After finished a new chicken tractor for the Freedom Rangers this morning, I got back to the chicken plucker. I made a couple stupid mistakes along the way and basically had to start over. That’s what I get for trying to work when I stay home from work because I’m sick.
I didn’t take a lot of pictures today because I was just doing a rough assembly of the parts shown in Chicken Plucker: Part One. I’ll take more pictures when I do the final assembly to show how it all goes together.
I built a wooden frame to hold everything together. The drum is about half an inch smaller than the frame to allow for slight adjustment.
It looks basically like a Whizbang plucker at this point. It is essentially the same, except that I’m using a washer drum for the tub, and it’s gear driven instead of belt driven.
The horizontal boards are just the right width to fit in the washer shell. From the outside, it will look exactly like a washing machine.
I haven’t installed the plucker fingers yet. I’ll wait until then to balance and center everything because it will all change when I start drilling holes. There is a half inch spacer on the bottom of the feather plate to give it a little more clearance in the drum.
The motor and gearbox are lag bolted into 2x4s mounted across the bottom of the frame. I tend to overbuild things, so this arrangement seems unsatisfactory to me, but the perfect solution is the enemy of the best solution – the one available right now. I think it will hold up just fine.
To finish up, I have to cut the agitator shaft, drill holes and install the rubber plucker fingers, paint the feather plate, install a shroud to keep water and feathers out of the motor, and put the outsides back on the insides. Then we’ll be looking for a test subject.