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Fall moulting in full swing with my chickens, who else will admit to collecting feathers? — The Grow Network Community
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Fall moulting in full swing with my chickens, who else will admit to collecting feathers?

SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

This is the first year since starting with chickens that I am saving the moult feathers. Our little mix of 13 birds are PETS and so we do not butcher and have feathers that way.

Who will admit to collecting feathers too?

What do you plan to use them for? Have you created in the past with them? Have pictures to share?

What is your preferred method to clean, dry, contain or organize this wonderful side benefit of having chickens in your life?

Comments

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    Yes, we have!

    My oldest daughter started making beautiful jewelry for horses & their cowgirls. She makes ornaments too. She sells them on Etsy Canada:

    She used only clean looking feathers and ones with no lice/egg sacks or other bugs, like mites. There was a check done beforehand. Beware...they can get bedbugs too (not that we've had any).

    To clean them further, she got a tight pillow case, knotted it and washed them. She dried them in the drier still in the case, but I don't remember what setting.

    We have Jersey giant (both black & blue colors), 4 types of marans...black copper, blue copper, blue wheaten, wheaten, then bielefelder, silkie, serama, guinea fowl and 3 types ducks.

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 423 ✭✭✭✭

    I don't have chickens at the moment (getting more chicks in the spring though!)--but I had, till last winter, kept chickens for about 10 years. Mine were always pets too. I've used the molted feathers for decoration in my basket-making and in fans and wreaths for seasonal decor. Mostly I used them for cat toys, both for wand toys and feather teasers on felt and crocheted toys--my cats are wild about them (though rather intimidated by the chickens themselves....) Honestly, cleaning never occurred to me till you brought it up, though I suppose it should have. Out of curiosity I did a little web browsing just now, and thought this site was the best of a half-dozen that I looked over

    https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-a-Feather

  • I have a bunch saved for crafts, including tying some fishing flies!

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @Mary Linda Bittle What types do you use? I hear the Phoenix is popular (not so easy to keep those long tail feathers nice, though). I think some guinea feathers are too.

  • marjstrattonmarjstratton Posts: 316 ✭✭✭

    Don't have chickens, but I definitely collect feathers. We have barn owls that roost in our car port so I gladly accept the feathers that they drop for me.

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,510 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I see nice feathers outside from time to time, but I am afraid to gather them. If there are any mites on them, they could easily spread to my bird or the rest of the mixed species household. Bird mites will feed on any warm blooded species.

  • KelleyKelley Posts: 139 ✭✭✭

    my grandmother raised chickens for her "household" money since the money from the farm got rolled back into the farm.

    We used every part of the chickens. And the cows and pigs. My mom and I were just talking about this 2 days ago!

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Depending on where you live, there may be Conservation laws against keeping native/wild bird feathers. That is one reason why I save my domesticated chicken feathers verses Blue Jay or Robin feathers. 😁

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin
    edited October 2020

    Cathy is correct. In Canada, it is illegal to keep migrating bird's feathers.

  • My friend in Idaho had Buff Orpingtons, and Jersey Giants. I kept some of the "fluffier" feathers and the tail feathers that I would find on the ground when I went to visit. The fluffy ones look like the marabou that you can buy at fly fishing stores. Not sure if they work the same, but I am a beginning fly tier, so I don't really care at this point.

    Another friend had a beautiful rooster of undetermined origin that was killed by a predator. She gave me a whole bag of his feathers. Some of them are really long and gorgeous.

  • KimMullenKimMullen Posts: 38 ✭✭✭

    I've collected some of the real fluffy feathers or tail feathers for my Dad to tie flies with.

  • beel.sarabeel.sara Posts: 15 ✭✭✭

    I use the feathers from my chickens molt in the compost bin.

  • LongTallDrinkLongTallDrink Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    I've collected many of the feathers from the last couple of rooster dispatches, (MKs I just compost) and thought I'd like to do some crafts or learn to tie flies or sell to someone who ties flies, but none of those things have happened yet... 🙄

    My other thought was feather meal, but other than just composting, haven't figured out an energy-appropriate way to do that yet. It would be nice to have as a separate ammendment when needed, if anyone has any clever ideas how to go about making it.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    Now, I feel lost. Yes, I do. Surprise!

    Today and only starting today, I have read about MKs here a lot. I know chickens & the breeds & abbreviations, but this one has me stumped. To me, an MK is a "missionary kid" due to my church background. I know that nobody is having their dogs catch MKs (as I understand the abbreviation), 🤨 no dogs are eating MKs 😳 and nobody is composting them either. 😬 😂

    What am I missing? Is this a new American chicken breed, or hatchery "breed" or ???

    I am stumped.

  • SilkiemamuskaSilkiemamuska Posts: 99 ✭✭✭

    Glad to know I am not the only person who did not know what the abbreviaton stands for, @LongTallDrink please enlighten us!

  • MelissaLynneMelissaLynne NE Washington🌲 Zone 5aPosts: 204 ✭✭✭

    I don’t generally collect the feathers that the chickens shed, but I do dry/tan portions of the best skins from the birds I cull for the cook pot. 😯 Mostly the hackle and saddle regions of the roos; the feathers all stay in one place until I am ready to use them. There are some that will be fantastic for fly tying.


    @shllnzl I absolutely love the earrings made from your African Grey’s feathers!

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,510 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MelissaLynne Thanks for the compliment; my jewelry seems to be "artsy" and not to everyone's taste. My husband's niece fell in love with the parrot and got the earrings as a remembrance.

    I have some of the feathers that seem matched in size and shape -- I just need to make the time to do something with them and the rest of my jewelry supplies.

  • Emily SandstromEmily Sandstrom Posts: 14 ✭✭✭

    Feathers are used as fertilizer. Very expensive to buy. Peafowl feathers can be sold.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 741 admin

    I have considered doing this, but haven't gotten around to it yet. We live in a place where fly fishing is a big deal. Our Whiting True Blue has beautiful feathers, and this might be a use for them one day.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 741 admin

    Okay, third this. I'm racking my brain, but I'm not coming up with anything that might make sense when it comes to chickens. "MK" often means "Okay" (like, M-kay), but that doesn't make sense in this context.... Hoping @LongTallDrink will chime in!

  • LongTallDrinkLongTallDrink Posts: 17 ✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning @Silkiemamuska @Merin Porter

    Oh, the irony of it all, me, who is often baffled by abbreviations, using one I figured would be

    obvious in context, but that probably doesn't. actually, exist.

    MK=Meat King

    Positively boring in place of Missionary Kid! Thanks for that, Laurie - flashed me back, that did, to my own hyper-religious upbringing.

    You've likely all forgotten about this by now, but just in case you were on the edge of your seats, I apologize for the tardiness of my response - the cup overfloweth here at the moment and I can only make time to be here once a week or so.

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @LongTallDrink Thanks!

    So...is it this hybrid? Hatcheries seem to keep coming up with new hybrids all the time.

    These don't exist in Canada.


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