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AZ_Dawn
10-02-2014, 11:05 PM
Many of you know about my chicken-nieces (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=291827). Since we got the girls, backyard chicken people seem to be coming out the woodwork. One of them mentioned that they saved their chickens' feathers and sold them online to crafters. Two sisters think that's a great idea. After all, some of the girls have gorgeous feathers. Especially Mel, the Ameraucana; she's got hawk-colored feathers! :heart: Plus Silvie, the Blue Andalusian, is molting, giving us lots of pretty grey feathers.

Of course, in order to sell the feathers, we need to clean 'em up. Does anyone know how to sterilize chicken feathers, preferably while keeping their shape? We've googled the subject, and the results are a bit confusing.

Thanks!

veinglory
10-02-2014, 11:32 PM
I would probably go with steam.

alleycat
10-02-2014, 11:36 PM
I thought they just put them in a zippered pillowcase and washed them in Woolite or something similar.

AZ_Dawn
10-05-2014, 01:21 AM
Thanks, guys!


I would probably go with steam.
Think that would be enough? These gals roll in the dirt, among other things.


I thought they just put them in a zippered pillowcase and washed them in Woolite or something similar.
Would that affect the colors? Annie has black feathers with a green sheen, and we'd hate to lose the sheen.

mccardey
10-05-2014, 01:27 AM
Not to derail, but my chickens say hi to your chickens.

harmonyisarine
10-05-2014, 05:07 AM
Some of my chickens say hi. A few are shy and probably hiding in their coop.

When I was younger, I'd collect hawk feathers when they fell. I just washed them with soap and water. The sheen is usually a facet of the feather itself, not oils to be washed off. Our Rhode Island reds have the same thing and the green sheen seems to stay when I wash them. Most ways you do it, though, you'll have to manually reshape them when you're done. At least I do. I'd love if there was a way where I didn't have to.

veinglory
10-05-2014, 05:30 AM
Steam will sterilize, that is make any biota dead. If you also want to remove discoloration etc that will probably take some method that deforms the feather's shape.

AZ_Dawn
10-06-2014, 09:37 PM
Steam will sterilize, that is make any biota dead. If you also want to remove discoloration etc that will probably take some method that deforms the feather's shape.
So it depends on what needs to be done to the individual feather, then? That clears thing up a bit. Thanks!

I take it, though, that steaming involves more than just holding them over boiling water.

Aleiarity
11-13-2014, 09:53 AM
Owl pellets are baked (sometimes at 250 degrees F for several hours) in order to sanitize them. I believe that might be an option if you don't want to get the feathers wet. I think steam would be faster, though.