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jca's avatar

Peacock and exotic bird feathers for jewelry, accessories and table centerpieces: Do they have to kill the birds to get the feathers?

Asked by jca (28425 points ) March 27th, 2012

Peacock feather jewelry is popular, and in the stores I see headbands and other accessories made out of exotic bird feathers. A friend of mine told me she knows someone who was planning an elaborate, catered party and the tabletop centerpieces consisted of huge peacock feathers with lights.

When exotic bird feathers are used to craft jewelry, centerpieces and accessories, do they have to kill the birds to get the feathers?

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10 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It depends. At the Friendly Feather Shop, they say this:

” Many of the feathers in the shop come from Macaws, Roosters, Emus and Parrots living in bird sanctuaries, aviaries, free range farms and loving homes across the country. Other feathers are found in the wild, such as plumage from Turkeys, Pheasants, Blue Jays and Ducks. The feathers used here are always cruelty-free and all natural. This means they are undyed, unbleached, molted feathers from happy, healthy birds.”

syz's avatar

It depends. But many of them are from harvested birds (pheasants, turkeys, and modified chicken feathers). It largely depends on the value of the bird.

Coloma's avatar

Birds molt every late summer/fall and many feathers can be collected during this time, however, their quality may not be as good as at other times of the year. Molted feathers are often damaged during breeding season and they become soiled if not not collected immediately. Some birds are bred specifically for their feathers and yes, they are killed. Many specialty breeds of chicken are bred for their hackle & saddle feathers which are popular for fly tying and are marketed as entire neck/cape and saddle pieces still attached to the “leather” as well as individually.

My geese molt starting in mid-July and the entire process of shedding and regenerating new feathers takes several months. If you advertise locally you may find a source of feathers that do not involved killing the birds.
@marinelife offers a great source of cruelty free feathers. :-)

Coloma's avatar

C’List ” farm & garden” is a good source to advertise for wanting cruelty free exotic feathers.:-)

tedd's avatar

I know you don’t have to kill Peacocks. Past that I dunno.

janbb's avatar

@marinelife How do they test the birds for happiness? Is a survey taken? :-)

downtide's avatar

Birds moult their feathers naturally so they can be collected from domestic birds without harming them.

dappled_leaves's avatar

No. I spent a while talking to a woman at a craft fair last summer whose parents had a bird sanctuary. They would constantly harvest fallen feathers for her creations. They had peacocks among others.

Also, a number of the non-peacock feathers looked quite exotic, but they turned out to be hand-dyed feathers from native species.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I sure hope not. Peacock feathers are a huge part of my fashion!

Nullo's avatar

Most birds molt.
Consider the case of the goose with the golden eggs.

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