If you have lots of chickens and ducks and geese running around your homestead, or if you regularly pluck birds before prepping them to eat, the feathers are probably flying! Have you ever wondered what you could do with all of those extra feathers? Here are some practical ways you can use those feathers around your homestead.
Adding feathers to your compost bin is an easy, waste free way to do something with them. They will naturally break down. Just make sure your birds weren’t sick or infested with lice before adding the discarded feathers to the pile.
DIY Fishing Lures
Feathers will make a great addition to fishing lures, especially the ones that are small and brightly colored.
Stuff a Pillow
We all love a good feather pillow. There’s just nothing to compare it to when you rest your head on fluffy down stuffed goodness. They can be quite pricey, too! However, you don’t have to pay those high prices. You can make your own feather pillows using the smaller feathers from chickens just as you would from larger goose down. You just need to clean them by running through the washing machine (down inside a sealed pillowcase), and then let them dry. You can either use the electric dryer or air dry them. You could also do your own down stuffed comforter, too, by quilting some fabric and stuffing the little pockets in the quilting with the feathers.
Those little feathers lying around can make excellent fletches for the end of your arrows. The fletch is the part of the arrow that helps it fly properly. It helps it to be balanced, and feathers are just the job for that. The key to making your own is to match up the right and left feathers so they are balanced. Any kind will work, but most people like turkey feathers best for this.
Arts and Crafts
Kids love feathers. You could use loose feathers for a sensory bin, or to make a nature collage. Many kids enjoy using them to decorate paper headbands or even holiday table decorations. Another idea would be to collect them and give them to a local library or elementary school for their craft stash if you don’t have a use for them.
Feathers are flammable, so they make a great, lightweight fire starter for your emergency preps. Since they weigh practically nothing, and smooth down fairly well, you could put a Ziploc bag stuffed full of them into everyone’s bug out bag, and put some in your emergency kit.
My daughter has a hair clip that she loves that is made from a feather. If you have an abundance of long feathers on your property, or even some peacock feathers, you could make beautiful hair accessories that girls will love!
Decorate Gift Wrapped Presents
You can tie a pretty feather to a bow on a wrapped gift for a rustic touch or to add some texture. Some feathers are just too pretty to put in the compost or stuff in a pillow!
These are just a handful of ways you can use those feathers that are flying around your barnyard. They don’t have to be wasted. There are lots of other uses for them as well, I am sure. Can you think of any others that you might be able to use at your homestead?