Wet plucking: wet plucking is a process by which the birds are dipped into simmering water to make removal of the feathers easier. This can make the skin clammy and produce an off-putting smell. This is how most (more than 99%) of the chickens sold in the UK are prepared.
Dry plucking: a more complex, labour intensive process but one which makes for much better results. Essentially the feathers are ‘waxed’ off (as humans can with hair!), which leaves the skin very soft and almost velvety, with no smell. Dry plucking as the added advantage of an increased ‘shelf life’ in comparison to wet-plucked birds, as the heat and moisture involved in wet plucking accelerates the growth of bacteria.