Wanted: Goose Down Plucker

posted: 04/11/12
by: Jane McGrath

Talk about a fowl task. Geese and ducks are blessed with thick coats of plush feathers, most of which are firmly rooted in their skins. The plucker's mission? Relentlessly detach each feather from birds' lifeless bodies. And there's more to pluck than just feathers -- the duties of removing the wings and ripping out the gizzards also come with this post.

Warning: Duties also include removing the wings and ripping out the gizzards.

Job Description:

This position entails collecting large numbers of freshly slaughtered geese and ducks and meticulously defeathering each individual carcass. Plucker tears wings from the birds' bodies and extracts wing feathers by hand. The smaller down feathers found on the birds' bodies are removed by a machine that uses a series of rubber fingers. The employee must carefully render wingless carcasses through the picking machine, which may require several attempts for each carcass. After plucking is accomplished, employee is responsible for taking birds to an evisceration table where he or she thoroughly guts and disembowels the birds' bodies. Heads, feet and all giblets, including gizzard, liver and heart, are removed. During evisceration, employee must make precise incisions to avoid spilling the contents of the intestines. Other responsibilities include stuffing down and sewing it shut in bags.

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

Stellar tearing, plucking, yanking, ripping and pulling skills required. Candidates also must be adept at handling knives and evisceration forks to carefully remove bird innards. Stuffing and sewing skills strongly preferred. Ideal candidate possesses dexterous fingers, determination and won't give up in the face of repeated fruitless defeathering attempts. Experience implementing and rendering fowl through a machine a plus -- this task can be more difficult than it sounds. Those with weak stomachs for dead flesh, blood or the act of dismantling carcasses need not apply. It's also strongly suggested that applicants relinquish fond childhood associations or memories of Mother Goose.

Why You Should Want This Job:

What's cushier than working with feathers all day? You'll be personally responsible for putting the puff in pillows and comforters, and you'll get to work with your hands in the fresh air. If you have related experience preparing the Thanksgiving Day turkey -- gutting, stuffing and sewing -- you'll quickly excel and rise the plucker ranks.

Get More

Still curious as a ... goose? Go to HowStuffWorks to find out Why Geese Mate for Life,

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