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Does anyone know how or when to collect down?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by erinszoo, Nov 22, 2011.

  1. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husbands grandmother used to collect down from her geese twice a year to use in pillows and comforters but my husband was too young when she died to know when or how she did it. Then we saw a show about former President Jimmy Carter and he said they used to harvest the down as well a couple of times a year. Anyone have any idea how to do this and what times of the year to do this?
     
  2. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  3. goosedragon

    goosedragon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Central NC
    Quote:I'll comment on when post #2 covers how very well. Geese do their major molt after the goslings are born in the spring. They replace their flight feathers at this time and since it is warming a good amount of down is also available. there is another molt period just before the mating period in the late fall they need to look their best for the mating and since it is cooling off damaged or worn down is shed and replaced. Other than those periods some down can usually be harvested any time. Get in the habit af running a hand through about once a week the time to harvest it is when it is being shed naturally unless you like to pull it out.
     
  4. rarely bored

    rarely bored Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I was curious. It is amazing how soft geese are!
     
  5. [​IMG] Glad to hear the geese don't have to be killed to harvest the down. I always thought geese were killed and then the down was harvested. So they can be plucked twice a year that's interesting....will have to keep my eyes open this spring.
     
  6. erinszoo

    erinszoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks for the link! It's a great help![​IMG] Can't wait for spring to give it a try.
     
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Your welcome [​IMG] . I hope it goes well for you.
     
  8. opalwednesday

    opalwednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ridgecrest
    I feel that as a goose person you should know how horrible the life of a commercially harvested goose is. You know, so you don't inadvertantly lead others to feel good about down jackets from north face or pillows from Sears. I did the Google search just once and am still horrified to think about all the poor creatures born into the commercial down trade.
     
  9. Tivona

    Tivona Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the method a couple of months ago in that tread to pluck my ducks as they were molting and it wasn't painful or scary for them. It wasn't really fun for them but they only ran about 2 or 3 feet to preen when I let them go (they don't like being petted much either). It worked fairly well. I got most of the down from their breasts but that was what was naturally loose at the time. I did check under their wings but nothing was really ready to come out when I tried. I plan on trying it on my two geese when they start to molt. My geese are much friendlier and like being petted and such so I suspect it will go easier to pluck them when the time comes.

    I can't even imagine how scary and painful the commercial way is. The idea of ripping out feathers just seems like it would be awful for them. I was really glad to find that post on how to gently pluck their loose naturally shedding feathers.
     

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