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, 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. At the Friendly Feather Shop we do more than make conscious jewelry and accessories! We educate and inform with the birds best interests in mind.

  Exotic and endangered birds like Macaws and Parrots are losing their habitats to human advance. In some areas the birds are hunted for the pet trade, it is a most valuable natural resource. With more birds being bred and imported every day, there are growing numbers of homeless domestic birds. Having an exotic is a large commitment, as they live for a long time, are very intelligent, loud, and require daily attention and care. This is why so many are ending up without homes, pet enthusiasts get way more than they bargained for. There are, however, a number of aviculture groups looking out for the best interest of all the birds they know. The beautiful feathers of these misplaced and domesticated birds are a great alternative to dyed craft feathers and commercial plumage. It supports humane treatment of domestic birds whilst raising money to help with the costs of caring for homeless birds.

Most craft feathers commercially available are by-products of the meat industry, whether they are leftovers, pelts or manufactured feathers for fishing lure companies. The feathers are often bleached and then dyed various colors. Many of these birds are specially bred, hatched and skinned for their plumage, and some roosters are even neutered(not in vet's office) to achieve the desired effect. There are many no-kill, free range farms across the country that have a steady supply of molted feathers from all sorts of pheasants, peacocks, roosters and hens.

Feathers are considered the most complex integumentary structures found in vertebrates, meaning only birds have this unique and intricate way to waterproof, insulate and protect themselves. They are made out of keratin proteins, twisted and crosslinked by disulfide bridges into structures even tougher than mammalian hair, horns and hoof.
Feathers are a natural, biodegradable resource when left undyed and unbleached. They are a whimsical example of nature's evolutionary novelty.

There are an estimated 9,800
to 10,050 different species of birds living on Earth. Parrots are the fourth most popular pets, and there is an estimated 10.1 and 16.6 million exotic birds kept as pets in the US. Many people do not realize the responsibility it takes to care for an exotic bird, they live for decades and are usually considered too destructive, time consuming and loud to keep as long term pets. That is why many exotic birds end up in shelters. In 2003 alone, 779 groups including Avian Welfare and Rescue organizations, individuals, breeders, pet stores, veterinarians, accepted a total of 5,391 unwanted birds. Many shelters are struggling to afford the costs of caring for these birds, so molted feathers are a great way to use the birds natural resources to help them out. To learn more about the birds or to help visit Iowa Parrot Rescue and The Oasis Sanctuary.

Do you have some molted feathers you want put to good use? Found some feathers while wandering about? The Friendly Feather Shop offers trades of crafting, or donations based on rarity and quality of plumage. We'd love to work with you and your avian friends,  big or small!

Send an email and photos to justine@thefriendlyfeathershop.com

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