During certain times of the year, your barnyard is likely full of feathers. It appears a shame to waste them, however what on Earth could you possibly do with all of them? Well, just like with anything in life, you just need to get a little creative! These days we’re going to give you some thoughts for how to use feathers for your homestead.
Fletch Your Arrows
A bow and arrow is a weapon that you ought to become adept with, if for no other reason than that it’s a fairly easy weapon to craft from things you’ll have available if SHTF. Feathers are excellent for creating the fletch for arrows. Fletch is what makes your arrow fly true by balancing the shaft. Turkey feather work splendidly however you could use other feathers as well. Just match up the right and left wing or tail feathers.
There are as many ways to tie a fly as there are those who tie them. Chicken feathers, duck feathers, turkey feathers and even goose feathers are nice for making fishing lures. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area, however I watched my grandparent tie them all the time. He always used smaller ones, and seemed prone to using tiny ones that were shiny and colorful.
Dried feathers are good to use to start a fire. Just like hair, when they dry, they’re very flammable. If you wish to throw a bag of feathers into your survival bag, they’re lightweight, won’t take up hardly any space, and they’ll help you get a fire going in a rush when you need one.
You’ve surely had a feather pillow, and it was comfortable, fluffy and lasted for much longer than a pillow made of that fuzzy quilt batting stuff. Usually, goose feathers are what are used to make pillows however there’s no reason that you can’t use the tiny feathers from any bird, including ducks and chickens.
To wash the feathers to get them able to stuff into a pillow, just tie them up in a pillow case and run them through the wash. I dry mine, my grandmother doesn’t. She swears they last longer if you don’t dry them and I swear they get fluffier when I dry them. It appears to be a matter of opinion!
You may need to collect for quite a while before you have enough of those very little down feathers to create a pillow, however it’ll be well worth it. Have you priced a feather pillow in a store lately? Besides that, stores may not be available if SHTF.
Down comforters are tremendously valuable however boy are they heat and comfy! If you have a major number of barnyard birds or ask your neighbors to collect feathers for you, you can save enough to make a comforter.
One issue regarding this, though. every good down comforter that I’ve ever owned had pockets sewn into them, kind of like a quilt, so that the feathers were contained to tiny areas throughout the comforter instead of falling to the bottom.
I’ve seen some incredibly intricate hair clips decorated with feathers. You can obtain the clips for practically nothing, then either glue or tie the feathers to the clip.
Since this can be an art project, you can build it as simple or as elaborate as you want and you can use any combination of colors that you have in your barnyard. Not only will you save the feathers from waste, you’ll also have some lovely clips to wear, to give away as gifts, or to trade for other product.
This sounds weird, however I’ve truly seen some beautiful picture frames made of duck feathers. They were the blue-green ones, but I would imagine that chicken feathers, goose feathers or turkey feathers would work, too. Completely different color and texture combinations can be really lovely.
OK, this may be stretching it a bit but feathers were used as writing quills for eons till the modern pen was invented. Typically, long feathers such as turkey feathers work best. Just dip them in your ink and use it like a pen.
Feathers are organic matter. As long as your birds ar clean and don’t have lice or other parasites, they’ll be absolutely fine in your compost pile. For that matter, this goes for hair, too.
Tree angels, Easter eggs, Thanksgiving decorations and even Halloween costumes are all higher with some feathers! Use them to add wings to your angel ornaments or decorations, or to paint your Easter eggs. Of course, at Halloween, a feather boa or headband dresses a costume up nicely and Thanksgiving is all about turkeys!
I saw this idea on a book bag and thought that it’d transfer well to T-shirts or maybe walls. the woman told me that she had poured some paint into a shallow bowl, then dipped her duck feather into the paint, smeared off the additional on the edge of the bowl, and then pressed the feather to the canvas of the bag. I tried it and it worked fairly well however I went through many feathers. It offers a reasonably cool look though!
Make Bows with Them
Feathers are beautiful; they’re fluffy and exotic-looking and are an excellent way to dress up a present in lieu of a giant bow. Or, for that matter, use it along with a bow to make the gift look super fancy!
Feathers come in all shapes, sizes, textures and colors, which makes them superb for craft projects. Since they’re flammable, you can use them for tinder, and your arrows will fly straighter when you use feathers to make the fletches. When I searched for crafts using feathers, literally many ideas popped up, some better than others.
The important thing is that we, as homesteaders and preppers, hate to waste anything. Feathers certainly apply and with so many cool ways to use them, you won’t run out of projects!
If you can think about any other ways to use feathers for your homestead or for survival, please share them with us in the comments section below.