what do you do with all the feathers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Knock Kneed Hen, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I know it may seem like a dumb question, but when you have 19 birds molting that's a lot of feathers. I rake up the run and have been throwing it all in the compost pile. I'm thinking they don't decompose very quickly.
    There are a ton in the coop. I've scooped up some...should I be raking them out as well? (I have pine shavings 4 in. deep)
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    That's a good question. I've been sort of ignoring them because I don't know what to do with them either...
  3. Tyfani

    Tyfani In the Brooder

    Jul 23, 2010
    Orland, CA
    Me too.. I've been looking at all my feathers with a 'Hmmm' expression on my face. My chickens aren't even molting yet. [​IMG]
  4. thaiturkey

    thaiturkey Songster

    Feb 22, 2010
    I stick them in gaps in the woodwork inside the coops and our garden gazebo as decoration. One day I might make something with them using fishing line - a silent windchime, for example. Let your imagination wander. An Indian Chief's Headress. Boas and hats. Fly fishermen might make use of some as fly tying material. How about flights for arrows or darts? With molten tar you could use them to decorate the neighbour from hell.

    I don't think that they make good compost.

    Having written that I Google Imaged 'turkey feather decorations' and got this:


    feather decorations' gives you this:


    feather fishing' gives you this:


    feather fishing' gives you this:


    fun! [​IMG]
  5. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Quote:If not crafts then they make a great fertilizer!. It would be nice to find a way to grind them up to make feather meal. Feather meal is a spectacular organic fertilizer great for the garden, it has a long slow release of N soil microbes love it. I hot compost and just add them to the compost pile. They break down if the pile is at the right temp.

    Some commercial feed manufactures even use them as a feed ingredient.

  6. reesepoultry

    reesepoultry Songster

    Jul 4, 2009
    I gather them all up in a bucket then I throw them in the trash and take them out to the trash man on Mondays. If I get too many I just throw them on my compost pile and burn them.

    I don't recommend using them for decoration in your chicken coop. As we all know these feathers do attract mites. They live on feathers. You should always clean up the feathers. I have to go into my peacock stall everyday and clean up feathers. They are worse than my chickens in losing there feathers.

    P.s. When the peacocks lose there train I keep the tail feathers that didn't get pooed on and are clean & I put them in a big tall vase in my house. But first I spray the feathers with mite killer. Just in case. I don't know how everyone else keeps the mites away. But I make sure I strip everyone's stall completely down every 2 weeks and then I seven dust there whole stall. I also leave there stall like that for a couple hours. I find the chickens dust thereselves with it to. Makes less work for me. every since my bad break out of mites last year. I haven't had any in my flock. This seems to work for me. But I always make sure the stalls have little to no feathers laying around.

    Hope this helped a little.
  7. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    What feathers?

    Mine disappear every time it rains and it's been raining allot. [​IMG]
  8. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    How bout pillows or futon? Putting them in a freezer will kill any mites.[​IMG]
  9. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chirping

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    My kids wash them and use them in art projects, and even in making jewelry. The longer feathers often turn into old-fashioned quills when they play Harry Potter.

    And one of my fencing students absconded with a whole bunch of them when she left for her first year of college, and decorated her dorm room with them. She even posted the pictures on facebook, crediting the individual birds for their contributions! [​IMG]

    Me? I just keep sweeping them up and adding them to the compost and trash. Unless they're really pretty. I keep thinking I'll find a use for them someday...
  10. Organics North

    Organics North Songster

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    Quote:I think down would be better for pillows. We live in a freezer. We only have a few short months without frost. So mites have not been an issue with our small back yard flock of 36 birds.. I am not sure if it is our climate or the organic methods used. Me personally would never use pesticide chemicals like Sevin for anything!

    To prevent mites, we like DE and wood ash dust bathing areas for the birds. We use the deep litter method, but rake off the feathers.

    For those of you with down pillows and or comforters, try placing them in the freezer over night, or better yet put them outside in winter when the temps are sub zero. The pillows and comforter get this fresh clean scent that is amazing..[​IMG]

    No chemically scented fabric softener/scent can reproduce that smell..[​IMG]


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