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#62268 - 06/07/04 07:11 AM "processing" feathers

My nine year old son wants a "homemade" feather pillow. So he's been plucking feathers each time we've butchered our chickens. Do you have to do anything to the feathers before using for a pillow? Or can they go straight to the pillow?


#62269 - 06/07/04 09:31 AM Re: "processing" feathers
Norwegian Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/31/03
Posts: 523
Loc: Norway
Now - if only all kids were like him! You should be proud. wink

I think I would put them in the freezer for some days to be quite certain there weren't any "stowaways" (mite, lice etc).

:rolleyes: confused I might be wrong , but I seem to remember my old mother telling of how they used to wash the feathers. They put them in a large pillow-case and sowed it shut. After washing in natural soap and rinsing thoroughly in luke warm water several times, it was important to shake the pillowcase while the feathers were drying to keep them from sticking together. The more - the better.

But again - My memory could be tricking me, so do test with just a little bit first! But the thing about the freezer is safe enough!

Maybve some of the "old-timers" laugh here can give you further advice?

Good luck!

#62270 - 06/07/04 11:20 AM Re: "processing" feathers
Larissa Offline
Coop Cleaner

Registered: 06/09/03
Posts: 174
Loc: Oregon
That's really cute. It reminds me of something I would have done when I was a kid. In fact, I think I wanted to do that with duck feathers once after one of my dad's hunting trips.

I would definitely wash them as suggested in the previous post. But, before I did that, to make a nicer pillow that won't have pointy hard shafts sticking out of it, I'd suggest to your son that he sort through the feathers or just pluck and use the ones from the underside of the chicken where they are most downy with very thin shafts.

The ones arond the butt (unfortunately :rolleyes: ) are the softest. All the more reason to wash them!

#62271 - 06/07/04 01:22 PM Re: "processing" feathers
Anny Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 503
Loc: Belgium
You will have to use down proof fabric (percale) and double small stiched sewing to keep the feathers/down in.
To fluff up the feathers/down after washing you can dry it in the tumble drier, cool, adding a few tennis balls.

As real down is too soft for a pillow and small feathers are kind of pricky, a good feather/down pillow should be made two-layered. One case just a little bit smaller filled with a feathers/down mix into another case with a layer of soft down between the two.
Sleeps like heaven! cool

#62272 - 07/10/04 03:45 PM Re: "processing" feathers
Jocelyn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/26/02
Posts: 1467
Loc: Canada
Yes, sleeps like a cloud...and can be thrown in the wash every 6 months or so for many years. Washer, cold water, dryer on low heat...or better yet, out on the clothes line on a windy day in the sun.


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