How To Clean and Pluck A Goose

Video plucking a goose

Plucking a goose can be easy, and many people use their native practices.

Mainly, the American freezes the bird for two days or so to soften the feathers. Other communities put the bird in a large pot of boiling water, which also eases the feathers. Whatever the process, you’ll get to cook a domestic goose at last.

Now, follow through the following straightforward ways on how to clean and pluck a canada goose.

Preparing The Plucking Areas

Geese lovers know that the bird is messy to butcher and pluck, and that’s why preparing a surface is paramount.

So, there’re some necessities in the process of cleaning and preparing the area. For instance, you’ll need a chopping board large enough for the goose to sit on.

Also, the plucking can’t happen without a knife. Make sure it’s sharpened enough to ease the butchering and plucking process. A garbage bag or whatever thing you use for the refuse is a must. Again, cleaning cannot be complete without paper towels to tidy up the area.

After preparing the surface, then start with the butchering process. It can be a total mess if done in the kitchen, so select an outdoor space, probably the shed or a garage. So, in a nutshell, you’ll need a roll or two of paper towels, trash bins/bags, a lighter, a sharp knife, and the branch cutters.

Butchering A Goose

A tricky part of butchering a goose is deciding between chopping the head off or strangling.

Chopping seems more painless and straightforward death than stifling since you’ll have to deal with the bits of bird struggling and flapping. Whichever the process, choose any convenient method to get the head out.

However, cutting a goose head requires some technique since the bird hitch has got much blood. So hold the head down and the legs up. It’s advisable to hold the legs up to allow the blood to ooze to the end since a dried-up goose is easy to prepare and cook.

Thus, give it a period to dry up before proceeding.

How To Pluck A Goose

The journey of cooking a goose can be long and complicated, and many people get stuck in the plucking process.

The trick is nobody wants to rip off the skin, and that’s why plucking needs much proper care and attention.

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However, do you know the plucking of snow geese can be for commercial purposes?

If you’re a geese hunter or lover, storing the feathers in a dry place can someday generate additional income. The costly and comfy beddings you see in the market are made using geese feathers plucked when the bird is alive.

Geese feathers are highly marketable in the retail market for commercial purposes. So always take precautions when plucking the feathers since you can make an income out of them. Bigger bunch of bonus geese produce high-quality feathers highly marketable in the retail stores. Nonetheless, let us follow the home plucking processes below.

  1. Boil water to about 160 degrees in a large pot so that the water is adequate to cover the geese.
  2. Place the pot in a sink to avoid it sliding off and probably causing an accident.
  3. Grasp the geese by feet and plunge it in the pot.
  4. Bob the geese up and down to ensure the hot water is penetrating the waterproof feathers.
  5. Take caution not to dip the geese for more than two minutes to avoid cooking the skin.
  6. Before pulling the geese out of the hot water, it’s advisable to test whether you can pluck the feathers.
  7. If the feathers have not softened yet, then dip them for longer to ease the process of plucking but make sure not to cook the dead geese.
  8. To quicken the softening process, some people add two tablespoons of liquid used for laundry or dish detergent to help water penetrate the waterproof sections.
  9. Flip the goose as you dip it further to soften all segments.

A narrative goes that removing the goose in warm water and plunging in cold water will help in the softening process. You can borrow that and test the softening process. After the feathers have fully softened, it’s now time to pluck them off. Be careful not to tear or rip off the skin of the goose.

For the pin feathers, you can yank them out or use pliers to pluck them. For further clearing up of the skin, burn the pin feathers using a normal flame. Yank the entire residue until the goose is spotlessly clean.

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Stroking the feathers in the backward motion will hurt the skin, so the natural direction is smoother and ideal for protecting the goose.

How Long Can You Wait To Clean A Goose

This depends on your instincts and taste buds?

Some people aren’t comfortable with refrigerated food even for two days, while others insist on storing a goose in the fridge for 3-4 days since it helps mellow out the unwanted taste of waterfowl.

How To Clean A Goose

Plucking the goose is one method of cleaning the goose, and then the next procedure is to remove the “unwanted parts.”

People have different tastes and preferences, which determines what they ingest in their bodies. So it’s okay to discard the parts that may not be suitable for your gut.

The procedure of how to clean a goose:

  1. Place the plucked goose on the flat surface, pressing it firmly with one hand as the breast face upwards.
  2. Using your hand, stretch out the gooseneck and, with a downward stroke, cut off the neck to get rid of the head. The process requires a sharp knife, and you need to take care not to injure the body.
  3. Pointing at the thigh joint, slice through and get the legs out. It’s a process of discarding the feet from the leg. Remember to preserve the meat part of the leg.
  4. At the first joint of the goose back, stretch off the wings and cut them from the body. Remember to cut off from the intersection of the largest feathers. Discard the rest of the wings in the garbage bin or bag.
  5. Ensuring the feet and the breast are facing in your direction, place the remaining goose on the flat surface. The posture helps in making incisions to remove the unwanted inner parts.
  6. Locate the belly, ribcage to a drumstick, and make a shallow incision. At this point, follow the ribs’ direction and cut sparingly to avoid distorting the inner organs. Carry out the same procedure on both sides of the goose.
  7. Using your hand, reach the inner organs and remove the liver, gall, and gizzard. It’s a procedure to take away gut and any other residue not needed in the meat.
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At this point, use running water to rinse the goose on the inside and the outside parts. You can use the paper towels to pat dry or leave it open to dry naturally.

Point To Note

Cleaning a goose can be messy, and therefore an outside location is best suited for the plucking and cleaning process.

Also, use a sharp knife with consciousness, not harm or injure the goose’s inner organs.

Be cautious when plucking the feathers off. Use a backward motion to avoid ripping off the skin. Puncturing the goose gut can contaminate the entire meat. If the goose is not consumed immediately, it’s advisable to refrigerate to avoid growing bacteria and possibly contaminating the meat.


Goose meat has fantastic health benefits for the body, and that’s why the knowledge of plucking and cleaning is essential.

The beautiful and elegant bird can take time to butcher, pluck, and clean. It’s an entirely procedural technique before getting the desired meat.

The secret lies in patience, follow through with each procedure on how to clean a goose shown above. Prepare the plucking area and accumulate all the needed supplies. Next is to butcher the goose, and that is best done through personal instincts. Once the goose is dead, it’s possible to pluck off the feathers.

You can use warm water or freeze for two days. The aim is to soften the feathers to make the plucking process easy. Remember, the waterfowl have healthy feathers and some with waterproof properties. Use the convenient procedure of softening the feathers.

Next is plucking off the feathers, which is done best in the backward motion to avoid ripping off the skin. The clean process involves removing the unwanted inner parts that start with the feet and the gut.

Follow through the ribcage, belly, and dryer drum stick to make incisions that perforate and create space for removing the inner parts. Then rinse off with running clean water and tap dry. Be cautious with the sharp knife and avoid injuring the internal parts since they can be dangerous for the meat.

Have you butchered a goose before?

Share your process with challenges and how you overcome them.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>