Clever Christmas and decorative ideas for your chicken feathers from Traci DeLore
Some chicken feathers are too beautiful to leave outside, so I’m sharing some ideas for saving and displaying feathers from your flock.
The first thing to keep in mind is how to select feathers. I only select feathers that are clean. I never use feathers found on the droppings board below the roost, no matter how pretty it is. Feathers found on the lawn, however, are fair game.
Second, look for feathers that are intact and not separated. If there are just one or two separated areas, you can gently use your fingers to coax them back together.
Finally, remember that different feathers are suited for different ideas and displays. Downy feathers are much easier to display in some sort of loose setting. Sturdier wing and tail feathers are better suited to other displays.
Feather craft ideas
My favorite DIY chicken feather craft was probably the easiest one to make. I purchased some clear plastic ornaments at the craft store and collected an assortment of soft, downy feathers from my chickens.
Then I carefully placed the feathers inside the ornament. I made sure to select a mix of colors and place them so you can see them all. It sits front and center on our family’s Christmas tree every year. It’s even more special as time passes because not all the chickens that “donated” feathers are still with us.
My daughter used feathers – admittedly from her pet cockatiel – to make a bookmark for herself. A sheet of card stock and a laminator were all she needed. She selected the color of card stock she wanted and trimmed it to a size that worked. Then she arranged the feathers carefully before placing the card stock in the laminating sheet and sending it through the machine. If you don’t have a laminator, clear Contact Paper would also work.
Feather display ideas
For certain chickens that have been special to me, I have collected a few feathers after they passed on and tied them into a bundle with a ribbon. They hang in my office as a reminder.
My daughter, who can’t pass up a pretty feather no matter the bird, displays a huge array of feathers along the top of a wicker stand in her bedroom. She simply pokes them through the woven wicker in whatever way strikes her fancy.
Once, a molting chicken left a handful of feathers behind with me. I tied them together to make a toy for my cat!
I’ve heard some people use feathers to make earrings or other jewelry. Feathers from your own chickens would be a great option if you ever wanted to try your hand at making your own dreamcatcher. The possibilities for saving and displaying feathers are almost endless, so be creative and show off that beautiful plumage.
Traci DeLore grew up around chickens on her family’s farm, but didn’t start keeping her own chickens until she was in her 40s. Her desire to keep chickens came from a desire to have her own fresh eggs from chickens she knew were well cared for and happy. Traci started with six chickens – and then chicken math took over. These days, she has about 60 chickens — and three “rotten” ducks. (I say this because having ducks is like living with toddlers.) Traci also raises and processes her own meat chickens on occasion. Follow her on Instagram.