The practice of attaching rooster feathers to human hair is becoming more popular, in part due to various celebrities such as Steven Tyler, Kesha, Hillary Duff and Miley Cyrus who were early adopters of the practice. Rooster feathers have been used for making fly fishing lures for years. Lately however, fishing shops have seen an increase in sales from women and hair salons seeking to use the feathers as hair extensions.
A top supplier of rooster feathers in the U.S., which provides feathers to fishing shops for fly fishing ties, said they harvested 125,000 roosters in the year 2000. Most of them died. As the Seattle Times put it, “At Whiting Farms Inc., in western Colorado, one of the world’s largest producers of fly tying feathers, the roosters live about a year while their saddle feathers – the ones on the bird’s backside and the most popular for hair extensions – grow as long as possible. Then the animal is euthanized.”
One would assume most of the customers seeking hair extensions don’t know where the feathers come from, nor that many chickens died. Demand for rooster feathers for fly fishing existed before the hair extension fad or trend, but the additional demand has exceeded the supply. Consequently rooster feather prices have soared. Will the much higher prices cause rooster farms to add even more chickens to their populations, and result in even more deaths?
It’s time to explain to celebrities and hair salons how they are contributing unknowingly to the suffering of many chickens for the sake of vanity. You can do your part by not buying rooster feather extensions and spreading the word.
Image Credit: Remi Jouan