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Feather Hair Extensions Killing Roosters

Feather Hair Extensions Killing Roosters

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

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175 comments

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5:35AM PDT on Jun 20, 2012

I agree with Cindy R . :-0

2:47PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Is there any non-human life form that is not exploited for some reason or another? Must Humans kill any and every non-human life just for their vanity? To Humans NO LIFE IS AS IMPORTANT AS A HUMAN LIFE, HOW SICK AND DISGUSTING!!!!!!!!!!! ANYTHING FOR THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR!!

11:28AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Humans have to be the most vain, ridiculous creatures on the planet.

11:28AM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

Humans have to be the most vain, ridiculous creatures on the planet.

11:17AM PDT on Mar 12, 2012

Fashion has a lot to answer for.

6:58AM PST on Jan 4, 2012

Not to nitpick here, but I did say that there were companies that manufacture synthetic feathers, and I totally have no problem with that. I hope the ones at Walmart are fake! Good for them! Unfortunately the real feathers are more popular. If you google search "feather hair extensions" all of the results on the first page are companies selling REAL rooster feathers, and they aren't horribly expensive. My friend in the salon biz tells me that people prefer the real feathers because they last longer, and unlike synthetic alternatives, you can use hair straighteners and curling irons without damaging them. Anyway, I don't want to advertise them, and my original point still stands. All of these roosters are being killed for the sole purpose of providing people with feathers to wear in their hair for a brief period of time, and I still believe it is wrong.

1:11AM PST on Jan 3, 2012

Brunhilda, it's not just "my" claim, it's just fact. I'm sure the real ones are "out there" and probably started the fad, but the ones being sold at stores such as Walmart are fakes, synthetics. Check out the source, and next time I'm there, IF I remember, I'll check a bag and see what it says. I'd be willing to bet they're fakes, as the real thing couldn't be sold for that little, especially after re-reading the article here that states what some have paid for the "real" thing. If somebody spent a year or more raising (and feeding) a rooster until it grew feathers like that,they aren't going to sell an entire bag of them for $3. If memory serves, they had different price levels, but they were in an "end aisle" display at $3 - $7/bag.

2:55PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

People wear animals because animals have beauty that we don't possess.. We can't appreciate it from a distance we have to wear it and make it a part of us, be it leather, feathers, fur whatever... People are stupid.. Are we going to start wearing cat whiskers or claws??....probably...

2:44PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

UGH! i hate this!why does anybody kill animals for fashion???

2:33PM PST on Jan 2, 2012

That simply is not true. My babysitter's younger brother raised chickens for a 4-H project the entire time he was in 4-H, and most were males. They SHOWED them competitively, and each year, the previous year's chickens (mostly roosters) were killed and the family ate them. They were no more "tough" than a hen.

Anyway, allowing most male birds a purpos ensures they will at least live. That's an option many don't even have. The feather hair extensions now are synthetic, so the birds aren't being raised SOLELY for feathers in the first place. Maybe in some cultures, but the impliction is everywhere. Not the case.

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