Feather Use????


8 Years
Aug 19, 2011
Not sure this is the right place to post but it involves killing a chicken for product so I figured i'll try it out. So I am a live off the land type person and strongly believe in using all the by products possible that come from animals. What is more demeaning than being killed and wasted?? Anyways so I recently butchered a chicken for meat and tanned it for its saddle. worked great i must say. So I was looking further into it and I came across these farmers in alaska who when they kill a bird they use like everything. They use the feathers to make jewelry and stuff, and though jewelry isn't my cup of tea, I was wondering if there was something I could use them for??? If it was a duck it would go into pillows but its a chicken. I am particularly interested in the quil and tail feathers, due to the fact that most the others are tanned in the saddle.. Any imput would be great! thanks
oh and how would I go about sanitizing them while maintaing color??
Personally I'd LOVE to turn some of my more ornate feathers into jewelry but I don't have the supplies, but I agree completely with you on wasting an animal, so, though it sounds like a waste it isn't - I put all my feathers but the best in the compost pile. Feathers have a lot of protein in them and are GREAT fertilizer for a veggie garden.

As for sanitation, bleaching, etc - I wouldn't know.
I certainly am with you in that boat! I don't like wasting things off an animal if I can help it. I use my feathers for jewelry, but I have also considered washing and saving a bunch of the fluffier ones to stuff into my own pillow. If you want to try it out, just take the foot/leg off of a pair of nylons and put the feathers in there, tie it off, then wash them and run them through the dryer on a low heat setting. I've been experimenting with it and I think hand washing them might be gentler than a washing machine.
I agree!! Waste not, want not!

Feather hair extensions are a big fad in Texas and maybe elsewhere. If you've got grown roos that you're eating, their pointed saddle, tail and possibly hackle feathers are all usable for this, especially if there is any coloration or barring.

You can use the feathers that live chickens drop also. The feathers dropped in the henhouse during molting season or any other time are usable so long as they're not dirty or matted. Guinea feathers with their spots are really nice for this also. I collect the feathers into Zip-Lock bags to keep until I get the jewelry project together.

The only thing that's holding me back from making feathers into jewelry and/or hair extensions is the cost of the findings. The beauty supply places charge WAY too much for the crimp beads that are used to mount the feathers and for the wig clips that can be used to put them into a hairdo. They just sell packages with a few pieces and I have, um, more than 100 feathers.....

I plan to look at major internet sites to see if I can get the findings on a wholesale basis.

I've also seen feathers used other ways in crafts. You could make patterns or pictures with them behind glass or mount them onto objects that you intend to decorate but that won't receive heavy usage or handling.
When I butchered last fall there was a bait shop that wanted all the smaller feathers for making fishing flies. Large ones when through a chipper once they dried out and into the compost pile.
My grandmother not only stuffed pillows with the down feathers, she also made comforters with them. My comforter was the most comfortable and warm bed covering possible during cold winter nights and lasted way over 30 years when the cloth covering finally became threadbare.
amazon sells the crimp beads in packs of 155 for between $5-$10. I've pulled feathers out of my roo to put in my hair
Cat toys sound like an awesome idea! I scoop up all my molt feathers and throw them out in the pasture. The swallows love to use them in their nests.
Thanks everyone for the feed back!
it is nice to be surrounded by people that have virtually the same ideals as myself
thanks so much

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