil tent around mine in the roaster to prevent the meat from drying out as we don't eat the skin anyways.

#62228 - 10/25/04 07:41 PM Re: Waxing ducks

DJDarling - the dawn dishwash soap is to help get the oil off the feathers so the hot water can penetrate down to the skin so the feathers will be loosened. The oily feathers really repel the water even tho its very hot.


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