Fallen feathers–what to do with them? October 12, 2012
The season is here; my girls have officially begun molting. The question now is: What to do with their fallen feathers? They’re so pretty, it seems like a waste to just let them blow away.
When I first started keeping chickens years ago, I would spend fall days walking around the yard and plucking up fallen feathers. I keep lots of different breeds, so I always had a variety of feather colors: red, blue, chestnut, white, cream, buff, golden and so on. I liked the spangled feathers and the speckled feathers. I liked the barred feathers and the laced feathers. In fact, I gathered a mountain of fallen feathers, with the idea that they could be used to craft, at some point. I even picked up wild turkey feathers, blue jay feathers, cardinal feathers and any other fallen feathers that blew my way.
And… there they sit.
What do you do with a mountain of feathers? One year, I used some to decorate a “Mad Hatter” hat for Halloween. Another time, I gave an envelope full of them to a friend who thought she might want to use them in her jewelry making. I’ve tied them to twine for our cats, and have (unsuccessfully) tried to incorporate them into crocheted, catnip stuffed toys. I have offered my few rooster hackle and saddle feathers to my fly-fishing friends, while the larger fallen feathers I have sometimes used in foliage or flower arrangements.
Still, I feel as if I’ve not quite grasped their potential. I have hundreds… and I’m doing nothing with them. They’re not the type of feathers that can be transformed into feather boas. I’m not really a feathers-in-my hair sort of girl, either. A wreath, maybe? A feather tree? Feather art? Feather prints?
I appeal to all you crafty chicken people out there: what do you do with your fallen feathers? (Or what would you do if you had more time?)