RabbitFeathers

cruelty free, natural craft feathers

Kirksville, Missouri

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Announcement    Please feel free to let me know if you want your feathers to be sent without plastic. I would then just fold them into a piece of paper to keep them smooth on the trip. Alternatively, you can send back the bags and I will re-use them.
If you know of a good bioplastic or packaging option, let me know! I'm currently not too impressed with PLA (doesn't actually break down outside of commercial facilities, contaminates plastic recycling) or paper bags (higher emissions in the manufacture than just petro-plastic)

All natural, jewelry quality feathers from free range, organic chickens.

My family and I raise heritage breed chickens for eggs at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and process the roosters for meat. It is really important to us to use and appreciate as much of the animal as possible. So, with my daughter's help, I save, wash, and sort the feathers for your feather craft needs.

We love our birds and take excellent care of them; they are raised organically and on pasture, cooped at night for predator protection, and we respect them to the very end. We raise most of our baby chicks under real mama hens, even the ones we order from a hatchery are carefully transplanted under a willing broody. We process approximately 50 roosters each year, and as hard as it is and as much as it sucks, it is necessary for the financial viability of our project. We are a small family farm, we can't keep every rooster.

It may be of interest for a potential buyers to know that one of our main focus points is on environmental sustainability. We live at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where our handbuilt strawbale home and farm are off-grid, we haul water, use only wood for heat and cooking, and have a solar panel for our few electric needs. This year I have devised a method for drying the feathers that does not require electricity! I'm super proud of this, it took a few different prototypes and I'm thrilled to offer these low impact feathers.

for more information about my birds and farm, please visit our website at: http://crittercollective.net/about-the-birds/

Announcement

Last updated on Oct 19, 2019

Please feel free to let me know if you want your feathers to be sent without plastic. I would then just fold them into a piece of paper to keep them smooth on the trip. Alternatively, you can send back the bags and I will re-use them.
If you know of a good bioplastic or packaging option, let me know! I'm currently not too impressed with PLA (doesn't actually break down outside of commercial facilities, contaminates plastic recycling) or paper bags (higher emissions in the manufacture than just petro-plastic)

All natural, jewelry quality feathers from free range, organic chickens.

My family and I raise heritage breed chickens for eggs at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage and process the roosters for meat. It is really important to us to use and appreciate as much of the animal as possible. So, with my daughter's help, I save, wash, and sort the feathers for your feather craft needs.

We love our birds and take excellent care of them; they are raised organically and on pasture, cooped at night for predator protection, and we respect them to the very end. We raise most of our baby chicks under real mama hens, even the ones we order from a hatchery are carefully transplanted under a willing broody. We process approximately 50 roosters each year, and as hard as it is and as much as it sucks, it is necessary for the financial viability of our project. We are a small family farm, we can't keep every rooster.

It may be of interest for a potential buyers to know that one of our main focus points is on environmental sustainability. We live at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where our handbuilt strawbale home and farm are off-grid, we haul water, use only wood for heat and cooking, and have a solar panel for our few electric needs. This year I have devised a method for drying the feathers that does not require electricity! I'm super proud of this, it took a few different prototypes and I'm thrilled to offer these low impact feathers.

for more information about my birds and farm, please visit our website at: http://crittercollective.net/about-the-birds/

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Mae Ferber

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Mae Ferber

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Average item review
5 out of 5 stars
(838)
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Quality 72 Shipping 114 Customer service 54

About RabbitFeathers

Sales 3,950
On Etsy since 2014

Off-grid permaculture farm in an ecovillage

This part is about my family, not the animals.
Our set-up is probably rather different than what many folks have experienced. I live with my partner Ben, daughter Althea, son Arthur, and our pets in a 400 sq ft strawbale home that we built with our hands in 2013. We eat in a kitchen co-op with 4-8 other folks and take turns preparing unprocessed foods from scratch, without propane. We haul county water for drinking and use rainwater catchment for the animals. We have a small solar panel that powers a light, charges our power tools, and plays music. Our goal is to provide the variety of animal products consumed by folks at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, but without needing to find markets for perishable goods outside of here. Our village is currently about 60 folks, most of whom eat a diet very low in animal products, so our scale is super small.
This part is about chickens.
I have always worked with animals and my personal project is the chickens and other livestock, right now a small herd of Nubian dairy goats, a beautiful Jersey/Guernsey cow, and some KuneKune pigs. I am leasing an acre in the ag space here at Dancing Rabbit to create a poultry permaculture paradise. We have planted many different kinds of perennials and trees in the acre and I have it divided into paddocks, with one central barnyard in the middle. The goats rotationally graze elsewhere on the property for half the year of so, but the chickens I graze in the paddocks surrounding the central one. We also have a large mobile coop that we also haul around to let them forage in new places, clean up fruit in the community orchard, eat pests in the community gardens, and share their fertility.
I order my birds from Sandhill Preservation Center. They are the most ethical source of chicks I have found so far, in that they don't kill their male chicks. Most all places that sell sexed chicks kill the male chicks by the hundreds or thousands. I'm raising chickens for eggs, I don't need 50% males either, but I don't think it is cool to have someone else do my dirty work for me. So we raise the males organically and free range and give them a good life and then, when they are 4-6 months old, we process them for meat. We generally kill about 50 roosters per year.
The thing about heritage breed chickens is that they are often dual purpose, which means that they do pretty good for both meat and egg production, but not excellent in either. There are very few breeds which can out-egg Leghorns, but they are not very impressive once dressed. The point is that my interest in heritage breeds means that they lay less eggs than the commercial egg layers but the roosters are still useful for meat. AND they have varied and beautiful plumage. I'm hoping that by selling eggs, meat, and feathers, it will be financially viable and produce less waste than by specializing in only one. When the waste is the life of an animal, that matters a lot to me.
This part is about feathers.
All I've done with these feathers is pulled them off the birds, washed them by hand in hot water with biodegradable soap, and then dried them. I have devised some mesh bags for drying the feathers in the sun and wind that work great! Then I sort them, count them, and put them in little bags. They typically mail out as regular letters, which is why the shipping is pretty cheap. I'm not actually sure if I'm making much of a profit, but our cost of living is quite modest here and it is all in the early stages, so I don't have many records to go off of yet.

Shop members

  • Mae Ferber

    Owner

    I've always wanted to be a farmer. When I was a kid, my folks told me that farmers mostly operated machines and if they had animals, it would be so many of the same kind that they couldn't tell them apart. I'm happy to be making a go of it, my way.

  • Althea

    Chicken Handler

    Althea is our 7 year old daughter. She loves animals so much! She helps me with feeding the birds and putting them away in their coop. She is getting to be an expert at herding ducks and has surprisingly good skills at catching chickens.

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