How in the world do they get down feathers from ducks, and does it hurt the duck?
The ducks or geese are killed.
While I don’t dispute that the answer given in true in the overwhelming number of cases, it is possible to wait for the duck to pluck her own down, and then collect if from the nest. Eiderdown is still collected this way. It is phenomenally expensive, though.
You don’t get down off a duck. You get down off an eleph…
Beat me to it, Cal.
covers Orville’s ears
From what I saw on TV, they boil the bird and move it by hand and still wet over the slit of what looked like a big planing machine. It rips out the feathers, which are dried and then sorted by weight in chambers with circulating air.
thanks for that. At least I can sleep well tonight on my feather pillow
Most good down comes from geese. Not just any geese, OLD geese. Also, Eiderdown is expensive not just bceause it is collected from nests, but also because it cannot be sorted by machine. All of the twigs, pebbles, and other impurities must be removed by hand.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat - er, I mean a canary. (let’s see who catches the Sylvester cartoon reference)
A report on the UK duck industry: http://www.viva.org.uk/Viva!%20Campaigns/Ducks/Report4.htm
Here you can see photos and buy one type of plucking machines: http://www.kawimpex.com/eng/poultry_equipment/poultry_processing.html
There’s a heap of animal-rights ranting sites (I don’t blame them). Maybe Duck Duck Goose would be able to google up a truly unbiased cite, but I’m afraid she fainted reading this.
Dude, that’s just sick. Those poor birds.
Hmm…does karma mean that in a future life, the bird pluckers will have the unfortunate luck of being tortured geese?? And hopefully the plucked birds will be the pluckers??
Godammit, now I havwe this summer-camp song stuck in my mind:
How about them Duck Pluckers, Ain’t they schmucks?
Pluckin’ them feathers right off ‘o them ducks.
Pluckin’ them mallards, pluckin’ them coots,
Pluckin’ they duckie hairs out by the roots!
Look at them Duck Pluckers, ain’t they thiefs?
Some use tweezers, some use their teeths.
Them feather-pluckin’ Duck Pluckers, hidin’ in the sticks,
Buggin’ they plucky-ducks, getttin’ they kicks.
How to be a Duck Plucker? No way to duck it;
Rustle up a duck or two, shoo-boy, just pluck it!
I don’t think I have the balls to pluck a duck, thinks for the input all.
It took a lot of pluck to recite that …
Actually, just one of many fine “them” poems by the great
Mason Williams, including “Lunch Toters”, “Toad Suckers”,
and “Ewe Doers”.